IoT – the Internet of Things

Increasingly the Internet is connecting to things. This McKinsey & Company article from way back in March 2010 is still illuminating. Here is an excerpt:

[T]he predictable pathways of information are changing: the physical world itself is becoming a type of information system. In what’s called the Internet of Things, sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects—from roadways to pacemakers—are linked through wired and wireless networks, often using the same Internet Protocol (IP) that connects the Internet. These networks churn out huge volumes of data that flow to computers for analysis. When objects can both sense the environment and communicate, they become tools for understanding complexity and responding to it swiftly. What’s revolutionary in all this is that these physical information systems are now beginning to be deployed, and some of them even work largely without human intervention.

Pill-shaped microcameras already traverse the human digestive tract and send back thousands of images to pinpoint sources of illness. Precision farming equipment with wireless links to data collected from remote satellites and ground sensors can take into account crop conditions and adjust the way each individual part of a field is farmed—for instance, by spreading extra fertilizer on areas that need more nutrients. Billboards in Japan peer back at passersby, assessing how they fit consumer profiles, and instantly change displayed messages based on those assessments.

That helps to explain Google’s purchase for $3.2 billion in January 2014 of Nest Labs, whose products include a learning thermostat as well as a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.

Cisco offers this infographic:

Cisco infographic: The Internet of Things.

Cisco infographic: The Internet of Things.

CNET News video on smartwatches from Samsung, Qualcomm, Sony and more

This CNET News video is a touch more than a month old as I post, but it still may interest you. There are a few words also on the Apple iWatch which may be introduced in 2014 as an accessory to the iPhone, plus efforts from Microsoft, Google, Dell and more.

The Google home in 1999 and on 4 June 2013

Google home in 1999.

Google home in 1999.

Google home on 4 June 2013.

Google home on 4 June 2013.

Simplicity prevails in the home design for both dates despite the approximately fourteen year difference. Interestingly regarding responsiveness, when I resize my Firefox and Google Chrome browsers in my laptop, I get a horizontal scroll bar in each browser at below 1000 pixels width, roughly. In my iPhone 4S, however, Google.com does  display without a horizontal scroll bar.