What is the Internet of Things and what does it mean for the world?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a fascinating real life concept. For those who are unsure it breaks the boundaries between devices in order to create a truly responsive and receptive world. Using Weave (read our blog on this here) the IoT allows for a new interaction between man and machine, allowing the two to respond well to one another like micro-organisms living off the same body. The concept is strangely beautiful, that the world, in its own way, is fluid. It works seamlessly. Things just do.

There is a famous philosophical conundrum developed alongside the Internet of Things as to whether it will be a help or a hindrance. This is a debate we would like to explore in more detail this coming week in a series of blog articles, however for now we would like to focus far simpler on what it physically means for the world. What is it like having an Internet of Things and what will it be like with an Internet of Everything?

We have all seen Wall-E. We have all seen the derelict future that some people predict will happen when humans take less responsibility for the running of the everyday world. What will it be like when we no longer have to drive for ourselves? What will it be like when we no longer need to be in our houses in order to turn off the lights? What about the ability to cook food from the comfort of our couch? What does this programmable world mean?

This is where the beautiful worlds of technology, philosophy, and marketing all cross over. The Internet of Things is both a real life object and an abstract concept, it is both real and it is not. We cannot see it but we know it is there. We can only traverse it from one side to the other. This is a mind blowing concept. It is not the web, where we spend our lives in the middle. It is an anti-web where we spend our lives on the edge. This is getting incredibly philosophical right now. You get the gist.

The Internet of Things is a way of getting people to think. In the short term it is a beautiful machine of connectivity and seamless interaction. It is a way of making life slightly easier, something which both has a light and a dark side. Yes, there will be those who spend their time sat on their sofa, getting fatter whilst watching Jersey Shore. However, there will also be those who use the IoT for good. They use it to free up their time. They will use it to create fantastic and awe-inspiring works of art. They will use it to further science and improve academic study. The Internet of Things is not about making people lazier by making life easier. It is not about being able to turn off your lounge light switch from the bedroom. No. It is about making life better and unleashing the potential in all of us by reducing our worries and saving our time.

What this means is that the Internet of Things is a tool of liberation, freeing us from the quandaries and worries of everyday life in order to help us, as a species, progress onto more important things. It marks a key point in the Age of Information that we live in. It is a key milestone to be used as a tremendous force for good. 

As mentioned before, this week will see some interesting articles appear on Underhood. We will be writing about data security, what the IoT means for the Welfare State, and what the IoT means for the future of Cloud based enterprises. As well as these we will be having a look at whether the IoT is a blessing or a curse to mankind. Make sure you keep coming back to Underhood this week.

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