Yesterday, my kid didn’t brush her teeth at her usual time. I received a message from her toothbrush and 5 minutes later she was brushing away.
The elderly mother of a friend tends to forget to take her pills. My friend receives an alarm each time her mother misses a dose. My alarm went off earlier today because there was a major accident on my normal route and I needed to leave the house 20 minutes before my usual time to make my first appointment.
You don’t have the connected toothbrush yet?
In what year are you living? 2011?
Until a few years ago, the majority of our socialization and social interactions has been direct. If I wanted to know about the last movie you saw or where you are right now, I had to use email or SMS messages – requiring a direct interaction with a persona via a platform.
With the rise of feed-centric applications like Facebook and Twitter, a new form of communication and awareness has emerged – ambient awareness. It’s a dramatic shift in communication. Ambient awareness is a communication initiated simply by being. While I conduct my daily routine, I generate content constantly, sharing with the world what articles I find interesting, what location I’m in, what new friends I made. Our actions speak now much louder than words.
Here comes the next revolution: The Web of Things
The Internet of things will change our lives dramatically. Objects will make themselves recognizable and they get intelligence because they can communicate information about themselves, and they can access information that has been aggregated by other things. Estimates are that in 5 to 10 years there will be 100 billion devices connected to the Internet.
Digital content will be ever more accessible with the evolution of Internet reader that make it possible to exploit content in all occasions of use for which today we use physical data storage devices. Code will be applied to objects that are all around us so that they can be recognized automatically. When your child comes home, the key will send a message to you. When a book is brought close to a reader, the process of audio reading will start. You will be able to store your wine, chill each bottle individually, get alarms when the wine is at its peak and identify the right bottle because they will be illuminated once you searched for them.
Security and the noise problem
Security concerns have the potential to stifle the growth of the Internet of things. (Not to be too geeky but most sensor networks lack TCP, the common security protocol. There’s still a lot of work to do.)
More importantly, we already have problems filtering signal from noise. How are we going to do this once all my objects at home want to communicate with me? Do I really want to hear from a milk bottle? Do I really want to hear from my carpet that it’s time to clean it? The filtering issue is huge but the benefits for strong signals from some things can’t be overlooked.
The Web of Things has the potential to transform the planet in the same way that the Human Web has done over the last fifteen year. Get ready for it.