5G and the Digital Conjoined Twin

For years we’ve been hearing about the rollout of 5G, with much speculation about how exactly it will transform our daily lives. As with any new technology, the most disruptive use case often emerges completely unexpected. In the case of 5G, even with limited availability, we’re already observing emergence of the digital conjoined twin.

The concept of the digital twin, a digital replica and history of a living or non-living physical entity, percolated up the list of the top buzzwords of 2018. And as vendors now clamber to market digital twin solutions while enterprises scramble to develop digital twin strategies, some individuals are already taking the concept one step further.

Driven by concerns about data privacy in light of the many recent breaches and scandals, a few tech-savvy individuals have elected to reclaim their digital twin, hosting and managing their own digital-self-replica in the cloud themselves. The most intrepid are going so far as to bypass the cloud entirely, instead hosting their digital twins locally—that is to say on their physical person. In the words of one such individual:

“5G eliminates the only remaining reasons for me to choose the cloud: high bandwidth and low latency. So I cut out the middleman.”

By hosting one’s own digital representation, in this case using an open source Node.js server running on a Raspberry Pi with 5G stick, physically attached to oneself at all times, the result is a digital conjoined twin.

The inconvenience of carrying a device that needs to be recharged once or more per day is offset by the fact that the digital twin resides in the optimal location: adjacent to the physical entity that it represents. Updates to the state of the individual are immediately reflected in their digital conjoined twin, accessible on the Internet with sub-millisecond latency thanks to 5G. In the age of instant updates, it simply does not get more real-time than this!

This is distinct from carrying a smartphone, the sidekick device of the past decade. The mobile ecosystem never embraced the digital conjoined twin paradigm as, arguably, this would challenge their established People-as-a-Product business model. It’s easy to see why:

“With this setup I can literally pull the plug on my data at any time. It’s a USB cable connected to a power pack.”

Indeed, 5G introduces the possibility to live “at the edge” in a quite literal sense. And the scenario becomes even more interesting when two pairs of digital conjoined twins meet.

While each human discovers the other visually and subsequently engages in verbal conversation, their digital twins spontaneously discover one another via Bluetooth Low Energy and subsequently engage in IP-over-5G conversation. The digital twins require no intervention from their human counterparts in order to engage one another. This leaves the individuals free to interact with one another, once again without distraction—just as humans have done for hundreds of thousands of years—save of course for the quirky contraptions conjoined with their bodies.

Today, April 1st, 2019, marks the first documented encounter of pairs of digital conjoined twins. It would be foolish not to think of this as the dawn of a new era for humanity.

Are Care Bears the forebears of an implantaBLE beacon future?

It’s the nightmare scenario of our time: it’s late, you’re alone, far from public transit and need to request an Uber but your mobile phone is dead.

“Oh I know, I’ll use my belly badge beacon” – Cheer Bear

Wait, did a CGI render of an eighties stuffy just suggest using a beacon?   Yes, you heard right!

Care Bears, which first appeared in the early 1980s, each have a unique marking on their belly which reflects their personality. Moreover, according to Wikipedia, “the Care Bears can also use their belly symbols to summon other assistance such as heart-shaped balloons, cloud cars, rainbow bridges and sending out a distress signal.”

Cloud cars?   Did these prescient bears predict not only the cloud computing paradigm, but also the disruptive ride-sharing industry it would enable? Which further begs the question about the belly badges: are the Care Bears hinting at a future where implantable Bluetooth beacons become the societal norm?

Are the Care Bears predicting a future where every person has an implantable Bluetooth beacon?

Wow. While we at reelyActive have long advocated for personal beacon technology to advertise oneself, empower the IoT as our brand ambassador and eventually supersede the smartphone, we haven’t yet breached the topic of going under the skin (fur?) — there never seemed to be a need to go beyond wearable (bearable?). Or has there…

Stuffed animal characters predicting future technologies and their societal impacts? Owl believe it when I see it!

What’s in a name?

A clever yeti once said why create evil? In an age where companies such as Setec Astronomy harbour too many secrets, we at reelyActive strive to reveal, alert and avert the forces of eery evil through clarity.

Indeed, using creative tactics we remain reactive to every lie — each viler yet than rectal pain — and, standing tall, we erectly vie to elevate all which is vital for humanity to yet live & careactively — about the veracity of our collective reality.

On this first day of April, the clear eve of clever tease (don’t give us the evil eye!), we invite you to relive the comedic literacy of our past posts such as Limited Edition Artisinal Hub and A Fool to Open Source.

A Fool to Open Source

This week, while paying a visit to one of our Fortune 500 clients, they asked us why we open sourced our software. “Anyone could just copy your work” they said. “Aren’t you afraid that someone steals your business from you?” Wow. We hadn’t thought of that. We just figured we were following the Lean Startup guidelines by sticking to the free tier of GitHub. It costs $25 per month to hide your code in private repositories you know! But then we looked into the gravity of our mistake and here’s what we found:

Other companies can create value on top of our platform. For themselves! How selfish!

We were feeling quite confident that we had the $19 trillion Internet of Things market opportunity all to ourselves given our early mover status. After all, we announced our IoT pivot a week before Cisco, the company responsible for that claim. But it turns out that other companies could leverage our open source platform to “create” additional value. For instance, a third party could focus on a specific vertical outside of our expertise, and develop a useful targeted product with our code base as a foundation. That supposed additional value would in effect be a stolen slice of our $19T pie! Unless, of course, they’re naïve enough to open source too, allowing us to reciprocate and rightfully reclaim our slice!

Collaborators could contaminate our code base under the auspices of free contributions!

We also felt confident that, in our conquest of the global IoT market, we could maintain a clean, pure code base dignified of such an endeavour. But then, to our chagrin, individuals outside our organisation insisted on collaborating and contributing to our open source code. Sure, they claimed to be “fixing bugs” or “adding features” but we all know that can’t be true: why would anyone work without pay? Their intentions could only be malicious. Surely they must be saboteurs seeking to steal from our pie! After all, look at what open collaboration has done to the Linux operating system. Yikes! Is anybody still using that?

The community could continue to use our software even should our organisation perish!

Okay, we’re still having a hard time wrapping our heads around this one. It’s bad enough that we have to share our pie with selfish third-parties and “collabo-raiders”. Now imagine that they eat the whole $19T, causing us to starve and perish as an organisation! Apparently our open source code base would continue to live on indefinitely! How unjust! This surely explains why so many clients and partners have been keen to adopt our platform: we’d have absolutely no recourse to childishly revoke our work out of spite! In fact, we are relegated to subsist but from the meager rations of pie that they dole out each month in exchange for our open source software as-a-service. What kind of pathetic business model is that?!?

We learned a tough lesson this week. By accidentally open sourcing our software, it has become nothing more than a platform bastardised by open collaboration and trampled by an influx of clients and partners. If only we had the prescience to patent a proprietary code base. Imagine how much further ahead we, and the IoT, would be today.