Tag Archives: internet of things

#internetofthings 2

The other day I ‘stumbled-upon’, quite literally, an article from Spiceworks, a free IT community, about the Internet of Things (I blogged about it here a couple of months ago) and how it will affect IT in the future. I thought that this would be a nice follow up post from it. For those of you who are still unfamiliar with the term…

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a collective of Internet-connected consumer devices, manufacturing systems, business tools, customer service appliances, medical equipment, agricultural sensors and other things. – Deepak Kumar
According to ‘The Devices are Coming…’ article, 71% of IT professionals believe that IoT will impact consumers and the workplace. Despite this, 59% of IT professionals apparently aren’t preparing this this in the workplace. While the report states that IoT isn’t something which will occur overnight, it does mention the inevitablility of it. The introduction of IoT means that more devices shall be generating more data, and thus, using more bandwidth and IP addresses. This then puts company data at a higher risk of security breach. Because of this, it is thought that 43% of IoT shall be linked to new networks. Morover, 68% of IT professionals will invest in infrastructure and 63% will invest in more security solutions in order to cope with the technology. It is thought that by 2020, IoT will have grown to 26 billion + devices! (Gartner, 2013).
Thinking about publishers and booksellers, it shall be interesting to see how it will impact the sector. Judging from general articles which I have read and also thinking about the work experience placements I have carried out over time, I think that the sector is keeping on top of new techologies which are available, as challenging as it is, however it shall be great to see how IoT will impact this sector which is continuiously adapting.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things: (neologism) “refers to an expanding network of interconnected internet-enabled devices […] also known as M2M or machine to machine”. – The Guardian, Luke Dormehl

Over the years as technology has developed, devices are now able to connect with one another in a multitude of different ways. The Guardian‘s article states that while Internet of Things is still in its early stages of development, by 2020 it is thought that there will be 50billion devices with the ability to link M2M.

Alex Hawkinson, CEO of SmartThings, a home automation company, says in the article that technology can now be used to solve daily problems and can be used for security, peace of mind and saving money. Examples he gives are people being notified if doors are left open or heating left on when no-one is home, meaning that the possibility to save money on things like utility bills is possible.

Apple is said to have jumped on the bandwagon by introducing Homekit, an Internet of Things “platform” which will enable consumers to unlock doors and control lighting using an iPhone.

Google is also one of the big players investing into the idea as it is though they paid £1.9billion to Nest Labs, a home automation company wich is already looking into other domestic related operations, including health and security systems.

The article furthers by saying that people can get “hung up” on the “things” themselves, and the main point to think about is the value of the data which these devices will extract in order to function, i.e. an example given is a toothbrush with Internet of Things technology (Kolibree, the world’s first connected electric toothbrush) – data will be given on how a user brushes their teeth and where they need to improve. The idea is to get “real-time feedback” as opposed to waiting for an annual dental check, for example. Renee Blodgett, Vice President of Kolibree states that:

“Data empowers us”.

On the flip side, the article  also discusses the risks and dangers of the Internet of Things. With the extraction of data, the question of privacy and how data is monitored is raised. Evgeny Morozov calls the issue “solutionism” which is the idea that serious issues such as global warming and obesity can be solved with the aid of interconnected devices. He discusses in his latest book that “self-tracking [is] the epitome of the modern narcissistic quest for uniqueness and exceptionalism” and openly wonders why people would want to turn their lives into “temples of surveillance”.

I guess if I was to think of the Internet of Things as a very simplified version, the extraction of data is already a present occurrence in a day-to-day environment. For example, many retail outlets now take customer’s details to enhance their shopping experience and recommend clothes for customers according to recent purchases. The same can be said for bookstores and internet retailers such as Amazon. I regularly receive emails informing me of new books or recommended reads I should purchase. I guess one only has to consider Amazon’s whispernet technology; when a customer buys an ebook off Amazon, the file will immediately be wirelessly transmitted to a Kindle device.

Perhaps the next stage in technology for devices such as Kindles could be that they help enhance literacy levels, particularly in primary schools, for example. Or even in institutions for children with learning disabilities. Perhaps if a student has an exam coming up, their device can automatically extract data from recent online searches and purchases to suggest tips and reading material for them. These are just the tip of a massive iceberg of possibilities and ideas which I cannot even imagine.

With The Bookseller‘s FutureBook Hackathon taking place in London this coming weekend (14th and 15th June) – of which I shall be volunteering at – it shall be interesting to see what  the technology companies and teams in attendance shall suggest in terms of the future of publishing…