Definition

addressability

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Addressability is the capacity for an entity to be targeted and found. To be addressable, an entity must be uniquely identifiable, which means that it must be associated with something -- typically an alphanumeric string, although there are other possibilities -- that is not associated with anything else that exists within that system.

A URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) is a unique identifier that makes content addressable on the Internet by uniquely targeting items, such as text, video, images and applications. A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a particular type of URI that targets Web pages so that when a browser requests them, they can be found and served to users. 

Addressability is an increasing trend: more and more things can be assigned unique identifiers, and if something has a unique identifier, it can be tagged, assigned a URI and targeted over a network. That capacity paves the way for the Internet of Things (IoT), a scenario in which everything -- including people, animals, servers, applications, shampoo bottles, cars, steering wheels, coffee machines, park benches or just about any other random item that comes to mind.-- has a unique identifier and the ability to communicate over the Internet or a similar wide-area network (WAN).

This was last updated in August 2012

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