NUM

Namespace Utility Modules

This website is about the Namespace Utility Modules (NUM) protocol and the company behind it – NUM Technology Ltd.

What is NUM?

NUM is an alternative to the World Wide Web for storing and retrieving structured data on the internet. The web is amazing but websites are built for browsing and are an inefficient way to find precise pieces of data like telephone numbers, bank details and more.

For a simple explanation of the NUM protocol watch the 90-second explainer below. Or, read the technical protocol introduction Content elsewhere on this site..

Technical notes: We've simplified terminal input, terminal output and processes (e.g. DNS resolution) for demonstration purposes. We've skipped the pre-cursor to the DNS (the hosts file Content on another site.) to keep the history of name resolution brief and make the explainer more approachable for a non-technical audience.

Why use NUM?

NUM isn't an app or service, it's a protocol that apps and services can be built on top of. Our aim is for millions of people to use NUM without realising it, just like the billions using the DNS daily. To achieve this, we need developers to build NUM into apps and services.

In the videos below, we demonstrate how NUM can change the way we find contact information. The first video shows how contact information is found using the state-of-the-art. The second video shows a demo using NUM data.

The way things are

This is how we find contact data (video: 2m 23s):

The way things should be

This is what NUM makes possible (video: 1m 12s):

 

Modules

NUM can be used to store data for any use case. Standardised use cases are known as modules – these can be created by anyone. The example above shows how the NUM Contacts module can be used. To find out more about other ways NUM can be used check out the module list Content elsewhere on this site..

Protocol Adoption

NUM records will be automatically populated for some modules based on publicly available data on the web. These records will be served by NUM Server. This helps tackle the classic chicken-and-egg problem (where no one stores data using NUM because no one's looking for it, and no one's looking for it because it's not there) and will make NUM useful from launch. Domain owners can claim their domain on NUM Server by following a simple online process.