I think the concept of ‘The internet of Things’ is an interesting one, but I am still yet to completely get my head around it. Bleecker (2006) states that:
“Once ‘Things’ are connected to the Internet, they can only but become enrolled as active, worldly participants by knitting together, facilitating and contributing to networks of social exchange and discourse, and rearranging the rules of occupancy and patterns of mobility within the physical world”.
While I can certainly appreciate this, I feel that his following statement outlining that ‘Things’ in the pervasive Internet, will become first-class citizens with which we will interact and communicate. To me, while the concept is intriguing, it is almost seems a little far fetched.
In this ‘Internet of Things,’ devices, systems and machines will not only communicate with humans, they will also communicate with each other. I certainly agree that our lives have been altered through the increasing advancement of technology, however, the way in which these items are seemingly personified in this sense is a little exaggerated in my opinion.
The idea of everything being connected to the internet is not new, but it’s increasingly becoming a reality. When you think about it, the internet is no longer a network of computers; it has evolved into a network of devices of all types and sizes – such as cars, refrigerators, smartphones, toys, cameras, medical instruments and industrial systems – all connected, all communicating and sharing information all the time. However I still feel that these devices have been created and designed for human use, and thus we still remain the commanders of the relationships.
There are really two sides to be considered in this argument. The technical utopians have portrayed the Internet of Things as a good thing that will bring untold benefits. They are supported by all the companies that stand to benefit by the increasing connectedness of everything. On the other side are the sceptics who warn of the dangers inherent in not only having an ever growing Internet of Things, but our increasing reliance on it.
So where do you sit with the argument?
Bleecker, J. (2006) ‘Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for networked objects’ [URL: http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/files/WhyThingsMatter.pdf]