Would you accept a friend request on Facebook from your toilet?

You might have heard the term, without reflecting over what it means. What it really means. They call it Internet of Things. Sensors, wireless transmitters, receivers and processors have become powerful and affordable enough to be included in everything.

August 19, 2017

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This article was originally published in the print magazine Innomag

Paper is for lighting fires

Even you, who are reading this article on shiny paper, agrees with me that Internet, with an upper case I, was and is a game changer comparable with what the industrial revolution once was, foolishly-but-to-illustrate-a-point, written with a lower case i.

It is impossible to fathom our wonderful world without the network of computers that from the 90’s formed the basis of a googol* amount of new industries, often by lighting existing industries on fire. For even you, who are reading this article on shiny paper know that you are right now holding on to the past, and that you will soon have to let go. As an innovation, paper was the first time us humans could store information outside the brain, accelerating the evolvement of our species. Today our brains are about to directly connect to the Internet. And paper is for lighting fires.

Yes, you agree with me that Internet is with an upper case I. If no yet, you will before you are finished with this article. 

Upper case I, and soon upper case T

You might have heard the term, without reflecting over what it means. What it really means. They call it Internet of Things. Sensors, wireless transmitters, receivers and processors have become powerful and affordable enough to be included in everything.

In everything. Locks, thermostats, fitness bracelets and cars are already here, and they are talking to you and the Internet. They will soon be joined by your clothes, your bed, your fridge and the entire city around you. Talking to you and the Internet. They observe, measure and report. To make your life easier. The ones that speculate in what this will mean for education, economy, health, the human race and the evolvement of our species will be wrong. No matter what they predict, the implications will be bigger.

The Internet of today is not limited by bandwidth or processing power, but by data sources. Today the sources are human in origin. Tomorrow the sources will be everything around you. From billions of data sources to googol. And things will talk to other things, to exchange information. You might have heard the term, without reflecting over what it means. What it really means. Internet. Of Things.

You agree with me that Internet is with an upper case I, and that things are becoming Things. And you agree with me that you should accept a friend request from your toilet.

Your toilet has sent a urine sample from this morning to your doctor and received message back that you are with all probability pregnant, and now you are being informed of the happy news in a private message on Facebook while at work. Your fridge has received notice to adjust your shopping lists to fit your suggested diet the next nine months. A drone is already on way to your house with the first delivery.

Your fridge took the liberty to add one extra item to shopping list. Based on your DNA and previous purchases it is estimated with googol probability that you will have an increased craving for dark chocolate in the near future.

For not everything is changing.

  

*The word ”Googol” means the figure 1 followed by 100 zeros, and is the origin of the company name ”Google”