Digital Revolution

Chapter 6 - The Internet of things

Talking about digital Revolution leads us to deal in depth with the Internet of Things (IoT) based on Smart objects. Have you ever wished that your coffee machine could prepare your coffee at the schedule of your choice? Or your toaster? Oh and what about a bathroom with a temperature regulating shower which control itself your ideal temperature? That is smart objects.

In a world where broadband Internet is becoming more available and mostly less expensive, innovations of new objects are increasing. These new products are created with Wi-Fi capabilities and censors, with the help of new technologies such as the Bluetooth Low Energy, Near Field Communication and Radio Frequency Identification.

What is it concretely? Any objects can become “Smart” only by adding in it some new technologies. “Easy” isn’t it? It is such an “easy thing” that according to the analyst firm Gartner; by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices in the world. Nevertheless, Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), which is used to identify devices on a network, is going to run out because of the growth of the Internet. Theoretically, IPv4 is able to stock only 4 billion of Internet addresses but this stock is nearly exhausted while the era of the Internet of things just begins. Since a few years already, a new version of the Internet Protocol is being deployed in order to fulfill the need for more Internet addresses: IPv6. One of the big advantages of this new version is its huge storage capacity for the benefit of smart objects.

Where are we going? IoT will permit a better use of everything and will simplify our everyday life. In several years, the IoT will have a really important place in our society, which will be completely connected. Moreover, we can wonder about the technology dependence or about the dictatorship of technology. The dependence could destroy our relationships and contacts with people but also could lead us to stop thinking by ourselves. One big question is to wonder what will we do with all of this new free time?

Nevertheless, with billions of connected device all around the world, privacy and data sharing are big issues. What about the hacking of information? It can happen in your own home (e.g. Hackers used your fridge to hack and send spam emails or get access to your network).

Things are growing rapidly. The take off of IoT would lead to big changes in our daily lives; we have to be prepared for this changement.