The current Internet (the Internet 2) has become much more smart, more interactive and more intuitive : a new global ecosystem of exchanges of information of all kinds that may eventually become Internet services :
This diagram shows several things :
- This ecosystem obeys new rules : all-digital, multi-platform, geolocation, images, screens and niches.
- It creates a new generation of information workers as aggregators of added-value, social hacktivists and expert citizens.
- It is no longer an information system. It is becoming an intervention system because of all the views generated by the public square that it is at the moment.
- Its main characteristic is segmentation ; services offered according to customized needs and logic.
- But not everything works smoothly. New rules, similar to countless grains of sand, change and creep into communication systems over time :
Internet 2 uses smart circuits :
- temperature sensors, proximity, optical or infrared ;
- an antenna ;
- an accelerometer and a dynamometer ;
- a touch screen ;
- a microphone ;
- one or two digital cameras ;
- a speaker ;
- a gyroscope ;
- voice commands ;
- cloud services ;
- GPS ;
- Near Field Communication allows the holder of a card to settle the transaction without physical contact with the reader.
« Smart also means more user-friendly. Three key criteria are:
- a tool whose effectiveness does not undermine the autonomy of the user;
- that does not reduce the latter to be the slave of an expert;
- a tool that broadens reach.
From smart phones to smart homes,
and then portable objects
We are beginning to live in areas of connectivity wherein more and more objects will replace our semi-automated gestures with facial recognition, gesture or writing. This is a much more personalized environment, and whole areas of our activities are affected :
- the retail trade, which changes with the arrival of radio or RFID circuits ;
- the hospitality industry, as amended by the use of videoconferencing in business (23% decrease); by shopping for users and airbnb ;
- the taxi industry shaken by Uber ;
- university education is amended by the CLOT (online courses offered at all, or MOOC, Massive Open Online Courses), MIT may, for example, offer a course delivered straight to the home ;
- interactive television viewing, which allows the user to manage a personal schedule (watching what they want when they want it) ;
- leisure-transportation that is reinvented: motorized skateboard, electric roller skates, the Solowheel unicycle, the Segway, etc. ;
- smart phones can control the house: safety, comfort, heating, appliances, etc. ;
- monitoring of health, thanks to portable devices that calculate the calories, clothing with biosensors, the UP bracelet pedometer (see quantified self movement) (chapter 3: portable objects).
Other new possibilities ?
Several US think tanks have already established a list of upcoming disruptive technologies. Besides the cloud, Internet 3, mobile devices and 3D printing, facial recognition and drones, we are developing :
- advanced robotics ;
- new genomics ;
- nanotechnology ;
- tracking people in 3D space ;
- the rovers for planetary explorations ;
- log on the card ;
- a BitCloud which would be a much more decentralized system that the Internet 3.
After 2020 (?)
The size of transistors will approach that of the atom (according to Moore’s Law). After reaching this limit, it will move from the bit to the qubit (quantum computing – see proposed new types of computers, IBM, Microsoft, NSA and D-Wave)
The smart building
Smart cities become new urban areas because we are currently constructing the third generation of buildings that will be smarter :
• The first generation was born after the fire that devastated Chicago in the last century. For the first time, the architect William Jenney uses steel to build as well as a new invention, the elevators (Otis): the Home Insurance Building (1883).
• The second generation began to grow because of the increased population density in new cities. Example of the Empire State Building in New York (1931).
• The third is a race for performance ; how to improve the users’ habits and uses of buildings. This generation is built around a core made of a new type of concrete combined with synthetic polymer (a lesson of September 11th), windows with photovoltaic panels for air conditioning, water recycling systems, all of which is integrated by wireless communications. In addition, these new buildings should be designed to withstand earthquakes (with rams and rockers). See the LEED certification.
This new generation of buildings seeks to improve the daily lives of users. Some examples :
- The Marina Bay in Singapore (of Moshe Safdi) ;
- The Gherkin (30 St May Axe) to London (Norman Foster) ;
- The ICC Tower in Hong Kong (China) (KPF) ;
- The Pagoda (Taipei 101) to Taipei (Taiwan) ;
- The Burj Khalifa in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) (SOM) ;
- The Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou (China) ;
Here are the Marina Bay and the Gherkin :
LEED certification :
The smart car (Smart car, plug-in hybrid)
(Not to be confused with the German automobile Smart)
As for the buildings, airplanes and computers, automotive smart capabilities also develop in several generations :
• The first generation was the Henry Ford Model T, produced in series on its first assembly line in Detroit (1910). Inexpensive, it revolutionized the economy : the highways, gas stations and especially that of oil. It helped create a generation of multi-millionaires.
• The second generation was popularized during the « Roaring Twenties » and those of the Thirty Glorious (1945-1975). Freedom of movement of these « beautiful Americans » has prompted the development of the suburbs, the large markets (Mall) and changed the world of entertainment. They were the symbol of the American Way of Life.
• The third focuses on the management (maintenance and safety) of the vehicle by the driver, the assisted driving :
- Hybrid propulsion (new battery types) ;
- A collision avoidance radar ;
- Sensors analyzing traffic ;
- Sensors on the driving wheels ;
- Display maps on screen ;
- Warning beeps ;
- The data display on the windshield (technique borrowed cockpits of airplanes) ;
- All integrated through the Internet.
Many claim that the next generation will shift from assisted driving to self-driving cars (see the Google Car project).