After the World Wide Web (the 1990’s) and the mobile Internet (the 2000’s), we are now heading to the third and potentially most “disruptive” phase of the Internet revolution – the “Internet of Things”.
The Internet of Things links the objects of the real world with the virtual world, thus enabling anytime, anyplace connectivity for anything and not only for anyone. It refers to a world where physical objects and beings, as well as virtual data and environments, all interact with each other in the same space and time.
Part of an infographic made by Cisco. Take a look at it in it’s entirety.
Five years ago I realized three major trends were moving in a very specific direction. Mobile phones were getting more processing power, better cameras and most importantly people were getting flat rate data plans for the phones. These trends resulted in our live video broadcasting service Bambuser.
Today there is some new interesting trends to observe
- Firstly. We are moving away from the GSM/GPRS phone networks into 3G (HSPA) and even 4G (LTE) networks. This will open up for what I like to call the second coming of an technology. The patent license for GSM/GPRS has expired and therefore opening for much cheaper connectivity chip-sets, making the price for internet enabling your door-lock or owen much cheaper.
- Secondly. The blog ReadWriteWeb featured Arduino in 2010 as one of five companies building the Internet of Things. Arduino is akin to the transistor radio kit your grandparents used to buy when they were kids. These more-modern versions are open-source electronic protoyping platforms, and they are the preferred gadgets of Internet of Things tinkerers. Developers will not make the same mistake today that they made with mobile phones, namely keeping their operating systems and hardware closed for the remaining world. Instead they will keep them open to leverage even small application possibilities at a low price. Having that said it is not surprising that Google choose to release their own version of Arduino.
- Thirdly. The traditional internet is oriented towards person-to-person connection, whereas the Internet of Things is oriented towards connection of inanimate objects. As such, the Internet of Things covers a larger range of connections and involves more semantics. Internet and telecom networks are focused on information transfer, while the Internet of Things is focused on information services. By combining sensor networks, the Internet, telecom networks, and cloud computing platforms, the Internet of Things can sense, recognize, affect, and control the physical world. The physical world can be unified with the virtual world and human perception. This opens a whole new media market yet to be explored to see which is the killer applications.
The session at The Conference
I’m curatin the session “Internet of Things, when everything is connected” where we will in very practical terms discuss how internet of things will change our daily life, and what philosophical implications come when objects are sensing and controlling the world around us. David Cuartielles, Arduino, will show us how open-source hardware and software will play an decisive role within this. But also what will all this sensing and controlling do to the media industry.
Joakim Formo, Ericsson, will show an intriguing concept under the working name the Social Web of Things. It is a platform and an interaction model currently under development at Ericsson Research, and a result of their research on how most people could easily interact with large numbers of interconnected smart objects, and intuitively understand the internet of things as something new yet quite familiar.