Do you remember way back in the day when our grandmothers or even great grandmothers used to wash clothes, or wash dishes with bare hands? Now, we have washing machines and dishwashers. See how this has evolved in such a short period of time? We now have Internet Washing Machines, which are washing machines that can download different wash cycles from the Internet so you can wash your clothes to your preference. Now, who would have thought this was possible say, 50 years ago. People would have thought someone was crazy if someone told them that back in the day. This is the beauty of the ‘internet of things’. In fact, the term itself carries the meaning “physical objects connected to the internet” (Mitew 2012). The internet of things causes three main things:
1. The world is interconnected
“Eighty five percent of people around the globe who are connected online send and receive emails and 62 percent communicate through social networking sites” (Reaney 2012). Nowadays whether we like it or not, we are all interconnected. Also, we can connect so much easily with objects using the internet making our world interconnected.
2. The crumbling of physical borders
We can communicate with each other now with ease. In the past in order to pass a message to someone far away, one would have to write a letter, something physical. Presently, this is just an SMS (short messaging system) away. An example of this is corporate people who utilize video conferencing to carry out meetings with business partners overseas. It would cost a bomb for them to fly over just for a meeting. With the internet of things, there is no physical borders required, everything is done via wireless means.
3. Decentralization of information
“Decentralized intelligence helps create intelligent object networking and independent process management, with the interaction of the real and virtual worlds representing a crucial new aspect of the manufacturing and production process.” (VDMA 2012). Decentralization of information occurs in order for this ‘new aspect’ of production to happen. It is needed to create and innovate more intelligent objects.
Our smartphones itself are like remote controls that connect us to the internet. We use it to go on our Twitter and Facebook and post statuses and updates on what we are currently doing. Something like this in the past would have required us to go home and get on the computer just to do so. Remember the days when people would write on their blogs about their daily activities? We do not need blogs as much anymore, because there’s Twitter and Facebook, accessible at all times at the palm of our hands. Whenever we want to tell someone of something interesting that happened at that moment, we can tweet it.
In the future there will be more of this and even more advanced versions of these smart objects that will be able to assist us in our daily activities. Life will become much less complex and we will live in comfort. However, is this really a good thing? Will humans learn to accept it in moderation and not go overboard resulting in humans becoming lazy and leaving everything to technology?
Mitew, T 2012, DIGC202 The internet of things, lecture notes, accessed 5/11/2012, http://prezi.com/nbpulyal3pvo/digc202-apple-vs-google/
Reaney, P 2012, Most of world interconnected through email, social media, Reuters, accessed 6/11/2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/27/net-us-socialmedia-online-poll-idUSBRE82Q0C420120327
VDMA 2012, The Internet of Things: Smart Industry – Industry 4.0, accessed 6/11/2012, http://www.gtai.de/GTAI/Navigation/EN/Invest/Industries/Smarter-business/Smart-systems/internet-of-things,did=589872.html