At this point in history, we can trace a course of events on what we call the internet. At first, when most of the world did not understand what this ‘information super-highway’ was about, we had an embryonic network that, little by little, became an increasingly complex web of interconnections. Those first moments of chats, of MSM sent by Internet to mobile devices, and emails now seem to us as primitive technologies in comparison to what we have today; however, at that time those things meant a revolution in terms of telecommunications, as well as the basis for everything that followed later.
Even though the innovators of the internet world were quite optimistic at that time, they did not catch a glimpse of what would come up over the years. Back then, when the internet connection was carried out through a modem and a telephone connection, they would hardly have imagined a smart home, operating by means of voice commands, monitored 24/7 by Big Data metrics so that the software, designed with automatic learning, knows its users better each second to provide a better service.
Well, to say the truth, we cannot imagine what will come up when artificial intelligence, quantum computers, and nanotechnology gain much more ground in the area of the Internet of Things. We only know that the technological advances of the future would seem to us like magic.
Internet traffic has grown in an exponential way – as never seen or thought before – since the beginning of the 1990s. Now, the total communications carried out on a platform like YouTube tremendously exceed the amount of the total Internet communications in the mid-90s. The smartphones that we all have in our pockets are much more powerful than the best Intel processors of twenty years ago. Not only that: the cloud is increasingly unifying the borders of the physical and the cybernetic world, until, one day, both things are completely indistinguishable in a singularity which is drawn every second.
So, more than just talking about the Internet of Things, we are ad portas of something greater: the Internet of Everything. A network of networks, a permanent hyper-connectivity, exponentially growing and increasingly complex. We are no longer talking about the fifty billion things connected to the Internet in two years, but everything. Yes: all there is.
Read also: These Are The Most Common Misconceptions About The IoT, by Peter Foyo
When we talk about the Internet of Everything, we speak more than everyday objects connected to the Internet, but people, all kinds of processes and procedures, and, above all, the possibility that information becomes actions. All this, with the aim of creating much better capabilities and experiences. In this network of networks, there will be an increasingly fluid interconnection, in which content and information, in general, will cohabit with people, objects, and places in one singularity. It scares some people and makes them think of Matrix, but others think that it is not just another stage in our human evolution but a great catalyst that will mean a change in our world, and our experience and the human condition.
The essential requirement to build an Internet of Everything is to do everything as possible so that everything, everything that belongs to our human world, can transmit data without the need for human intervention. Nowadays, it is a trend for each object to be smart. A fridge, a car, a clock, a pacemaker, a bed, or the central air conditioning system of our homes. This is what has been achieved with the Internet of Things, above all, pointing to the possibility that human beings intervene less and less in the functioning of all these systems.
Now, the Internet of Everything aims to the possibility that things that we do not normally use in our daily life are connected to the Internet as well and send information; after all, all sort of information is useful, and it is the fundamental requirement to improve everything and to adjust it to the needs of a growing and constantly changing society. Monitoring, for example, an orchard, a forest, a glacier, the behavior of sunspots, the vehicular traffic on all the streets of a city, and all the transactions carried out in a whole country or region, would only allow us to learn more about what happens to us and why it does, but what we can do to improve it. Also: that information could be the raw material for automatic modifications of the world around us.
That is the panorama that awaits us in the near future – and not in terms of centuries: that’s for sure.
Certainly, the future will be another world. It is plausible that the lack of communication, as a general problem (one of the great problems of the human being in all its history,) does not disappear entirely but changes in its form. Cities will be smart. Industries will be smart. Human beings will perhaps change their essence, so let us be prepared.