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Internet of Things

By definition, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.

We are in the beginning stage of a new technological revolution that will change the way we conduct our day-to-day activities, heat our homes, communicate with each other, go to the doctor, drive to work, go on vacation, etc… Everything is going to change - even how we use the public library.

I did some research, and came up with some interesting tidbits on how the Internet and smartphones are going to be an even bigger part of our lives in the coming decade.

It is Going to Keep Happening Fast!

  • In 1990, there were over 300,000 desktop computers connected to the Internet.
  • In 2000, there were over 300 million desktops connected to the Internet.
  • In 2016, there are now over 2 billion mobile phones connected to the Internet

In 2025:

  • There will be 13 billion kettles, fridges, TVs, thermostats, security cameras, lights, smoke detectors and other things in your home connected to the Internet.
  • There will be 3.5 billion navigation systems, in-car entertainment systems, and other devices in vehicles connected to the Internet.
  • There will be 411 million wrist bands, shoes, glasses, watches, sports socks, clothing, and other wearable items connected to the Internet.
  • There will be 646 million heart rate monitors, body implants, pill bottles, blood pressure monitors, skin patches, and other devices in the hospital connected to the Internet.
  • There will be 9.7 buildings, street lights, traffic lights, water pipes, parking meters, pollution monitors, and more in the city connected to the internet

Here Are Some Positive ( IoT) Outlooks:

  • A wearable monitor could check on a baby and send notifications to the parents.
  • Reminders to take medicine could be transmitted from a pill bottle.
  • Activities could be tracked, senior or infirm family members could be monitored.
  • Smart thermostats will allow us to heat our homes more efficiently.
  • Smart outlets could let us check whether an appliance is on or off.
  • Lost items (keys!) could be tracked.
  • Homes could be monitored remotely and checked for broken pipes, intruders, etc.
  • Gardens could be watered.
  • Information sharing over the Internet will be effortlessly interwoven into daily life.
  • Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, wearable devices, and big data will make people more aware of their world and their own behavior, and will especially aid in health care.
  • The spread of the Internet will enhance global connectivity that fosters more planetary relationships and less ignorance.
  • An Internet-enabled revolution in education will spread more opportunities, with less money spent on resources.

Here Are Some Negative Outlooks:

  • The realities of this data-drenched world raise substantial concerns about privacy and the ability of people to control their own lives. The level of profiling and targeting will grow and amplify social, economic, and political struggles.
  • Dangerous divides between haves and have-nots may expand, resulting in resentment and possible violence.
  • Abuses and abusers will ‘evolve and scale.’ Human nature isn’t changing; there’s laziness, bullying, stalking, stupidity, dirty tricks, crime, and those who practice them will have a new capacity to make life miserable for others.
  • Pressured by these changes, governments and corporations will try to assert power as they invoke security and cultural norms.
  • Humans and their organizations may not respond quickly enough to challenges presented by complex networks.
  • There will be complicated, unintended consequences: We will live in a world where many things won’t work and nobody will know how to fix them.

Sources:

Mark Irish

Mark Irish

Mark Irish is the Library’s Teen Librarian. He became a librarian in 2000. His educational background is in the Social Sciences. He loves reading teen and adult literature in which the characters show great resilience. He also enjoys listening to country music. Mark volunteers with JDRF to help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and to mentor teens that are affected by it. He is an avid mountain biker and also enjoys kayaking and the great outdoors. Click here to subscribe to Mark Irish's blog posts!

Erik Schmid - October 25, 2016

Hmmm…can’t wait until someone can hack into my heart monitor. That should be fun! There recently was a large cyberattack that was made possible by coopting devices on the internet of things to implement a DDOS attack on DNS server groups to shut down large areas of the Internet. SEEMS like a preview of the future! Oh, Hi Mark!

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