Internet of Things

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  • "From the perspective of technical standardization, the IoT can be viewed as a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies (ICT). Through the exploitation of identification, data capture, processing and communication capabilities, the IoT makes full use of "things" to offer services to all kinds of applications, whilst ensuring that security and privacy requirements are fulfilled". "Regarding the IoT, things are objects of the physical world (physical things) or of the information world (virtual world) which are capable of being identified and integrated into communication networks. Things have associated information, which can be static and dynamic. Physical things exist in the physical world and are capable of being sensed, actuated and connected. Examples of physical things include the surrounding environment, industrial robots, goods and electrical equipment. Virtual things exist in the information world and are capable of being stored, processed and accessed. Examples of virtual things include multimedia content and application software." See Overview of the Internet of Things — Recommendation, pages 2-3.
  • "(T)he term ’Internet of Things’ refers to the general concept of objects (both electronic artefacts and objects in everyday use) that can be read, recognised, addressed, located and/or controlled remotely through the internet." See European Parliament resolution on the Internet of Things.
  • Thanks to IoT, physical world will become as "liquid, personalized and efficient" as the digital one. Search, usage and payment of digital content has been transformed by Internet (instant, entirely online, costs reduced). With the IoT, the digitization, sale and delivery of physical assets becomes as easy as with virtual goods: physical assets will become digital services. With the IoT, many physical products will become digital experiences. Machine-human interactions will be replaced by machine-machine interactions (often invisible). And new human-machine interactions will emerge (often highly interactive). Yesterday, there was only "Internet". Today, with the emerging IoT, we can refer to the old Internet as the "Internet of People". See Device Democracy. Saving the Future of the Internet of Things.
  • Kevin ASHTON: an informational network that allows the look-up of information about real-world objects by means of a unique ID called Electronic Product Code (EPC) and a resolution mechanism (ONS). See The Things in the Internet of Things.
  • A more recent definition: a network of sensors, actuators and autonomous objects interacting with each other directly; N.B. "All the different definitions of the term "Internet of Things" have in common that it is related to the integration of the physical world with the virtual world of the Internet." See The Things in the Internet of Things.
  • " An infrastructure of interconnected objects, people, systems and information resources together with intelligent services to allow them to process information of the physical and the virtual world and react". See Internet of Things — Preliminary Report 2014, p. 3.
  • Ubiquitous computing (sometimes called pervasive computing: p. 99, or internet of things: p. 103) is the third paradigm of computing (after the mainframe and the personal computer: p. 93): it can be defined as "nothing less the colonization of everyday life by information technology" (p. 99, definition by Adam GREENFIELD). In fact, "the computer leaves its isolated box and its limited connectivity", to become "embedded throughout the physical world"" and "expansive, if not universal, in its connectivity" (p. 93). "Perhaps the best way to describe ubiquitous computing is to describe aspects of it. In a ubiquitous computing paradigm, computing functionality is embedded and mobile in an environment of universal connectivity that produces a high level of automation" (p. 103). Therefore, the main traits of ubiquitous computing are embeddedness (computing functions become universally available; invisibility is one of the goals of embeddedness: ubiquitous computing becomes commonplace and unremarkable), mobility (we can take computers with us wherever we go, or we always have access to computing capabilities and of our own data), capability of functioning autonomously as well as through conscious user control, "virtualization" of objects (objects are made recognizable and computer readable), interconnection (we have "networks of miniaturized, wirelessly interconnected, sensing, processing, and actuating computing elements kneaded into the physical world": p. 107) (pp. 104-107). Summarizing, "(u)biquitous computing (...) envisions computers that are embedded throughout the physical environment, that can communicate with each other, and that can monitor their surroundings and respond in dynamic, "intelligent" ways" (p. 108). See Creating Ubiquitous Computing, Virtual Worlds, and the Displacement of Property Rights.
  • For J. RIFKIN, the IoT is a "general purpose technology platform" (Chapter Nine, p. 138),"connecting everyone and everything in a global network" (Chapter One). "People, machines, natural resources, production lines, logistics networks, consumption habits, recycling flows, and virtually every other aspect of economic and social life will be linked via sensors and software to the IoT platform, continually feeding Big Data to every node — businesses, homes, vehicles — moment to moment, in real time" (Chapter One). It is "the first smart-infrastructure revolution in history: one that will connect every machine, business, residence, and vehicle in an intelligent network comprised of a Communications Internet, Energy Internet, and Logistics Internet, all embedded in a single operating system" (Chapter Five, p. 73). "The coming together of the Communications Internet with the fledgling Energy Internet and Logistics Internet in a seamless twenty-first-century intelligent infrastructure — the Internet of Things (IoT) — is giving rise to a Third Industrial Revolution" (Chapter One). The Internet of Things has a "distributed, collaborative, and laterally scaled nature" (Chapter Six, p.89). See The Zero Marginal Cost Society.