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Future forecast October 16, 2008

Posted by jamiekim in Society, Technology.
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Forget Smart House or remote-controlled kitchens. Think bigger, better and—quite frankly—scarier.

Let us begin marinating in the idea of every physical “thing” being connected to the Internet.

Ovens telling fire alarms that it’s overheating. Showers telling toilets not to flush. Microchips embedded under the skins of cows electronically notifying farmers where the cows are grazing. 

No, I didn’t just make that up. There’s actually a name for this future forecast. Experts are calling it the Internet of Things.

Although the idea of having a smart ___what have you___ is appealing, I can’t imagine what the drawbacks to this technological advancement will be. Businesses, educational systems, hospitals—every industry may operate more efficiently. But certainly we will face the issue of dependency.

Cell phones, computers, the Web, iPods and other gadgets are already playing big roles in my daily life. Throwing physical “things” operating on their own unique IP addresses into the mix spells out nothing but dependency and convienence. 

Still, who knows how far into the future experts will connect “things” to the Internet. Experts say sometime between now and 2010, but things could go wrong. It may come decades from now when my interest in technology goes on a gradual decline and I’m Googling to keep my ageing brain youthful.

Regardless, I just hope they send me a memo so I can mentally prepare myself for it. I mean, what happens when the “Internet of things” experiences a technical difficulty?

The world just might end then.

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Comments»

1. addikit - October 16, 2008

What you described I can only see being implemented in homes of the wealthy and bored. iPods, laptops, cell phones, etc are a cheap convenience and they are getting more integrated with our lives. But a dependence? The world spun around just fine before the internet and technology boom.

2. jamie - October 16, 2008

Additkit:

I agree that the wealthy will implement what I’ve described first because the wealthy are usually the ones who implement any new technology first.

I was obviously being sarcastic in the last part of my post. While I agree that the world was fine and dandy before the Internet and technological boom, I think it’ll be very difficult for those who have access to all of the convenient, technological tools to revert back to the world as it was before. It’s not impossible, but it’ll be very hard because we have become dependent. Who’s not to say that the Internet of “things” won’t eventually become the way of life for all social classes?


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