The Five Dimensions of Digital Immortality: Accessibility

The dimension of Accessibility is, like every other dimension of Digital Immortality, a function of every other dimension. Any attempt to present data in the form of streaming audio or video requires broadband. Yet, those formats are nowhere near the ultimate in presenting data. We will not see any formats presenting greatly increased amounts of data until we have much greater bandwidth. Will that be an expansion of the current Internet or some replacement?
        As bandwidth increases will the gap between low bandwidth and high bandwidth users continue to expand or will it be reduced? And if the latter, will it happen by some technological miracle or a fundamental change in world civilization? These are, as you can see, all questions of Accessibility.
        Then there are the questions of how Accessibility is affected by forms of Presentation and techniques of Interaction. The more complexity of either or both of these especially, and obviously, the former the greater the bandwidth needed for Accessibility. However, while we usually speak of that bandwidth on the download side, i.e., from the Internet to the user, what if Interaction allows users to talk or even to gesture! to the Internet representation of a digital persona?
        The question of how the dimension of Time relates to Accessibility is one we see evidence of with each passing year. When I began my website in October of 1995, there was no broadband. While common today (supposedly more than half the market, although I doubt the validity of the numbers), broadband is still priced out of the reach of many in this, the richest country in the world.
        The immediate future of broadband worldwide is one of diminishing returns as the gap between low bandwidth and high bandwidth users continues to grow. However, is anyone even addressing the potential problems of an even greater bandwidth at an even greater cost and an even greater gap between rich and poor? Or is the Accessibility to digital personas forever to be a two-tier affair, one for the rich and another for the poor?

Back to the Five Dimensions summary.

  1. Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications
  2. Digital Personas
  3. Research

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Last updated 3/11/06

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