Hyperconnectivity references our use of multiple means of communication such as smartphones, email and instant messaging, as well as our growing reliance on smart devices and the Internet of Things.
The trend of hyperconnectivity has been growing in recent years, now thanks to the large increases in bandwidth made possible through the implementation of 5G, it is accelerating. Along with landlines, mobile phones and computers, other devices included in the hyperconnectivity trend include the likes of cars, GPS receivers, cameras and coffee machines, as well as refrigerators and temperature controls.
We haven’t yet fully arrived, but we are well on the way towards truly living in the hyperconnected world. Let’s look closer at the origins of the term and what it means for the future of business and humanity itself.
Origins of the Hyperconnected World
Social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman first coined the term’ hyperconnectivity’. They studied communications in networked organizations and networked societies, with a focus on person-to-person and person-to-machine interactions. Their original meaning also included face-to-face contact as well as through the internet and smart devices, though it is more generally used nowadays to refer to communications through a computerized network.
Communications covered by the term include person-to-person, though not necessarily face-to-face, as well as person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication.
As we become more hyperconnected, the demand for bandwidth massively increases due to the complexity and diversity of new applications and devices communicating via the network. Prior to 5G, this demand would have placed a ceiling on exactly how hyperconnected we could become.
Now with the possibility of high-speed networks enabling hyperconnectivity, the current hot topics revolve around what kind of new technology will be required to facilitate the high-speed networks, as well as which companies will win the contracts to develop and deploy them.
The Future of Hyperconnectivity
Unfortunately, it is not all fun in the 5G fast lane as there are some major concerns that come with the advance of the hyperconnected world. Experts have warned about an increase in online crime, with cybersecurity potentially compromised by the vastly increased mass of digital connections.
With hundreds of billions of connected devices broadening the potential number of targets for cybercriminals, developing a stable level of security is going to be one of the major challenges for the hyperconnected world.
However, the potential for huge medical advancements is one major positive effect of hyperconnectivity, with connected sensor devices such as wearable or internal medical devices helping drive progress.
The benefits to business could be huge with the integration of virtual, augmented and extended reality, as well as the likes of conversational computing. Of course, success will largely depend on how well each individual business adapts and implements the new technology that becomes available over the next few years and decades.
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