Ajit Jaokar is the founder of the London based publishing and research company futuretext (www.futuretext.com) focussed on emerging Web and Mobile technologies. In 2009-2010, Ajit was nominated as part of the Global Agenda Council on the Future...
When your yogurt pots start talking to you: Europe prepares for the internet revolution
In June 2009- the European Commission published its Plan for Action. 16 DG's collaborated together editorially to check the ideas and the content.This in itself should alert us that the Internet of Things is serious business: "Take one example: a suitcase itself can indicate which plane it should be sent to. This is possible thanks to Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID). With RFID, more and more objects communicate with each other, slowly creating a network of information, a so-called "internet of things". This network could potentially make our lives much easier… No need to worry about your suitcase being sent to the wrong plane anymore! But we must also be careful about how we use it, and avoid certain pitfalls."
To investigate, prototype, forecast, and help to build this vast range of 'no worry' to 'be careful' and 'avoid pitfalls', is the core of Council. The DG's certainly have a huge range of scenarios in between themselves but is it conceivable that they would go against implementing an Internet of Things? Is it possible that they have a common blindspot?
"Every day we see new examples of applications that connect objects to the internet and each other: from cars connected to traffic lights that fight congestion, to home appliances connected to smart power grids and energy metering that allows people to be aware of their electricity consumption or connected pedestrian footpaths that guide the visually impaired," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media.
"The promise of this new development of the internet is as limitless as the number of objects in our daily life it involves. However, we need to make sure that Europeans, as citizens, as entrepreneurs and as consumers, lead the technology, rather than the technology leading us."
We very much want to help Commissioner Redding in making that claim stick.