The Internet of Things


You get a message from your house that you needed to pick up some milk, toilet paper and coffee on your way home from work. Because you are running late you will have tome to stop at the discount supermarket before the next train and they have 2 of these 3 items on special today. Would you like to place your order for pickup?

If you are reading this you either know what the The Internet of Things is, or you are thinking that perhaps my grammar is bad, which you would probably not be too far off :) I first really heard and understood about the Internet of Things at Microsoft Teched in 2012. This was more showcasing how we can use the Internet protocol to control a miniature robot. However, the idea of this has been around for quite some time. I used to work at a software development company that had moisture probes out in the fields of vineyards and in sewer treatment plants that used the old iPaq’s (HP3150 from memory) and via what was back them quite a big leap in wireless technology, they transmitted results across the Web to a Web service that consumed the data and stored it for reporting purposes. A user could then make changes and push new instructions back to the device. This was in 2002/2003.

What has changed in a decade?
Not a lot it seems, under the covers the principal remains the same. You have a Web connected device that can send and receive data, much like the Mars rover. But these are not necessarily robots or moisture probes, these are your average household items like the fridge telling you that you are running out of milk through to commercial items like Starbucks measuring coffee roast popularity from it’s coffee machines. The applications are literally endless.

What can change in the next decade?
So long as The Internet of Things does not get shelved like Virtual Reality (I remember Stages Timeout in downtown Auckland had the dinosaur game back in 1990 – 34 years ago and VR has not got much further other than higher end 3D graphics in general being more domestically available through game consoles), in 10 years time you could literally be getting that message from your house to pick up the milk and where it is on special. Al this based on your movements captured via your GPS on your phone and parsed around the Web and consumed by all sorts of services and companies fighting to capture your attention for a sale. And what would you pay for all this with? Bitcoin right?

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