The Internet of Things

ReadWriteWeb has an interesting featuring covering the top 5 web trends of 2009. Their latest entry covers the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things is a network of Internet-enabled objects, together with web services that interact with these objects. Underlying the Internet of Things are technologies such as RFID (radio frequency identification), sensors, and smartphones.

The Internet fridge is probably the most oft-quoted example of what the Internet of Things will enable. Imagine a refrigerator that monitors the food inside it and notifies you when you’re low on milk. It also perhaps monitors all of the best food websites, gathering recipes for your dinners and adding the ingredients automatically to your shopping list. This fridge knows what kinds of foods you like to eat, based on the ratings you have given to your dinners. Indeed the fridge helps you take care of your health, because it knows which foods are good for you.

The potential impact on a new, all-digital lifestyle is quite staggering. The fridge example is a good one, but it opens up so many possibilities.

Imagine how we can monitor aging people in the future. Many seniors currently have little choice but to live in a nursing home. Assisted living is becoming much more common, but with tools like this family members, and health care providers, could more easily monitor loved ones. Home security and personal security is another huge opportunity.

On the other hand, this will raise serious privacy issues as well. In the future, will everything, and everyone, be monitored all the time?


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