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Posts tagged ‘internet of things’

Buddhism and The Internet of Things

In a very near future there will be an invisible web linking together human beings, physical objects and their virtual representations in an information network. The size of the Internet of Things will be enormous: Ericsson predicts 50 billion devices connected to the Internet in 2020. But we have already passed the threshold in which there are more devices connected to the Internet than there are humans. As a matter of fact, one Internet message in 20 is sent from machine to machine (rather than by human to human), and with the latest version of the Internet—IPv6—we will have Internet addresses for every atom on the face of the earth.

But long before the Internet of Things became a geek meme, Eastern philosophers also had a vision of an “invisible web” connecting all things. As Buddhist Geeks founder Vincent Horn says, “The universe is the original Internet of Things.”

For Horn, the interesting question about our networked future is whether the Internet of Things allows us to “hack the universe” by designing technologies that enable us to feel true spiritual interconnectivity. According to Buddhist theory, you become free only once your actions are harmonized with how things already work. And you become aware of how things are connected only once you understand their interdependence.

More info here.

Google X? These Nine Products From the Future Are Real Right Now

From readwriteweb

Last week the New York Times broke news of a top secret lab where secret Googlers are tinkering on more than 100 fantasy projects that may or may not ever come to market. It’s called Google X Lab and it’s filled with robots, self-driving cars (those are definitely real) and real-world devices not  traditionally connected to the Internet that will be wired-up into a future Web of Things.

What if Google doesn’t get connected devices any better than the company allegedly “doesn’t get social” technologies, though? Just because the advertising and search giant is working on it doesn’t mean Google can really build an elevator to space, of course. In the mean time, other companies are building connected device technology that sounds futuristic but is actually going to market right now. Those companies may compete with Google in the future; just as Google didn’t invent the search market it now owns, incumbents can’t rest easy yet just because they’re first, either. But what they’re bringing to market already is pretty cool.

Read the full story here

IOT Comic Book

Mirko Presser: “About a year ago, I started working on a – then new – European project called the Internet of Things Initiative (IoT-i) on a topic that was supposed to find strategically important IoT applications. We managed to gather about 150 application scenarios, short texts describing an IoT application in a situation. Quite diverse material and mainly from other European projects – past and present. After categorisation, combining and elimination we ended up with just fewer than 60 application scenarios that we presented to the public in a survey to find out what scenarios would be strategically important. About 300 persons, mainly from the ICT community, from over 30 different countries, took the survey. Now this is not bad – but it is staying within the ICT community. We need to branch out. We need to engage the general public, public authorities and business stakeholders that will be the contributors and end users of the Internet of Things. We need a new medium to communicate the idea of the Internet of Things, its challenges, its problems and its benefits; encouraging people to think about this new disruptive technology. There are few things better than telling a story with pictures. This “comic book” is aimed at everybody. Everybody can look at the stories that are being told and form an opinion. Use them as a basis for deep discussions or just as inspiration; agree or disagree and anything in between – but talk about it. We invite you to use the material in this book to communicate and think about the Internet of Things.”

Mirko Presser, The Alexandra Institute, Autumn 2011

You can download an electronic version of the comic book.

The Internet of Things: Toolbox to Help Objects Communicating Via the Net

Increasingly, the things people use on a daily basis can be connected to the Internet. An alarm clock not only rings, but can also switch on the coffee machine while turning on the light. But what is needed to ensure that the Internet of Things operates as efficiently as possible?

Thus far, the Internet has been an arena reserved for people. But now more and more physical objects are being connected to the Internet: we read emails on our mobile telephones, we have electricity meters that report readings automatically, and pulse monitors and running shoes that publish information about our daily jog directly on Facebook.

Tools for collaboration The Internet of Things will introduce new smart objects to our homes. One challenge is to find effective solutions to enable different products to work together. Currently no standardised tools or distribution platforms exist in this area.

A group of Norwegian researchers have been addressing this issue. In the research project Infrastructure for Integrated Services (ISIS) they have created a platform for developing and distributing applications for the Internet of Things. The platform encompasses a programming tool for developers, called Arctis and the website ISIS Store for downloading applications. The project has received funding from the Research Council of Norway’s Large-scale Programme VERDIKT.

More info here.


Prepare for the 'internet of things', where socks stay connected

FACEBOOK that looks more like Flickr, and the ”internet of things”, where ovens email you when they need cleaning and socks have microchips so they can find each other: Welcome to social media and the internet in 2020, as predicted by the top boffin at Yahoo!.

As principal research scientist at Yahoo! San Francisco, Elizabeth Churchill’s job is to gaze into the web’s crystal ball. And as one of the keynote speakers at the Web 3.0 and the Future of Social Media Forum in Sydney this week, she’ll be sharing her visions of the future.

”Facebook I think will be a very different look and feel in five years and there will be other platforms that will be competing,” Dr Churchill says.

Part of the problem with Facebook, she says, is that content – photographs, music, documents – comes second. ”It’s not really a content-posting site. Content is there to drive the social interaction. If you try to search for stuff on Facebook it’s very hard to find because content is not the primary object.”

Contrast that with Flickr. Superficially just a photo-posting site, it has the type of flexibility that could well be the prototype of future social media.

”I can go onto Flickr and it can be primarily conversational. Or I can go onto Flickr and it’s primarily a photo-hosting site. Or I can go onto Flickr and it can primarily be a platform for me to show off my photographs, my cake-baking, my knitting or my engineering,” she says. ”I think we’re going to see much more of that kind of open platform for exploration.”

More info here.

New system brings 'Internet of Things' to China's waterways

Almost all of China’s coastal waters and its inland waterways with grades higher than four have been covered by an Automatic Identification System for ships, according to a recent announcement from the Maritime Safety Administration of China.

The Automatic Identification System for ships involves modern communication, network and information technology. Via ship-based Automatic Identification System devices and a shore-based network, the exchange of data, including identification code, position, course and speed can be realized.

Based on the Automatic Identification System platform, a maritime Internet of Things, which signifies the transformation from traditional navigation to “smart navigation,” can be built. By July 1, 2012, 134,000 ships will carry Automatic Identification System devices.

More info here.

The Internet Of Things: How Will We Trust A Word It Says?

From the WSJ:

Cisco ran a rather grandiosely named “Pan-European Security Council” yesterday, which wasn’t really any such thing. Nor, alas, did it deliver on its promise to look at the security issues surrounding the future internet when 50 billion or more devices are wired up, the so-called “internet of things”.

This was a missed opportunity because this is an area worth investigating, and a networking company like Cisco could have brought some real insight. Instead we were treated to the usual diet of how teenagers use Facebook and, that hoariest of hoary internet subjects, the internet-enabled fridge.

But what are the security issues surrounding an internet of 50 billion devices, 48 billion of which are going to be cheap remote sensors of some kind? And what are the security implications?

One of the key issues is data integrity. How do you trust the data your sensors are sending? In fact how do you even know it is a sensor that is sending data at all, and not a bot or piece of malware?

Then there is the problem of encryption. When smart meters are installed across the grid you can be sure that they will have a high degree of encryption built into them—after all they are likely to be pretty expensive pieces of kit. You can be sure that authentication and encryption will be built in.

But what about a cheap (less than €1) sensor that is, say, responsible for reporting whether a parking place is occupied, or one that reports on the tensions in a restraining cable. How much encryption will be built into a 10¢ chip? But if it sends its data unencrypted, and it doesn’t use proper authentication, then it really is a simple matter of jumping in and adding whatever data you want to that stream.

So what? Why does this matter? Well it comes down to data integrity. There are two sorts of cyber criminals (actually there are loads, but let’s just take two for now); those out to make a quick buck, and those who are rather more sophisticated and perhaps have other, more destructive, aims.

More info here.