The Possibilities Are Endless…

This week’s discussion in IST613 (Survey of Telecommunication and Information Policy) was a pretty standard discussion concerning government regulation of information markets, how the information market has changed the economy, and a general follow-up of the class readings.

That is, except for this one question:
You have been placed in charge of ICT implementation for the brand new Mars space colony. There are a lot of people, but unfortunately your budget, infrastructure, and knowledge capital are extremely limited since all the colonists came from debtors prisons back on Earth. What sort of ICTs are of immediate and practical economic use to your constituents? Give some examples of old tech, new tech, and fictional tech you want to have on hand. Which ones do you throw out as space junk? Oh–and defend your decisions to the colony members, who wanted a big-screen plasma TV.

I couldn’t not let the creative writer in me out for this one. I didn’t necessarily follow all of the rules but I would love for this to be a reality someday:

Okay, since I’ve answered two questions seriously, I’m going to take a much more fun approach to this one.

Before I begin, I’m making the following assumptions:

1. A president in the future has rejuvenated the NASA Space Program so that we are not reliant on 1990’s technology to neither travel through space nor to communicate.

2. NASA scientists have been able to come up with new, exciting, and more efficient ways of doing nearly everything, let alone breathe in a new atmosphere.

3. We have finally been able to create those “meal pills” from 1960’s television that gives us all of our nutritional needs and makes us feel satisfactorily full upon ingesting and provide us with the correct amount of water to prevent thirst, so all of our basic physical needs are met. We have a supply that will last 10 years and the formula to create more.

4. We all get to wear those awesome, uniform, silver space suits with matching boots.

5. We have evolved some and use more of our brain than we currently do.

6. The phone/computer/camera hybrid that we have been moving towards for the past few years has taken off completely and we all have our own personal devices that are all-inclusive.

These personal devices will be the key to all major communication and information retrieval. Powered by electricity from brain waves, this device will fit comfortably in your ear (like one of those spy ear pieces that you can’t see from the outside) and will be removable for sleeping (which I will further explain below).

All devices will be able to connect to one another, using brain wave frequencies, for basic communication. If you simply think the phrase “Connect to Mom,” the device will send a signal to that of your mother’s and send her brain a mellow tone, indicating an “incoming call,” followed by a visual representation of your face, however she prefers to remember you.

These devices will not rely on satellites and can function properly, regardless of the distance between people. Connecting brain waves will be the most efficient way to communicate person-to-person.

To get information, as one would on the internet today, you would simply think another command, “Find information on topic: Space Suit Repair” and your device will connect to a service provider that runs on artificial brain waves and acts as a super computer (it’s amazing how far technology has come) to perform searches. The information will be transmitted to your brain as though you are “seeing” it in a memory. You can then proceed as you would normally do with any internet search engine, selecting to try different words, adding other key phrases, or selecting a link.

Everything we normally do throughout our day to communicate or gather information will be done in our heads. Even the storage of pictures in photo albums will be accessible with the help of this device and our memories. Since the device will essentially turn our own brains into computes, we can even organize information in folders and directories.

We would remove these when we sleep so that our brains do not accidentally send signals to the devices, literally making our worst dreams a reality.

Now, given our limited budget and knowledge capital, we can expend all financial resources on shelter.

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