The Internet of Things

If this heading doesn’t ring any bells, you should watch this 5 minute intro video to get an understanding of what the internet of things is all about.

The internet of things is basically an information system in which everything has its own ability to store and use information.  The things are interconnected with each other and they can therefore interact. Nowadays this mostly works via internet, mobile phone lines and other networks. RFID chips are a basic part of the internet of things, because they can send information automatically over some distance. In the video the advantages of the internet of things are stated.

“”When we talk about a smarter planet, you can say that it has two dimensions. One is to be more efficient, be less destructive, to connect different aspects of life which do affect each other in more conscience and deliberate and intelligent ways. But the other is also to generate fundamentally new insights, new activity, new forms of social relations. So you could look at the planet as an information, creation and transmission system, and the universe was hearing its information but we weren’t. But increasingly now we can, early days, baby steps days, but we can actually begin to hear the planet talking to us.”

The video is a commercial from IBM for the internet of things, that’s why it doesn’t mention any negative aspects about it. One of these aspects could be a surveillance problem once everything (or even everyone) is tagged.

Still, the internet of things is going to be one of the major business issues in future. According to a March 2010 report of McKinsey and Co. it could give birth to new business models, improved business processes and reduced costs and risks.

Well, this as far as us earthlings are concerned. Vint Cerf goes a step further by implementing the internet of things into space. “Vint Cerf was one of the key engineers in the development of the Internet, email and more. Since 2005 he has worked at Google as the company’s Chief Internet Evangelist.”

He gave a 80-minutes talk called “Reimagining the internet”  in which he also explains and promotes the “interplanetary internet”.

It is very hard to send and retrieve information with a space rover, rocket etc. directly, because the planets are turning, moving around and the technology that is being used is very complex. The interplanetary internet of things could be a solution to this problem. The information is not sent to earth directly; instead it gets transmitted forward by other satellites etc. To do this, all satellites etc. have to be equipped with technology and radios that are compatible with each other. To achieve this, all countries have to cooperate.

It is Vint Cerfs vision to get this done. I wonder why they haven’t implemented this long ago. It seems so logical and easy to implement. Of course there are a lot of political and technoloigal issues to be overcome but bigger problems have already been solved and there are a lot of benefits.

Sources: http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/internet-of-things-key-to-future-development-but-with-challenges/

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/what_vint_cerf_sees_in_the_internets_future.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+readwriteweb+%28ReadWriteWeb%29 – this is the post about the speech of vint cerf. If you don’t want to wacht the entire 80 minutes talk, got to this page, there are two interesting extracts here.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/what_vint_cerf_sees_in_the_internets_future.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+readwriteweb+%28ReadWriteWeb%29 – the entire talk

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/internet_of_things_explained_video_intro.php – the post about the video where the internet of things is explained

-FM

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Shopping on RFID

source: http://www.wiedenroth-karikatur.de/KariAblage0906/WK090605_RFIDDatenschutzPersonenID_EN.jpg

Wonderful cartoon. I think it shows all of the fears and concerns about RFID in one single picture. This might be us in future, trying to pay with an “antique” bank note…

-FM

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Bike Theft? No, thank you

Ohio State University seemingly has a high quota of bike thefts. Why else would they give out free RFID chips to students to chip their bikes, that are directly connected to the local police department?. “Bug your bike” is the name of the new program to prevent bike- related crimes, as stated in RFID News today.

There are a few places in the world where this technology would make a little more sense. Bike- heavy regions for example in which bike theft reportedly is a recurring problem such as Barcelona or any bigger city in the Netherlands. But still, as well-intentioned as it is, people are still becoming part of a controlled RFID- network…

(Milena)

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RFID approaching world

It is easy to find linkages, parallels, judge or shock people when it comes to our favorite topic: RFID chips- ethical dilemma or just a glimpse into our future of a technology controlled world?

As appalling and impossible as an RFID- implant sounds or rather looks like we shouldn’t forget one thing though: Technology in the human body is nothing new to us. Every day thousands of pacemakers, screws or wires are placed carefully in our systems. So what attracts so many people to post and watch videos about RFID implants then? It is a strange assembly of reasons. First of all, people are naturally drawn to showings of anything that cuts into the human body. It is a combination of fascination and disgust that tantalizes us.  Then, and this reason is much more important, watching someone giving up a part of their body for a technical device that isn’t even necessary in the first place is even more intriguing and even more repellent. Especially when having in mind what this little act, this little cut stands for. It stands for a life of a new level of simplicity and a new level of control. And, to be a little overdramatic, it seems like those people are giving up part of their basic human rights. They hand it over to a transponder. To a machine.

It is strange that in a time in which privacy has become such a talked- about topic, in which several countries are still fighting for those few human rights people are willing to give up part of it in exchange for a little more simplicity and pragmatism.

By revealing so much information all at once RFID chips are an easy goal for misuse. Someone could track your every move. Record where you live, where you shop, where you go to eat. While thinking about that very sentence I came across another analogy that stuck with me. In Germany there was a time when people indeed were tracked secretly. They didn’t have the help of high- tech machinery but were backed up by the socialist regime in the GDR. Is this what it will come down to again? But this time on an infinitely more accurate and intimidating level.

People also like to refer to the book 1984 by George Orwell in the context of RFID. The story is set in a totalitarian world in which every member of the working class is literally monitored. Everyone should read that book to see the parallel for themselves.

There are so many stories, assumptions and threats that revolve around those four letters. It is hard not to let the passion for one position or the other captivate you.

(Milena)

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RFID Blood

The main blood bank in spain for the Baleares has taken on RFID technology. Now they can track 30.000 bags of blood at the same time. With RFID chips they are not only able to find the right blood type instantly, the chip also contains a record of the changing temperature of the blood over time. The amount of time saved is amazingly high. This is how they themselves describe what they can avoid by using RFID chips:

“Until now, Balearic used bar code scanning methods, which meant unpacking entire crates of frozen blood bags and scanning or reading up to six labels on each bag of its 30,000 bags, packed 80 to a crate, in a deep freezer.  “

Source:  RFID News

(Milena)

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Chipped at Workplace

The first US business to use microchip implants for its employees is located in Cincinnati, Ohio and is called City Watcher. The company provides video surveillance for clients and for the police. The video that it collects is the company`s biggest asset and they say they need to keep it under more than just lock and key.

 

You my have a key card at work that allows access to different parts of the office, a lot of businesses have those. But at City Watcher there is one particular room where you need whether the implanted chip in your arm or a key chain. And the choice is up to the employee. Some employees of the City Watcher got implants and the others decided not to as they think it is “creepy to have something under your skin the entire time”.
And the ambassadors of RFID say it does not bother them and it is not track able. 

 

Like it or not we are in that brand new world and it might not be long (maybe even by the time we graduate) before your boss is literally under your skin.

 

For the stubborn ones here is the video of how an RFID  is implanted. 
No children or sensitive people, please. 

 

Elena

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Taking Relationship to Another Level

You know how in movies people get tattoo with the names of their mates?

Well, Jennifer Tomblin (in the middle) and Amal Graafstra (on the right)  who are in a long-distance relationship took a step further.

They declared their affection for each other by implanting electronic chips that allow them access to each other`s lives.
Amal says he got interested in using an RFID chip in order to replace his keys at first. Then he got the second chip put in his hand and so did his girlfriend. 
The couple has an access to each other`s things and are willing to try new opportunities RFID technology has to offer in future.
Way to go or?
Elena

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