If You Can Think of It – It’s About to Happen.

In the not-so-distant future, everyone and everything in the world will be connected to the Internet. This phenomenon is already in its early stages – and is known as the “Internet of Things” (Kevin Ashton, 2009). There are approximately 2 billion people using the Internet right now, however the Internet contains a larger number of data. Our ability to produce information has far exceeded our ability to control it. We know that the Internet has extreme potential, now it’s just a matter of developing an effective way to harness it. Technologist John Barrett states “Every major global government, and every major economic block, is investing heavily in the IoT”.

Since the emergence of the Internet, we’ve recognised a unique sense of harmony to the dimensions of life. Now, by accessing real-time data of the way systems are interacting, we can better understand global dynamics and thus make more intelligent decisions. From space, the world is visible as a neural network with cities as nodes, a literal image that we are a system of systems. We can see it, hear it, and capture it – the world has virtually developed a central nervous system, it is early days but the planet is speaking to us. Ongoing accessibility and innovations make for a very efficient society, and with the matrixing of services we will generate more resilient systems.

outer-space-internet-lights-planets-earth-europe-network-HD-WallpapersSource

The Internet of Things cannot be simply explained, so I recommend watching this lecture by Dr. John Barrett. Barrett describes the Internet as a digital cloud or universe, 4000 Exabyte’s in size (whoa). All of our lives are about to change – by merging the physical world to the Internet. We will be able to control and communicate with everything from anywhere – goods, objects, machines, appliances, buildings, vehicles, animals, plants, soil and even humans will become a part of the IoT (we kind of already are). The possibilities are only restricted by our imagination… so buckle your seat belts, hold your horses, and put down your Smartphones. Actually pick them back up, because soon you will be able to point your device at anything or anyone and learn as much as you can about it through embedded circuits. Barrett quotes, “Facebook will look like a minor event”.  So if you were concerned about privacy issues on social media… think again. One major concern regarding the IoT is the devalued notion of privacy. Google has the potential to become a real life search engine as everything will be tagged, locatable, and can give us information about itself and its surrounding environment (via RFID – Radio Frequency Identification).

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 1.07.05 PMSource

Another major concern is if everything in the world is connected, issues of terrorism and hacking will be magnified. The IoT will be extremely vulnerable, creating immense opportunities for the security software industry. This may seem frightening and preposterous, but it is a reality. Pre-schoolers are now learning on iPads – young children brought into this technologically dependent world will embrace the IoT effortlessly. However, I think it will take us (gen X & Y) some time to get used to.

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5 thoughts on “If You Can Think of It – It’s About to Happen.

  1. If you think about it, the way we are used to Facebook and current technologies right now will be what the next generations will be like with what the Internet of Things brings about. I know my own parents aren’t the greatest with computers and smartphones which is normal, and then the beginning of the computer age would have been daunting and difficult world for their parents. So for future generations all these things will most likely be completely normal for them without worrying about privacy, who knows they’ll probably work a way around the system.

  2. Nice title! My main concern is also with the implications of interconnectedness in relation to terrorism – it all seems a bit Truman Show don’t you think? My nieces both have iPads and they are aged three and four! It’s absurd. They can pick up your phone, unlock it, call people, go on Facebook. They even have an app that plays soft relaxing music while they sleep! I can only imagine their dependence on technology when they are older. Heres an article you might like, it’s sort of related to your last paragrah about children and technology http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/trends/are-we-teaching-kids-to-be-too-dependent-on-technology/ It’s frightening to be dependent on a man-made ecosystem that poses such huge security issues.

  3. There are quite a few television programs over the years that have played on the idea that all of the world’s power will turn off and we no longer will have any idea how to live. Whilst it is concerning to see children with technology so young, I hope and pray it doesn’t ever get to this stage.

    On the terrorism and hacking issue, one would hope with the advancement of technology would come with the advancement of security, however if the current state is looked at we can see that unfortunately won’t be the case.

  4. You mention the idea that if people are all connected to the internet, then the issue terrorism would be magnified. The internet of things and RFIDs could allow for a more efficient method of the technologies that people create and the way that it gets used (http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/2013/08/130830-internet-of-things-technology-rfid-chips-smart/). When everyone and everything is connected to the internet then there is that constant surveillance of what people do and their interactions. It could be said that the privacy issues that surround this topic can be used for both taking advantage from the bad guy but also the good guy. Meaning that both possibilities of magnifying terrorism, but also having a greater control and way to beat our terrorism.

  5. I cannot wait for this! I lose my car keys daily and would love to be told where they are by objects. I guess it’s a bit scary to depend so much on the virtual world but I think that’s something the future is going to force us to deal with. Another factor that is worth thinking about is the issue of privacy. The article below details some of the problems that are likely arise. Either way I love the internet of things.
    http://www.theinternetofthings.eu/content/dont-kill-internet-things

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