The internet of everything?
I’ve been thinking about ‘IoT’ v2.0 … aka the internet of everything all networked together. ‘IoT’ has the potential to network technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Automation, Robotics and Nano construction, etc… into an exciting new network of everything. These things include networking self-driving cars, self-heating homes, self-filling fridges to name but a very few. ‘IoT v2.0’ can even build, use and dispose of these things at the end of their life. When we think about the global impact of ‘IoT v2.0’, we are thinking about how it will make things faster, cheaper, better. So where do the benefits of ‘IoT v2.0’ end?, what gaps, needs or problems will ‘IoT v2.0’ fail to fill, meet and solve? In short, if the internet of things connects and facilitate the communications between everything, why is ‘IoT v2.0’ not the internet of everything (‘EoT’)?
Hi, my name is Brendon McLoughlin and I’m a technical project manager andinnovator. I’d like to share with you my view of how the current limitations, gaps, needs and problems of ‘IoT v2.0’ can be overcome. The limitations of ‘IoT v2.0’ forms part of a bigger landscape we have yet to explore.
To better understand the ‘Why’, ‘How’ and ‘What’, I’d like to share with you why I feel ‘IoT’ needs to go further, faster, cheaper and better than ‘IoT v2.0’ alone ever could. To better explain we first need to visualise the next iteration of ‘IoT v2.0’ so please allow me to paint a simple mental picture of this exciting, brave and colourful new landscape. I will use current day examples as my underlying canvas and using a collection of small human stories as my paint, I will brush in the background before adding in the detail needed to complete and make obvious the bigger picture. As we stand back and admire its colourful beauty together we can imagine together the many opportunities and benefits to be realised. As we imagine such possibilities, do so in the knowledge that it is my belief you! can realise these benefits during your! lifetime.
During the lifetime of humans, we have always battled ‘Cans’ and ‘Can Nots’. Many discussions which begin with ‘we can do this’ are prematurely ended by a ‘you can not do that’. Perhaps you may have noticed that when risk needs company it embraces the ‘Royal We’. But when failure embraces us, the search for blame narrows from ‘We’ to ‘Who’. This is our instinctive fear of failure at work suggesting the only choice is to fight or take flight. As optimists ‘We’ band together, stand and fight. As pessimists or realists, self interest takes flight and ‘Me’ flees the battle to live and fight another day.
History is full of battles for survival, domination, evolution or extinction. Animals and humans group together into hives, herds, flocks, tribes, communities and other networks of shared common interest,and purpose. Together, these collective networks share knowledge, experience, skills and resources which are often more powerful than the sum of its individual parts. Since the beginning of time there has been safety in greater numbers. This safety was needed so the ‘cans’ and the ‘haves’ could stay ahead of the ‘have nots’ and ‘can nots’.
Will the ‘haves’ and ‘cans’ outweigh the ‘have nots’ and ‘can nots’ or will the processing power of every networked internet thing balance out into the same sameness?
- Will survive, dominate, evolve or become extinct in a network of everything?
- Does ‘IoT v2.0’ fill every gap, solve every problem and meet every need?
These are some of the interesting unanswered questions I have been thinking about and I’m not alone in my thinking.
Some of these questions are easily answered than others, so lets get started …
So what given today’s technology what could the ‘cans’ do?
If you ‘can’ access the network of the internet of things, in theory you can have everything. Need a car? … Tell Amazon Alexa to order you a new Tesla car. Alexa already knows you want to pay with bitcoins and the latest IBM Watson AI will keep her honest and track your order to ensure its 3D printed in Dublin. This avoids the international shipping charges so it can be delivered overnight via the new DHL Hyperloop direct to your underground Solar City powered charging station garage. Once there, Watson can talk to the Chinese technical design and support representative for you to ensure your personal Toyota macanabot checks and services it correctly while double checking all your international paperwork is fully in order and make any recommendations as required.
Given the all clear, you can head out for a long autonomous drive in the country with Nokia augmented reality on your cars Corning heads up display while Apples sexy Siri talks you through all the local highlights, history and nearby amenities Google assistant knows as you continue your drive. Don’t worry, if your car should happen to break down, there’s an army of Abbott nanobots and microbots laying in wait in the cars trunk to jump into action to repair any problem … while you watch in car Sky TV. These tiny travel pals can call ahead and notify your home not to cook that five star special Ramsey meal too early and re-schedule it based on best repair time estimates so you don’t have to wait for your meal when you get home and you can enjoy it while watching your most favourite selection of streaming HBO entertainment recorded for you while you were delayed.
(Please check out the links in the prior paragraphs … a lot of what I suggest already exists in some form … the rest is imagination!)
So what could ‘can nots’ do?
Assuming they ‘can’ get access, they ‘can’ pay, they ‘can’ have a home and garage …. In such a context, the lists of ‘can nots’ in ‘IoT v2.0’ ‘can’ become overwhelming. But lets stay with a ‘can do’ attitude and refine our question further.
What then ‘can not’ be done by ‘IoT v2.0’ assuming cost is not a barrier?
To help better understand the gaps and why the internet of things is not the internet of everything, I need to first tell you the story of … How my 80 year old dad broke my internet of things (IoT) …