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: – 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. – the entire talk – the post about the video where the internet of things is explained



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