“During 2008 the number of things connected to the Internet exceeded the number of people on the Earth. By 2020 there will be over 50 billion.” Whether these things be appliances, materials or personal technology, physical objects are connecting to the Internet at a rapid pace.
The Internet of Things (IoT) was termed in 1999. To qualify, a few criteria ought to be met:
- an object must have its own network address,
- an object needs a sensory capacity that allows it to log changes in environment,
- objects must aggregate information and then take action independently,
- objects can be located remotely,
- objects have a human-friendly interface.
A fridge could now notify an owner when milk is low, cars can connect with one another in a social network and T-Shirts can share your tweets like a billboard across your chest.
We are living in a world filled with ‘sociable objects‘. Things are no longer just ‘things’, they are now active, engaged and contributing to the society we live in. The physical world as we have come to know it is entirely different to what it was just a few years ago. The fundamental question however: what will the IoT mean for identity, social relations and understandings of place, space and time?
- Mitew, T., 2014, ‘The Internet of Things: From Networked Objects to Anticipatory Spaces’, Lecture / YouTube Video, DIGC202, University of Wollongong, October 22, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tFTNJwlpOg&index=42&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j>
- Evans, D., 2011, ‘The Internet of Things – Infographic’, Cisco Blogs, July 15, Accessed October 22 2015, <http://blogs.cisco.com/diversity/the-internet-of-things-infographic>