DailyPost 2064

The internet has been miraculously transforming itself over the last few decades since its inception, for making life comfortable for one and all. The huge enablement by the world’s tech fraternity is regularly delivered by way of highest-level research and development that remains unknown to the common user. While the tech world is desperately trying to understand the nuances of Web3 and Metaverse, another stage of the Internet is already being talked about. This the tactile internet. This could very well be called the next evolution of the internet of things in many ways, encompassing human to machine and machine to machine interactions. It would enable real time interactive systems, with lots of industrial, societal and business use cases.

For common place, understanding touch and creating touch will take the center place, the final frontier for technology to capture. Seen from a network perspective tactile internet would combine ultra low latency with extremely high availability, reliability and security. It would add a new dimension to the internet; human to machine interaction, by enabling haptic sensations. Simultaneously, it would be revolutionizing the interactions of machines as well. The haptic interaction will be enabled with the visual feedback. Man in the loop in another way of describing the destination. The term haptic relates to ”the sense of touch, in particular the perception and manipulation of objects using touch and proprioception.” Proprioception means perception governed by proprioceptors, as awareness of the position of one’s body.

Talking of the principle of the Tactile internet functioning; is that all human senses can interact with machines, and technologies to enhance the interaction will deliver this revolutionary stage of the internet. What is of critical importance is to maintain the time a human being takes to interact with its environment? The technical systems need to match the human natural reaction time, which can broadly be calculated as 1ms. This is the nature of latency, which is being aimed at and would be required for tactile internet applications. The mind-boggling nature of critical tasks which this internet can perform, will need ultra-reliability at the desired speed, remote being the magical mantra, and would need cheap edge infrastructure to scale.

Given the nature of requirements, even 6G is being talked about in this context. The tactile internet will also allow the interplay of lots of cutting-edge technologies in a seamless manner at the network and the application level. Tactile internet would be enabled by IOT and robots. Network we have already talked about, content and data would be transmitted over it. The intelligence generated in the process will be enabled close to the user experience through mobile edge computing. What technologies will make the application level come alive? These are automation, robotics, telepresence, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence. Though the list of use cases can be endless even now itself, but it also clear that the Tactile Internet will have applications that haven’t yet been conceived of.

Sanjay Sahay

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