If you’re still trying to wrap your head around what the “Internet of Things” is, this data visualization makes things easy to understand and is fun to explore.
The visualization, from the team at Information is Beautiful, does a great job of explaining what the Internet of Things is, what it can and will affect, who the major players are, and even provides some eye-opening statistics regarding the direction we’re all headed with technology. Additionally, it mentions some of the challenges facing our “always connected” world. You can check it out at the link.
The Internet of Things promises to bring a new level of convenience to our lives. Could it bring trillions of dollars worth of convenience? Not likely, but that’s not stopping a lot of prognosticators out there.
The level of hype around the financial promise of the Internet of Things is truly gargantuan. A May 2013 report from the McKinsey Institute suggests that connecting billions of ordinary devices to the Internet will add between $2.7 trillion and $6.2 trillion a year to the global economy by 2025.
So where is all this money going to come from? Will all the little robots and sensors that will fill our lives with automated goodness also spit out gold coins? Not quite. But the Internet of Things is still going to add a lot of economic value. Even if actual gains only amount to a tenth of the hype, the potential boost to the economy—and human wellbeing in general—will be very significant.
You’d think that given how pervasive the internet is, we’d be stuck with the fundamental architecture it uses: servers that many devices connect to for their information fix. But a team of Cambridge University scientists wants to shake things up—and remove servers altogether.
A project named Pursuit aims to make the internet faster, safer and more social by implementing a completely new architecture. The system does away with the need for computers to connect directly to servers, instead having individual computers being able to copy and re-publish content on receipt. That would allow other computers to access data—or, at least, fragments of data—from many locations at once.
One year ago, Abha Dawesar was living in blacked-out Manhattan post-Sandy, scrounging for power to connect. As a novelist, she was struck by this metaphor: Have our lives now become fixated on the drive to digitally connect, while we miss out on what’s real?