Thursday, June 07, 2012
So, IPv6, the next internet, has launched. It has been a long time in the making -- nearly 20 years, and it wouldn't have come at all but for the fact that the world is running out of internet addresses. Most people won't notice its arrival. The internet will continue to operate the same way on the surface. However, below the user level, there will be a major change. The new version creates so many internet addresses that every internet-enabled device on the earth today and for decades to come will have its own unique identifier. That's not true today. Think of the possibilities for marketing and public relations if one knows the exact machine to which a message is going. One can choose to reach another at work, at home or on the road -- wherever a message has the most impact. While that is possible today, it will be easier under IPv6. It is too early to tell just how the expanded address system will be used but long after I have retired, new applications will be coming out. Young practitioners will face a different world than the one we know. And, that's exciting.