Star Trek SEO and Our Connected Future
Bear with me today folks, this is gonna get pretty esoteric here; I’m about to do some near future prognostication and rely heavily on some sci-fi tropes you’re probably already marginally familiar with. I’ll be referencing anime too!
The ubiquitous Star Trek computer is coming! we’re all going to be Siri searching some day, I just hope we come up with a better command to start our request than “computer”; though it would undoubtedly make for some funny incidents as starship engineers travel back in time and try to use severely dated manual interfaces:
How long is it going to be until there’s a device that just plugs directly into our brain? Fiction quadrilogy Otherland already posits a worldwide neural network that’s accessible not only through traditional input mechanisms, but can also be accessed through the use of a “T-jack”- a neurocannular implant that allows the computer the User is connected to to feed information directly into the User’s nervous system Matrix style, resulting in completely believable virtual environments where with the use of a catheter and IV drip, the User can stay online for infinite amounts of time. Of course, this requires a massive infrastructure of kidnapped children’s brains managed by a telepathic fetus living on a satellite to produce hey, who says it can’t happen?
One of the only anime series’ I’ve ever sat down to watch takes that even a step further, with society’s wealthy and elite able to “cyberize” their bodies so that the only remaining organic part is the brain. This universe posits a mode where Users are constantly online and connected to each other and aware of each others’ activity. They even use the (apparently, in Japan, somewhat less un-PC) term “autistic mode” to describe a mode where the User’s data stream isn’t being shared with the rest of the network.
Augmented reality is making its way into the mix, too, we already have the Nintendo 3DS, which turns any kitchen table into a gaming environment. We’ve got these brilliant augmented reality Volkswagen ads, we’ve got apps that let us leave messages hanging in the virtual air over our favorite restaurant for our friends to see- it’s only a matter of time before it’s first built into every phone and tablet, then eventually a pair of innocuous glasses, and I’m quite positive eventually a bionic implant. Someday we’ll all be running around like Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human revolution: “augmented” to the gills with machine interface parts that will allow us to transcend our humanity.
So what’s the point of all of this? Who cares? This is way, way in the future, right? Well, if you ask Arthur C.Clarke, you’ll find that A) he’s dead and B) he doesn’t think there’s any technological feat we can’t accomplish in the next 200 years. The always-connected, machine augmented individual is going to be a reality. Search isn’t going to exist any more as it does. In a world when we’re always online and always connected, is advertising even really a Thing? What’s important to remember is that even as the gurus and ninjas and experts sound off about every single new innovation that comes down the pipe, we are still in the absolute nascency of the human-machine interface here, with Search. It’s an exciting field to be in and an exciting time to be in it. You may not realize it but if you work in SEO, you are on the bleeding edge of the study of humanity. Search behavior is human behavior and as such, SEOs are really students of humanity!
How about it, how will humanity change as technology advances? Will marketing and Search even exist as we know them? Sound off!