Is the “Brave New World” of a Hyper-connected Society a Fiction, or are we Already Living the Story?
As “Brave New World” is once again gaining popularity thanks to the Peacock adaptation available on Netflix, we cannot help but wonder – is the sci-fi dystopian story written by Aldous Huxley in 1931 going to become a reality? Or maybe, on some levels – thanks to the medical Internet of Things and digital culture and society, we are already living it?
A dystopian idea of the always happy hyper-connected society
Almost a century ago, Huxley created a story about a society in which everybody is happy all the time. How could that be possible? Well, the author of “Brave New World” formed an idea of a population in which humans are always connected, entertained, never feel alone, and have everything within reach. If they do feel a little blue, they are provided with a magic Soma pill that takes their troubles away.
Sounds like the perfect dream? Not entirely. Hyper-connectivity also meant no privacy. It meant that everything belonged to everyone, and there was no place for private property or private relations.
So, is this something we should be worried about in the future? Or maybe it is already happening on some levels?
The hyper-connected society vs current digital culture
A big part of the world’s population is now living in a digital information and wireless communication society. Digital culture and society have changed the way we spend our time – communicating, working, shopping, playing, and simply living. Mobile phones and then social media have made us more connected than ever. Incoming 5G services will only strengthen this trend.
So the idea of hyper-connected society, and it’s adaption in the Peacock series, doesn’t really seem so unrealistic. As a matter of fact, we share most of our private information online, and sometimes even stream events in real-time, which makes us dangerously close to this dystopian idea of hyper-connection.
The future looks even more connected
There are moments when we think that we cannot be more connected than we are now.
And yet, it looks like we can, and we will in the upcoming years. That’s all thanks to wearables, which will extend far further with gadgets such as Google Glass utilizing AR and VR.
While the Google project has not yet gained the predicted popularity, more and more companies (including Facebook, Amazon, Snap and Lenovo) are planning on rolling out their own similar projects in 2021. This leads us to believe that we’re not far away from the big popularity boom of these gadgets, and of connectivity becoming even more important.
These technological advances will make us even more “online” and connected. We’ll almost literally be able to view the lives of other people through our own eyes. This will provide an opportunity for hyper-connection in almost the same way as in the Peacock adaptation of “Brave New World”. It will make staying on top of what’s going on with our friends, coworkers and family even easier. Or will it?
“Checking your levels” vs the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in medicine
Apart from the subject of hyper-connectivity, the sci-fi new world also entails leveling human individuals’ well-being, as well as the health of society as a whole, which can easily be monitored thanks to modern technology and connectivity.
Though this might sound like a future scenario, it is already happening in some places and on some levels. The year 2020 proved that there’s a strong need for telemedicine and remote health control. Apart from that, we’re already testing and using some AI-driven solutions such as heart monitors, which not only monitor health, but can actually predict some dangerous events. Not to mention all of the wearables that many of us are using right now and which by measuring our vital signs in real-time are very helpful when it comes to determining stress levels, and potential health problems.
That being said, with 5G technology and the IoT in medicine, it’s likely that we’ll soon be seeing many more different solutions, including microchips and under skin implant trackers used on a large scale.
Should we be worried?
All this might sound a bit disturbing – losing a part of our privacy always is. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, especially when it comes to our health. Monitoring, tracking and predicting certain events can make us live better and longer. It can help us prevent some serious conditions (such as heart problems or cancers), or maybe even say goodbye to them forever.
As for the digital culture and society – as worrying as the idea of spending every day on the phone sounds, it did and does provide the population with many benefits. We can talk and see friends that live in distant parts of the world. We can swiftly find any information we need. We can do business in a truly global way. The possibilities offered by the digital revolution are truly amazing.
The future of IoT and communication service providers
Whether we are ready as a society or not, the future is going to be more and more technologically advanced, and this is something that “Brave New World” predicted quite accurately. CSPs must be prepared.
According to Cognizant, investments in the area of IoT are going to be growing fast and wide. Up to 64% of companies would like to develop a wider range of IoT-based solutions across their enterprises in the next two years.
The takeaway for all digital service providers
IoT, 5G services, and other AI-driven technologies have this one crucial thing in common – connectivity. And this is something that IoT and communication service providers should bear in mind if they want to succeed in the following years. Developing a well-connected infrastructure – both physical and virtual, is the key to being able to provide the services that businesses and individual customers will be looking for.
IoT and communication service providers should also pay attention to the other important part of connectivity – security. For IoT, especially when it comes to medical devices, staying secure is crucial. If CSPs can ensure this, we’ll definitely be seeing increasingly advanced solutions in the coming years, and maybe fewer serious health issues.
In the end, technologically-wise, the future will be as we create it.