The Internet of Things is a technology that connects various networks of data generation and data recording devices. In fact, the Internet of Things, which we start talking about in the mass media, is part of an emergent third generation (Internet 3) Internet that is emerging. It will become the Internet of Services.
Currently, Internet 2 is a network of more than 30,000 networks of all kinds (military, commercial, social, etc.) that developed by adding to new devices to each stage of the evolution of the Internet :
Note that the Battlefield Internet, developed by Donald Rumsfeld during the Gulf War of 2003, is one of the key steps in this process – a process which has integrated ten different technologies into a unified system of decision making :
||databases (search engines)
||visual big data
||transportation (robot drones)
The pioneers of the personal microcomputer dreamed of installing a camera in every American home; their motto was Empowering the People. So from 1980 there has been a strong trend toward portable devices. While Alan Kay spoke of this at Xerox Park in 1968, this trend leads us today to wearables items and possibly to the great utopia of a post-Cloud world – a completely smart environment (after 2020) :
Today, we can summarize the evolution of innovation as follows :
Massive amounts of data will be used to better manage four ecosystems related to the economy of proximity. These ecosystems of information will become new markets for : human beings, automobiles, buildings and smart cities :
Here is how Cisco sees its architecture :
The Internet of Things has not been born spontaneously. It appeared in the wake of the development of consumer electronics, home automation and office, which developed over the last fifty years.
1954 The RCA VCR.
1967 The video game Pong Sanders Ass.
1971 Cuisinar – household robot.
1972 The Pulsar digital wristwatch now Hamilton.
1973 Ethernet protocol
1973 Motorola mobile phone.
1974 Smart card Moreno.
1979 Sony Walkman cassette.
1983 TCP / IP standard; GPS protocol becomes civil.
1983 Motorola mobile phone.
1984 Discman CD player from Sony.
1986 The personal assistant Psion.
1987 Data ghent VPL Research.
1989 GRIDPad touchpad – Samsung.
1990 Home theater I (especially high fidelity).
1990 The automation I used to babysitting.
1992 IBM Simon Smartphone.
1993 The first webcam on the Internet.
1994 The digital camera with color LCD Casio.
1995 The MP3 digital music player from Philips.
1999 Blackberry from Research in Motion.
2000 Digital audio system.
2003 Battlefield Internet
2005 Smart generation (touch, wireless, data and Long + 4G).
2005 Drones I (developed for military use).
2005 Home Theater II or Smart TV.
2005 Automation II: smart house, smart building, smart cities.
2005 Smart card chip (without contact).
2005 RapRap 3D printer.
2006 Video game console Nintendo Wii
2007 Mini-tablet, multi-touch Apple iPhone.
2008 Clothing with FitBit biosensors.
2010 Robots smarts is to say programmable.
2011 Kindle reader.
2012 Auto II (assisted driving).
2012 Nike bracelet and health monitoring badeau.
2012 Google Glass.
2012 The Oculus Rift HMD
2014 Apple Watch.
2014 Smart electricity meters – Hydro Quebec.
Short term :
portable objects (wearables)
All this development activity (mobile and digital technologies developing a quality of life in local environments) has created new digital environments that will become the backbone of the Net economy.
A portable object uses :
- radio circuits (RFID) that tell the central system (via Internet information) about the life and activities of the user. It communicates with users by sound or vibration (haptic feedback);
- geolocation (GPS);
- to provide different customized applications such as telephone, email or monitoring.
For example, via a wrist bracelet worn by several thousand spectators allows the organizer to plan better control of the crowd, while another type of bracelet can be used to track the heart rate of an athlete, etc.
All these objects come with the promise of personalization that will meet future needs for us (in exchange for providing much personal information). Examples of inventions being tested right now :
- parking meters and household thermostats, etc. ;
- a phone that reads the fingerprint and which obeys only its owner ;
- a Dick Tracy-like watch with a video screen ;
- e-bandage able to monitor the patient’s health ;
- a drive bracelet that calculates distances, analyzes the quality of sleep, blood pressure monitors, etc. ;
- intelligent textiles for making clothing for the Arctic ; tank that measures the vital signs of a newborn ; a jacket that detects warning signs of a heart attack a t-shirt that measures heart and respiratory activity of the athlete ;
- intelligent packaging ;
- an anti-stress bra (Smart-Bra) ;
- a ring that reveals exposure to sunlight (June) ;
- a bicycle with different sensors ;
- toothbrush filming the corners of the mouth and sends the images to the smartphone ;
- cooking casseroles ;
- refrigerators that « take inventory » ;
- a wall lined with a film that reveals the latest pictures sent via Facebook ;
- the flexible screen placed around the wrist, on which emails displayed ;
- PC that no longer requires password because it recognizes the face of its owner. Etc.
Already, many companies like Apple, Microsoft or Google, are beginning to create their own ecosystem by connecting all their inventions (in the case of Apple : iPod and iTunes 2001 iPhone in 2007, iPad in 2010, Apple Watch 2014, etc.). All these activities indicate the beginning of a massive Data War.
Many of these portable objects are developed in three stages :
- In thirty countries, the military-industrial consortia are seeking to develop tools that go beyond; higher, faster, more far-seeing. Moreover, the trend is towards the creation of smart automated objects.
- The first generation involves the appearance of costly and bulky devices, which are then « improved » during the various types of ongoing wars.
- Then the second generation and the third generation offer objects that are much more compact and less expensive, because they are manufactured in series. The next generation will be sold to citizens; a new industry is born.
Example : a pair of Google glasses:
All these activities will develop smart systems even more sophisticated than anything that has come before :
The number of connected objects:
- 2009 : 2.5 billion;
- 2013 : 10 billion;
- in 2020? : Probably 33 billion, which should induce 44 000 billion gigabytes of data (ten times more than in 2010).
According to Cisco, only 0.2% of the 33 billion coming objects are currently connected. Many think that Internet 3 could become the Earth’s Central Nervous System after 2020? Some think that there will be 50 billion smart objects if we add to the total the number of military robots and those objects sent into space (see below).
The dark side of the Internet of Things
The data, captured by microphones, radio circuits (RFID) and sensors, will be routed to large companies that are developing them to further instruct how to make the use of the objects smarter. Thus, keeping track of their uses reveals user behavior ; the subsequent analyses are used to increase profits and tweak targeted advertising.
All this will shake the economy profoundly, particularly the advertising industry (preferred niche, for example). All this will also cause huge technical issues (eg security) and ethics (encroachment on privacy, as a belonging data ?).