You now have the capability to have a billion billion mobile devices for every second of your entire life.
The global organization Internet Society launched IPv6 today, increasing the number of Internet protocol addresses to 340 undecillion - or 340 trillion trillion trillion - and quietly resolving a conflict with IPv4, which was running out of addresses.
Each device that connects to the Internet - be it a computer, iPad, mobile phone or gaming system - has to have an IP address. With the rapid expansion of mobile devices, and the expectation that someday appliances like washing machines may connect to the Internet, the Internet was running out of unique addresses, according to CNN.
In IPv4, the formula for addresses was xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, with each series of three numbers able to vary from 000 to 255. The new formula is xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx and each "x" can vary from 0 to 9 or "a" through "f," according to CNN.
Like the transition from broadcast television to digital, the switch from IPv4 to IPv6 will happen gradually and both will coexist for a while because some operating systems, like Windows XP, are not compatible with IPv6. Most major websites and networks have already switched over, according to CNN.