Internet Of Things Version 2.0
Certainly by now you have come across the phrase Internet of Things. Whether used loosely by a talking head on T.V. or by a cutting edge data scientists, the concept behind the phrase Internet of Things (IoT) is truly staggering. Recall that IoT refers to what is essentially a network of physical objects (that’s where the “things” come from). These objects come with specialized sensors, electronics and even software. Moreover, this combination of electronics and software is setup and programmed to connect to other such “objects” either directly or through the Internet (hence the word “internet” in IoT). Okay, so that’s the setup, what’s new in this space?
What is new is that at the same time that the IoT is gaining forward momentum, a parallel and complementary new hardware movement is showing up at the same time. To understand this in context, first take a look at the driving factors behind the IoT. The IoT can be considered to be the result of three key factors. These factors are: ubiquitous connectivity, cheap and readily available hardware, plus relatively inexpensive data processing combined with real time machine learning.
In contrast, the new hardware movement can be considered to be the result of new technology which has produced new tools. These new high technology tools allow for such things as: rapid and inexpensive tools for prototyping (think 3-D printers and the like), cheap and ever more powerful microcontrollers. But that is just the beginning of what is going on in the new hardware movement. Along with the new prototyping tools above, a combination of new manufacturing, marketing and even new fundraising opportunities is completely redefining hardware development.
So what does the new hardware movement have to do with the IoT? If you look closely you can readily spot the relationship. For the most part, the new hardware movement can be seen as both an enabler and a driver of the Internet of Things. This allows for rapid and less expensive development of new and ever more powerful IoT technology.
In fact, Joi Ito had this to say: the “Internet of things is a big deal, but rather as a symptom of a general trend of moving innovation to the edges, to the entrepreneurs, to the developing world-to a much more democratic system”. Recall that Joi Ito just so happens to be the director of the MIT Media Lab.
Bottom line is this: the Internet of Things along with the new hardware movement is accelerating the development of ever more powerful technology in all sorts of fields.