Internet of Things
"Alexa, turn the living room lights off."
"Alexa, turn up the heater."
"Alexa, play 'Space Oddity'."
The Internet of Things isn’t coming – it’s already here.
Anything that can be digitised, will be digitised
Futurist Kevin Kelly tells the story of the first industrial revolution featuring the electrification of everything. Where once products and processes were built or produced by muscle power, the introduction of electricity meant these same products and processes could now be improved through electrification.
Today, just as the 20th century sought to electrify everything, the Internet of Things (IoT) will potentially connect everything – physical, virtual, human, animal, inanimate, and natural. Anything that can have a sensor embedded can produce data about behaviour and share that data on the internet.
By 2020 we are likely to have 50 billion different devices connected to the internet, possibly more.
Today your watch and phone – tomorrow the road. Soon, everything will have a sensor that connects to the Internet.
What is the Internet of Things?
Kevin Ashton, who lays claim to coining the term ‘Internet of Things’ in 1999, suggested in 2009 that the formative years of Internet information was mostly comprised of inputs from humans themselves. His vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) was letting computers track and gather data independently of humans, by embedding data gatherers in – well – pretty much everything.
Today, humans are no longer the only creators. Rather, walking sticks and doorknobs, fridges and windows and thousands, millions, billions of other newly cognified everyday items and gadgets are creating and transmitting data.
Unlike much of the human-generated data, though, this data has specific uses. It’s things ‘talking’ to each other; things triggering actions without human intervention; things automating previously manual processes. THIS is the Internet of Things.