From the Web to a pervasive Internet of Things

Published by Telefónica m2m Team m2m General, Consumer Electronics

A recent study by the Pew Research Center, Digital Life in 2025, claims that what we see as the Internet is bound to evolve in a matter of years into an invisible, yet more present than ever, Internet of Things (IoT).

“Experts predict the Internet will be 'like electricity’’ — less visible, yet more deeply embedded in people’s lives for good and ill”, states the study.

Some like Quartz reporter Christopher Mims foresee deep changes in our habits and uses of the IoT of the future “most of us don’t recognize just how far the Internet of Things will go; the Internet of Things will become more central to society than the Internet as we know it today”.

Joe Touch, director at the University of South Carolina's Information Sciences Institute, said in a statement: “we won't think about ‘going online’ or ‘looking on the Internet’ for something—we'll just be online, and just look”.

To face these concerns as the Internet turns 25 (marked by the publishing of a paper by Tim Berners-Lee on March 12, 1989 proposing an “information management” system) the Pew Research Center is publishing a series of reports about the Future of the Internet.

In the most recent one, “Digital Life in 2025”, the nonpartisan institution has carried out a survey among thousands of experts to see how this Internet evolved into an expanded Internet of Things that will mesh into the lives of people seamlessly.

There is a general consensus that the world-spanning information fabric known as the IoT will continue its inexorable expansion in a global, immersive and invisible way just as it is already seeping into our everyday routines and business processes. This is a foreseeable future as the cost of technology plummets and connectivity speed increases.

The ongoing explosion of M2M and IoT solutions, with sensors, cameras and operation centres, as well as augmented reality and wearable devices, is bound to become ever more present, enabling ‘smart’ processes, companies, homes and offices, cities and even personal health and wellness.

As we said in a previous post, Machine-to-Machine refers to the ‘machines’ using network resources to communicate with remote application infrastructure for the purposes of monitoring and controlling, either of the 'machine' itself, or the surrounding environment. The Internet of Things is the potential interconnection of smart objects and the way we interact with the environment, where the physical world will merge with the digital world.

By 2025 Internet and humanity will be one, said the study. The most powerful effect of wearable/embedded M2M solutions and the IoT is that people will be freed from managing technology while benefitting even more from the information and possibilities it has to offer.

One of the most groundbreaking fields for the M2M communications is medicine and health devices where collected data can be hugely beneficial for individuals, sending information to about a patient’s body before any symptoms are manifested.

Ian O'Byrne, an assistant professor at the University of New Haven, develops in Pew’s report the role of the Internet of the future where “wearables, robotics, AI, and the Internet of Things have the potential to significantly advance knowledge about literacy, communication and socialization”.

As soon as 2025, the Internet of Things is very likely to become as ubiquitous as it will be invisible to plain sight.

Telefónica m2m Team

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