So many connected machines, so little time


You've heard me say it before. And I'll say it again. The Internet of Things will change our world.

It's only been in the last few years that the true scope of IoT has become apparent. The term "Internet of Things" was first used by Kevin Ashton in 1999 during a presentation he made while at Procter & Gamble. He went on to start one of the seminal labs in the development of IoT--the MIT Auto-ID Center.

Founded in 2000, the center envisioned a "world in which all electronic devices are networked and every object, whether it is physical or electronic, is electronically tagged with information pertinent to that object".

This and many other facts are presented in our first ever history of the Internet of Things. Being a heavy coffee drinker myself, I was intrigued to find out that one of the first applications of IoT was to monitor the coffee pot level in a research lab.

Way back in 1992, University of Cambridge researchers used a camera in the Trojan Room lab and wrote a server program to capture images of the pot every few seconds to monitor the coffee level so researchers would know when coffee was available.

Siemens, which has been a leading IoT vendor, first developed a connected device for industrial application back in 1995.

Of course, we can't forget consumer applications of IoT, such as an Internet-connected fridge that tells you when you need milk and eggs and orders them for you online. Or how about a medical sensor that you swallow and it tells the doctor how you are doing by using your smartphone?

I've just scratched the surface of what IoT devices can and will do. Last fall, Venture Beat proclaimed that 2014 would be the year of the Internet of Things. I proclaim that this decade will be the IoT decade. Hang on to your Google Glasses. - Fred