In Aldous Huxley’s classic 1931 SciFi novel Brave New World he envisions a dystopian society where human life has been almost entirely industrialized ”” controlled by a few people at the top of a World State. A future where human beings are socially conditioned (or programmed) according to the society’s strict caste system, an antiseptic and dehumanized society.
And now consider another brave new world as envisioned by Google’s Eric Schmidt(1) and Jared Cohen (2) in The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business
(1) executive chairman of Google
(2) director of Google Ideas
Virtual reality will make “the online experience as real as life itself, or perhaps even better”. Everything will be personalised, tuned to your habits, desires and goals”¦ translucent screens that follow you around the apartment and house robots with a programme of chores to be completed while you are out”¦ Opting out by going “off grid” will be seen as suspicious and needing special attention. In Google”™s chapter on terrorism, in The New Digital Age, governments will be suspicious of anybody who strives to be “online anonymous”. !Travel restrictions and even more airline screening will ensue for these people.!
See: Bryan Appleyard, The Future According to Google,
And now what the Internet of Things (IoT) envisions for our future. A future where we will no longer have to think for ourselves as our smart devices (some implanted) will do all that for us. Social conditioning on a global scale, and all of it will be uploaded to the “cloud” (a hacker’s heaven) where those with the ability can gain access to it. A world now being created perhaps not too distant from Huxley’s world of AD 2540.
It”™s Not a Scene From Star Trek; The Internet of Things is Here!
Imagine this: You”™ve just walked out the front door without your keys and your smart-door delays locking the door for 30 seconds, giving you the chance to duck back inside to get them. You”™ve got an internal heart monitor that detects something isn”™t quite right so it sends you a text message to go straight to the hospital and sends a similar message to your doctor so he knows you”™re on your way. You”™re in the supermarket and your shopping cart, which is connected to your refrigerator, sends you a text that you”™re all out of milk.
Completely beyond the realm of any logical thought? Actually, not.
Capitalize on a world of opportunities
Service providers in developed markets continue to experiment, and quite successfully, with machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) services. Many have invested in multiple verticals to ensure better coverage of opportunities. Take, for example, Verizon”™s new ”˜Virtual Visit”™ mobile health program which facilitates direct communications between patients and their healthcare providers. And market research firm Infonetics predicts that the service provider market driving the connected car revolution (no pun intended) will hit $17 billion by 2018. SNIP
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You walk up to your front door, and it unlocks as it recognizes the key fob in your pocket. It”™s cold outside, but the air on the other side of your threshold is a toasty 74 degrees because the thermostat fired up your furnace the instant you (your phone, more accurately) crossed the 20-mile geofence you drew around your home. As the door swings open, your recessed lighting illuminates your path to the kitchen, everyone”™s first destination when arriving home after a long day at work. A glance at an app on your phone, linked to the fitness tracker on your wrist, shows your daily calorie quota will accommodate a glass of wine with dinner.
It sounds like a scene from a sci-fi film script, but this vision of the future is attainable today, thanks to the concept of the Internet of Things: A world where every device””from the tiny sensors on your doors and windows to the largest home appliances””has an Internet address that renders it not only uniquely identifiable, but accessible from anywhere you have Internet access. And every one of these things can exchange messages with every other thing, no matter who built it.