Since its creation back in the 1960’s, the Internet has always been about enabling rapid communication between people. Yes, it was technology that enabled that communication, but people were the driving force behind it.
Kevin Ashton, the first person to use the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (back in 1999), coined the term to define the shift from human-dependent information, to information captured and transmitted by devices independent of human intervention.
By 2010, management consultancy firm, McKinsey, was predicting that the Internet of Things (IoT) would not only revolutionise business practices, but also reduce risk and control costs.
The Internet of Things is now a reality. Cisco predicts that 25 billion devices will be part of the IoT by 2015, with the figure set to double by 2020. But what is the Internet of Things? What does it really mean for business, why is Google buying robots and why is Facebook in talkswith drone maker Titan Aerospace?
The term ‘Internet of Things’ refers to the billions of devices that connect to the Internet to transmit information, for example in the household. Google are seeing potential to start connecting all the devices making one solution for the consumer to buy. At the moment all devices are not all connected and communicating with each other. Wouldn’t it be great if your alarm clock could tell your shower to switch on, but say your alarm clock is made by Omega, and your shower is a Titon system. They can’t communicate with each other because there are no common standards.
Facebook have an interest drone maker, Titan Aerospace, in relation to a cheap alternative to satellites and providing Internet access in developing markets as part of its internet.org initiative. The goal is to cut the cost of access and connect “the next five billion people” to the Internet.
While Google may be coming first in the race, if the Facebook/Titan Aerospace acquisition goes through, Facebook would be in direct competition with Google’s ‘Project Loon’ a similar project using high altitude ‘weather balloons’ to connect the next five billion people and well on its way to leading the Internet of things.