The Internet of Things or the Internet of Everything?
More and more, existing ecosystems are being remade or replaced. For example, the telecom industry is booming despite dwindling landline connections. This is because of continued strong growth in mobile sales and usage. As time goes on, our lives will become more tech oriented.
In a large part, mobiles are playing the middle-man in this process, as is the case with taxis (Uber), where users interact not with the taxi, but with the taxi driver’s mobile. Mobiles are also simply capable of making something more accessible and convenient, as is the case with hotels (AirBnB).
There is another side to this technologisation: the growing network of physical devices known as the Internet of Things, or IoT. The Internet of Things is a network of vehicles, also known as connected devices and smart devices. The possibilities are endless, because all a vehicle needs to do is collect and share data to the cloud.
The 4th Industrial Revolution
The Internet of Things is the next step in what is called the 4th industrial revolution, a new wave of technological and innovative change that has given new meaning to the phrase: the world at your fingertips.
Even seemingly trivial connections and bits of data have value, especially in aggregate. For example, the ability to open/close your garage via your phone is one thing; being able to control your garage, lights and air-conditioning all via your phone is another thing entirely. Many of the individual components of Internet of Things could be considered small, but the net change will be nothing less than a revolution on par with the invention of the assembly line.
As the world becomes more inter-connected and we become more plugged-in, we will leave more identifying fingerprints as we go about our lives. The Internet of Things is happening; whether we acknowledge it or not. And it’s not going to be merely an internet of “things”, but an internet of “everything”.
The inescapable nature of the IoT has more than a few people worried about the security implications of its rise. In a scathing critique titled, “Internet of Crappy Things”, Kaspersky, an IT security business, detailed how an employee hacked into his own smart home: leaving him ample opportunities for mischief. Despite these valid concerns, the IoT is growing rapidly. General Electric expects investment in IoT will top $60 trillion during the next 15 years.
It’s interesting that the more we put into the cloud, the more the world will be at our fingertips, and the more grounded our fears in the abuse of technology will become.
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