We recently covered the perspectives, mobility as the most dramatic change agent and also covered the fact that the internet reach surpassing radio reach.While the fast adoption continues forcing a changing nature of the internet.
ITU sees that we are on the brink of a new computing and communication era, one that will radically transform our corporate, community, and personal spheres. With continuing developments in miniaturization and declining costs, it is becoming not only technologically possible but also economically feasible to make everyday objects smarter, and to connect the world of people with the world of things. We are heading towards what can be termed a “ubiquitous network society”, one in which networks and networked devices are omnipresent. Early forms of ubiquitous information and communication networks are already visible in the widespread use of mobile phones today: there were over 1.8 billion mobile phones in circulation by the end of 2004, and the number is set to surpass 2 billion by the end of 2005. Mobile data applications such as SMS, i-mode and Vodafone Live! have brought Internet-like services to the pockets of many mobile phone users. But what if much more was connected to a network: a fridge, a car, a cup of tea? At the dawn of the internet revolution, users were amazed at the possibility of contacting people and information across oceans and time zones, through a few clicks of their mouse. In order to do so, however, they typically had to sit in front of a computer device (PC) connected to a global network. Today, they can also use mobile phones and portable laptops. The next logical step in this technological revolution (connecting people anytime, anywhere) is to connect inanimate objects a communication network. This is the vision underlying the Internet of things. The use of electronic tags (e.g. RFID) and sensors will serve to extend the communication and monitoring potential of the network of networks, as will the introduction of computing power in everyday items such as razors, shoes and packaging. Advances in nanotechnology (i.e. manipulation of matter at the molecular level) will serve to further accelerate these developments. Computing through dedicated devices will slowly disappear, while information processing capabilities will emerge throughout our surrounding environment. With the benefit of integrated information processing capacity, industrial products will take on smart capabilities. They may also take on electronic identities that can be queried remotely, or be equipped with sensors for detecting physical changes around them. Such developments will make the merely static objects of today dynamic ones - embedding intelligence in our environment and stimulating the creation of innovative products and new business opportunities. The Internet of Things will enable forms of collaboration and communication between people and things, and between things themselves, hitherto unknown and unimagined.