Peter Thomas on The Internet of Things as a distruptive force

10/06/2012 - 18:15

"The size of the Internet of Things will be enormous. We are past the threshold where there are more internet devices than people, we will soon see M2M communications outstripping human-human communications and IPv6 will enable a practically unlimited address space for Things.

One perspective on what the IoT enables is commercial: a new ecosystem of analytics services, open shared data and aggregators that help companies, nations and people make use of a mass of data. Questions here are around creating business models that identify economic opportunities from more effective approaches to data mining.

Another is technological, motivated by Bruce Sterling's original conception of 'spimes' - objects that can be tracked through space and time: the convergence of location and identification technologies to improve manufacturing processes, logistics and consumption tracking. Questions that are relevant here are around how to effectively track when an object was made, where it is, what condition is it in and who is consuming it.

Another perspective is on the social changes that the IoT will precipitate. Just as preindustrial, industrial and digital technologies have reconfigured our relationship with the world, the IoT will reconfigure our relationships with Things. The IoT will hasten the point in time at which it is impossible to tell the difference between analogue or digital, and so our relationships with Things becomes richer, our Things take on rich inner lives and leave behind them meaningful presences that makes them, to all intents and purposes, immortal. The implications for many areas of our social lives - our ownership of objects, our online identities, our economic value to corporations, our relationship with the state or our ability to participate in community action - are immense."

read further from the Afterlife of Things

Peter Thomas will be speaking on #IOTDISRUPT - Business Opportunities in the Internet of Things -  at the Internet of Things workshop at Beijing Normal University 2-6 July 2012.