Internet of Things - the Internet of Everything

Management Today, May 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Internet of Things - the Internet of Everything


Fridges connected to the web may be yet to catch on, but the smart home is already here, and more huge changes are around the corner, especially in healthcare and urban living, says Andrew Saunders.

In the beginning there was the internet, and the internet was good. For all that it can sometimes appear trivial (how many cat videos does the world really need?), the net must surely rank as one of the greatest disruptive innovations ever to emerge from the human mind.

But scarcely has the dust settled over that first tidal wave of digital endeavour, which washed away the foundations of industrial-era giants while carrying the feather-light seeds of a new virtual generation far inland, than another, potentially even greater, virtual tsunami approaches in its wake. Head for the high ground, because here comes the internet of everything, aka the internet of things.

'The internet of things is a secular change, it's absolutely fundamental,' says Dr John Cornish, head of the internet of things business unit at Cambridge-based chip designer ARM. The company's power-efficient processors are already found in many new wearable devices, such as smart watches and fitness trackers, which are important indicators of much greater changes yet to come.

The projected speed of growth of the internet of things has the potential to make the achievements of the first couple of online decades look distinctly pedestrian. It's estimated that there are now around six billion conventional devices online, including computers, tablets and smartphones. By 2020, that number is set to quadruple to somewhere between 20 and 30 billion, the vast majority of growth coming from connecting unconventional 'dumb' objects to the internet. That will translate into dollars 19bn of economic value, according to Gartner Research. 'It's a very real opportunity, although it will probably take 20 years or so to play out,' says Cornish.

So what exactly is the internet of things? The basic idea is that connectivity is not limited only to the usual suspects, such as those six billion computers, tablets and smartphones. In theory, anything can be online. From domestic appliances to street lighting, from cars to cat flaps, furniture to footwear, in a year or two even the shirt on your back could have an IP address.

'Imagine answering the door to an ambulance crew who tell you that you need treatment for the heart attack you're about to have,' says digital strategist Ade McCormack. They've been tipped off by the smart vest you're wearing, monitoring your vital signs and communicating any irregularities directly to the emergency services. 'It's not tech hype We started off with the internet of people, now we're moving to the internet of things and eventually it will become the internet of things in people,' he claims.

Like many new ideas in tech, this one has been bubbling under for quite a while. The phrase was coined by a Brit - Kevin Ashton of MIT - working in the less-than-glamorous field of supply-chain management for Procter & Gamble in the early 1990s. But it has taken quite a while for the concept to escape the back office and achieve a wider currency.

One of the first well-touted examples was the infamous internet fridge. With a hotline straight to Ocado, this 21st-century domestic marvel was going to relieve us all of the prehistoric chore of food shopping by noting our consumption and automatically restocking - a kind of chilled-down version of the magic porridge pot.

It has yet to take off, not least because of consumer resistance: people don't like being faced with the disparity between the healthy diet they think they enjoy and evidence of the TV-dinner reality, as provided by the fridge's shopping list. And when it emerged earlier this year that hackers had co-opted one, using it to send thousands of spam emails, confidence cooled even further.

But despite such high-profile cock-ups, the internet of things is here to stay. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Internet of Things - the Internet of Everything
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.