2013: The Year of the Internet of Things

Technology Review

Back in 1999, a technologist called Kevin Ashton pointed out that almost all the information available on the internet–a mere 50 petabytes at that time–had been captured or created by humans in the form of text, photos, videos etc. Ashton suggested that this was likely to change in the not too distant future as computers became capable of generating and collecting data by themselves, without human oversight.

Recently, researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) have shown how enabling technologies have rapidly matured and that the Internet of Things is ready for mainstream influence.

CSIRO’s researchers note the massive amounts of data that the Internet of Things generates will have to be routed, captured, analyzed, and acted upon in timely ways. However, they say the technology industry is still trying to develop an effective method for handling the new data.

For example, every year in Australia, biologists plan about one million plots of different types of grain to determine which grow the best in a wide variety of conditions. The biologists have developed a wireless sensor network that monitors the grain and sends the two million data points per week back to the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Center.

Other examples include various cloud-based services under development that will help manage sensors and the data they produce, such as city transportation networks that use sensor data to monitor the position of buses and trains. CSIRO’s Arkady Zaslavsky says these examples show that the Internet of Things is coming of age and growing at an exponential rate.  Article

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