Infographic: The Internet of Things

15th Aug, 2011

The internet of things is a fascinating concept, where every offline object imaginable is connected in someway to the online world. When machines start talking to each other they can be used to make our lives better, or so the theory goes. Say you have to get a flight at 8am, which has been delayed by 30 minutes and your alarm clock is notified giving you an extra 10 minutes in bed. It is slightly Skynet but surely that’s the stuff of fiction? While I say this lightly I’m also not ruling it out – I bet my alarm clock will also have it’s own Facebook page. Meticulously logging what time I get up at, and tweeting out to it’s followers, who are other alarm clocks. This data could be useful for many things from traffic light systems to gauge when rush hour will start, or if there’s more traffic expected from a certain direction at a certain time to letting your coffee machine know when to switch on and heat up, maybe you had a meeting at the airport when you land and that person gets an update on their Andriod letting them know of the delay. Essentially it’s the accumulation and sharing of data in order to make systems run more efficiently.

This might all sound very futuristic, but it’s already begun. This excellent infographic from Cisco demonstrates how far we have come. In 2008 machines connected to the internet outnumbered people on earth for the first time and in Holland there are cow’s connected to the internet. No, they don’t do email, but farmers can monitor their health and act accordingly.

View it full-size here.