The Internet of Things

This will be my last ever post for¬†DIGC202! ūüôĀ

During this final week of class, we have been looking at the notion of the ‘Internet of Things’.

This is the idea that all physical objects can be linked to the Internet, thereby ‘transforming it [the Internet] from being a mostly intangible collection of data to encompass ‘things’ that people can touch’¬†(McDonald¬†2012). ¬†Physical objects connected to the Internet (through RFID tags, barcodes etc) are thereby able to communicate with each other.

This is an amazing notion which means that everyday objects can become active participants which are ‘contributing to networks of social exchange and discourse, and rearranging the rules of occupancy and patterns of¬†mobility within the¬†physical world’ (Bleecker¬†2006, pg 2).

I find this notion both exciting and scary.

We are already a networked society, however the ‘Internet of Things’ signifies the introduction of real-world objects to this network.¬†The Internet is already pervasive, yet our future will be filled with networked objects and the world will essentially be running online.

The video we watched in the lecture demonstrated a life where communication between people and objects is commonplace; the fireplace knows when you are due to arrive home and starts warming up, or the stove turns off when it discovers you are ordering takeaway.  These smart objects are intuitive and adaptable. It reminds me of something from a sci-fi movie which you wish could be real-life, but never thought possible.

The ‘Internet of Things’, however, means that this is completely possible.

So what are we waiting for? An article by Rowinski (2012) notes that we already have most of the technology that we need to make the ‘Internet of Things’ a reality, however the technology needs to be refined and made ubiquitous. This connected society would need collaboration between telecommunications companies, product producers and software developers. There are also numerous privacy and security issues that need to be addressed.

I think the potential impact of the ‘Internet of Things’ is amazing, especially in areas such as healthcare and the environment. So whilst I think the concept is a bit creepy and seems to humanise inanimate objects, I must admit I am eager to see how the ‘Internet of Things’ develops in the future.

That’s it from me! I’ve really enjoyed this semester of DIGC202 ūüôā

Thanks for reading.

Katie

References:

  • Bleecker, J 2006, ‘Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for networked objects’, accessed 25/10/2012 via here.
  • McDonald, S 2012, ‘How the Internet of Things could change Australian homes and businesses’,¬†Techworld Australia, 15 August, accessed 25/10/2012 via here.
  • Rowinski, D 2012, ‘Futurist’s Cheat Sheet: Internet of Things’, readwrite, August 31, accessed 25/10/2012 via here.
  • Imaged sourced from¬†here.