„The “internet of things” is one of those odd phrases that can mean many things and nothing at the same time. On one hand, it describes a future that is rapidly becoming the present, with all sorts of objects—from televisions and watches to cups and streetlights—able to connect to the internet. On the other hand, it is used a marketing tactic by chip-makers and networking companies eager to sell their wares. Between 26 and 50 million “things” will be connected to the internet by 2020, according to various forecasts.
But not all of those things need an internet connection, points out Davor Sutija, who runs Thinfilm, a Norwegian company working in the field of printable electronics. They don’t all need IP addresses. All they need is the ability to pass on the information they gather to something that can process the information, often via a connection to the internet. “Smart” objects only need to be smart enough to do that job.
That insight is informing a new approach to electronic design. Think of it as disposable electronics at the edges of web.”