ReadWriteWeb has a look forward at how the "internet of things" could change our daily lives - Internet of Things Can Make Us Human Again.
We've entered an era where the cost of sensors, processors and transmitters are so low that it's fast becoming cost effective to put them inside everything, even the clothes we wear. Even our own toothbrush may soon sense and communicate socially about where it is and how it's being used in space and time. Sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling has coined the term "spime", to describe objects that can be "tracked through space and time throughout the lifetime of the object."
David Orban, one of the founders of WideTag, the creator of the iPhone app WideNoise, also offers WideSpime, which helps developers build mass data collection services for real-time data management in a way that maintains the autonomy of both the data and the object generating the data.
In our most recent Internet of Things post Objects Aren't Social, Orban comments that objects " ...are going to form their own independent social networks, which are going to be fundamentally incompatible with human communication." These new machine networks will be so redundant and reliable that we will be freed from most of our machine-operating duties. We will get to be human again.
WideTag3.jpgWe will soon see cars that don't rear end each other because onboard sensors won't allow it. Or how about a vacuum cleaner that knows about a mess your cat made and cleans it up before you even notice your machine-network's admin message about it. Also, consider an Internet of Things home that tracks your habits so well it knows which rooms to heat and light because it knows what you'll be doing on that particular day.
Orban's dream is that thousands of years of human subservience to machines will end because we will teach our machines how to not only take care of themselves, but how to take care of us as well.
But what if someone wanted to manipulate these systems for an unethical advantage? Or even worse, what if these manipulations were built into these new machine networks at the earliest stages? On Sunday night, ReadWriteWeb reported on a presentation by Tim O'Rielly regarding the future Internet of Things. In his presentation he said, "You see increasingly the giants of the Internet are trading for their own account - they are building a platform in which all roads lead back to themselves. Now there is a contervailing force for openess, but we have to wary, we have to be aware of that; we have to work for openess in that web."