Week 13: Looking Out to the Future- The Internet of Things

I am actually pretty excited about this concept of the Internet of Things (IOT). I can’t wait for objects in my future home (and the house itself) to be integrated with each other, and to me, having a conversation (like in the samsung vid in the lecture). By 2015, 15 billion objects are going to be connected to the internet (http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/new-thinking/market-growth/internet-of-things.html). But I can’t help than think that this will dramatically increase the digital divide between developed and under-developed/developing countries, communities etc. Like in some cyber sci-fi movie where the rich are interacting with robots and highly developed technology, and the poor are left behind,struggling to keep up and survive. But that might be a bit dystopian and taking it too far?But it does lead to the question of what are the implications of the IOT for human beings? It might save us time, like in this video from IBM But what about human interaction? Social skills? And if it’s just objects talking to other objects, how do we enter the conversation?

I think that the point of the IOT, and to make it beneficial for us is, as Bruce Kasanoff said, to not be fooled into thinking that it is only going  to link things to other things. The IOT is to link people, things and systems. Borders can be broken to to make our lives easier. Make life more efficient, innovative, intelligent and less risky. Very much like what is explained in the video below.

And this I am excited for.

How we (humans and objects) live and interact in the world is going to change dramatically, but subtly.



Kasanoff, B, 2012, The Internet of Things needs to Empower People, Not Machines, Digital Trends, http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/the-internet-of-things-needs-to-empower-people-not-machines/, accessed 22/10/12


18 thoughts on “Week 13: Looking Out to the Future- The Internet of Things

  1. I love the balloons! they’re so entertaining =)
    But about your post…
    I think I share your excitement about the Internet of Things, but I worry about what this will mean for people’s relationships with real people. If we give objects a voice to communicate with us online, we almost give them a personality to interact with, and that scares me.
    I really like your point about the gap between first world and developing countries. Reminded me of the ideas brought up in the Hunger Games a little.

    • Me too 🙂
      Yes! The Hunger Games! That’s the kind of image I had in mind when I wrote about the digital gap between developed and developing communities. I think that if we handle it properly it won’t come to this, and also it hopefully won’t come to humans losing proper face-to-face relationships with each other. Like in that really bad Bruce Willis film, Surrogates.

  2. I predict our unhealthy obsession with objects will reach all new highs! (or lows), we won’t be able to go to sleep, sit in a park, have dinner with friends, do anything without objects vying for our finite attentions.

    But we will probably be able to browse facebook with our brains, so it’s worth the trade off eh?

    • True! But we already have this issue of our smartphones constantly being in our hands when out and about, well at least this is the case for me and most of the people I know. I think that iPhone addiction really is a real addiction… And my attention span is so low from all of this technology! I find it hard sometimes to sit down and watch TV without having my iPhone or iPad with me.
      Yes, Facebook with our brains, sounds good to me!

      • I have definitely experienced the same problems, i am currently limiting myself to doing one thing at a time to try and scavenge some of my previous attention span back. Whilst this increasing connectivity provides us with so much opportunity the instant gratification it encourages might blind us to a lot of whats right in front of us.

  3. It’s so strange that in our current technological society we ask the question of what does all our interaction with social media and text messaging mean for our face to face communications, but that is nothing in comparison to what our world will be like when we are fully immersed within a world of the internet of things. Moreover I think an even greater concern can be found in this article by David Glance whereby he expresses that “the problems range from the difficulties in actually scaling the internet to be capable of supporting the vast number of things, how these things (and the internet itself) are powered, through to issues of security, privacy and safety.” These are exceptionally important issues that will need to figured out before we can start getting excited about IOT

  4. “But what about human interaction? Social skills? And if it’s just objects talking to other objects, how do we enter the conversation?”
    Sadly some of these subjects are already a reality. People are now way more involved with their smartphones, Skype, networking platforms and so on….even when sitting with people or in social spaces, like at a café or having dinner. (Physical)Interaction has already shifted and technology has made us more antisocial. The internet creates a new form of community, but this erodes human interaction and social skills.

  5. I like the point you put across with the digital divide. That’s exactly what it would do. It will only push them further back with governments and businesses unable to support these advancements financially. I can’t wait for the day when I say, how did I live when my house didn’t talk to me? I don’t want to ever say that haha. The second video is a great find, gives a detailed breakdown of the Internet of things. Here’s a whole website on it: http://www.theinternetofthings.eu/

  6. It seems I share the same opinion as the majority of your previous posters – I really like that you addressed the digital divide. It’s really scary to think just how large this gap will grow, soon our houses will be communicating with us and yet third world countries still have no access to clean water let alone internet connections.

    • Hopefully with the development of the Internet of Things, more technology will be create to get water to towns in underdeveloped countries in a much more quick and easier way.

  7. hmmmm… I like that DIKW pyramid. The wisdom struck me as a slightly counter-intuitive. Or should I say, the steps to wisdom. They mimic real life.. but there is something odd.. Let me use an example to explain myself.
    Wisdom is knowing the rhyme
    “Pink in the night
    Shepherd’s delight
    Pink in the morning
    Shepherd’s warning!

    i.e. pink skies at night, means the next day will be great weather, and pink skies in the morning means that the day will have bad weather… DUH.

    Wisdom is NOT a bunch of devices collecting data and figuring out that it is poor weather, and that you’ll need extra time to get to work. That is foresight and really I think only a space cadet needs technology like that.

    However I like the point about devices being about to monitor and control the efficiency of power usage. I feel that that is a technological step in the right direction for the human race.

    Your initial thoughts on the digital divide were great.

  8. I love your enthusiasm, yet I sadly disagree to an extent. I am not denying that I am a regular user of the Internet and all of its capabilities, yet there is a seclusion and somewhat distanced sense of its formation. You mention that the purpose of ‘The IOT is to link people, things and systems’ and yet currently social media and such distance us from real physical interaction with people and things. Although the possibilities may seem to out way the negatives of the IOT now, I believe in the future society will be regretting the progress and interference it has upon their lives.

  9. It is interesting you used the second video i did to! It was a good video to understand the complexity of the Internet of things in a simplified way. I am interested in the way of the future to see what new innovations the Internet will bring, however, it is concerning about several implications it may bring in terms of security and privacy when every moment can be traceable! However, good post it was very enjoyable to read for the last week of classes.

  10. Wouldn’t we lose out personalities if more technology was to be introduced? I feel as if this IOT concept is just another way to push us, as a society, further into a pit of technology induced reliance.
    I mean, what’s the point really? To make simple things just a little bit easier? I feel that this all spawns from pure laziness.
    Maybe i’m just missing the point, the concept and the appeal, but I just think that we are already to over run by technology, we don’t need more of it. Things are already pretty easy!

  11. The whole concept of everything being connected to the internet, or to other technological devices is quite intimidating, really. I’m into gizmo’s gadget’s and technology, but I also enjoy the simpler things in life- like going grocery shopping-as lame as that sounds. I would NOT buy a fridge that ordered things for me, I’d feel like a child and like I was being monitored.

    The video of IMB and the swipe card- that’s freaky. Technically they have a tracking device on you 24/7 in order to keep up with your shopping habits and purchases. I think that’s a bit too much, but maybe people don’t have an extra 2 minutes to wait in line, people are not only going to become dependent on these technologies, but also impatient, because they will want everything now.

    Maybe I’m being a bit cynical here, but what’s a world where everything is at the push of a button- it takes all of the fun out of exploration- in my opinion.

    • But we already have “a tracking device on [us] 24/7 in order to keep up with [our] shopping habits”… it’s called the Woolworths everyday rewards card and every other similar card. The information about us from a lot of these cards gets sent on to third parties.

  12. I must admit, that whilst i am excited for the future and everything being connected to the Internet i am also quite scared. Whilst technology already plays an integral part in our day to day lives, the Internet of things takes this to a whole new level and i’m not too sure i’m ready for that, especially in regards to children. I feel as though, already technology has changed children’s lives dramatically, as no longer do they spend hours outdoors playing hide and seek with there friends or bike riding in the street, rather they sit in front of the TV playing xbox or playing on there phones or computers. Already, kids are spending too much time online interacting with people, and thus I believe that they are hindering the development of people skills and the ability to properly communicate with people face to face. If this is how kids are behaving now, i feel as though the Internet of things will just further contribute to this problem.

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