Missed in all of the diplomatic to-ings and fro-ings over control of internet governance and the domain naming system was a fascinating report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on The Internet of Things. This internet of things combines to create a network that is literally everywhere and which becomes increasingly intelligent: the report points to four key technologies, all at advanced stages, that will enable ubiquitous network connectivity: RFID (radio frequency identification) tags, sensor, embedded intelligence and nanotechnology.
Nicholas Negroponte spoke of his vision of an entirely new networked world, far more ubiquitous than the network of computers that we now have linked to the Internet. “Things will play an important role in the Internet themselves,” Negroponte said. “The future is a meshed network of things. Objects will speak to other objects via other objects.”
A big advantage of a meshed network, according to Negroponte, is that all these connected, embedded devices can cooperate and help each other. “Failure won’t be as binary,” he said.
The report said: “It would seem that science fiction is slowly turning into science fact in an ‘Internet of Things’ based on ubiquitous network connectivity. Today, in the 2000s, we are heading into a new era of ubiquity, where the ‘users’ of the internet will be counted in billions, and where humans may become the minority as generators and receivers of traffic.”
The best report on the conference I’ve seen was in the International Herald Tribune at http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/11/20/business/wireless21.php
The official executive summary is at http://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-s/opb/pol/S-POL-IR.IT-2005-SUM-PDF-E.pdf
Malheuresement pour nos lecteurs français, ce n’est disponible qu’en anglais.