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An Introduction to The Internet of Things

Editor’s Note:  This is Part 1 of a four-part series on The Internet of Things.

Imagine a world where devices, household objects, and even people are connected on a series of wireless networks. A world full of constant communication and limited privacy is closer than we may think. Earlier this month, the Pew Research Internet Project released a research report regarding the future of the Internet and its applications. The report specifically focuses on the newly adapted “Internet of Things”, or otherwise known as the “Cloud of Things”. Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. conducts opinion polling, demographic research, and other social scientific research to inform the public about trending national and international issues.

internet-of-things
A sample of the many areas of life that will be connected through the Internet of Things. Image via satiztpm.it.

The Internet of Things suggests a world where all humans and objects are connected via WiFi, constantly sending data back and forth. Over 1,800 experts and stakeholders answered an open-ended question regarding the future of the Internet by 2025. The responses suggested a network environment “similar to electricity” where the connection would be entirely invisible even if human dependency increased. The highlighted experts collectively agreed on multiple aspects of general future technological changes.

  • There will be a global and invisible computing environment that is facilitated through smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers across the world.
  • The world can be perceived through “augmented reality” by wearable or implantable technologies. The input will be real-world while the output will become unique to reality.
  • All, if not most, business models developed in the 20th century will be heavily altered. The Pew Research Center explicitly states the impacted will include finance, entertainment, publishers of all sorts, and education.
  • Both physical and social realms of our current society will be tagged, databased, and mapped analytically, connecting both the tangible and intangible.

The Internet of Things is an IT buzzword generating interest in research institutions around the country. In a little over a decade, the Internet will have the ability to completely transform the way humans interact with each other and with objects around the home or office.

Follow this four week series with the hashtag #SUInternetOfThings to get a breakdown of the report and for a detailed, inside scoop behind what’s coming in the next decade for the Internet.  

Hikari Matsuo

Currently, I am a senior in the iSchool majoring in Information Management and Technology with a Global Enterprise Technology minor. Recently, I picked up a growing interest in the upcoming Internet of Things and am curious about its applications in the future. Tweet me, connect with me, let's talk!

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