Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch
….So yes, all those devices we now require may be nothing compared to a “modern” household of the future, where ubiquitous objects interact with us continuously.
Early uses of electricity in the 19th c. were for telegraphs, automobiles and lighting, and then a hundred years ago communications took a leap when telephones and radios in our homes allowed us to connect with the world in ways never before imagined.
We seem so very connected now, but soon it will be ever moreso, not simply to each other and abstract information and entertainment, but to things in our environment, and I don’t mean nature. That is, until they figure out a way to make sensors attached to trees which allow them to talk to us.
The term Internet of Things, has become empowered since a mention 15 years ago by a fellow who helped to create a global standard on RFID at MIT, that’s radio frequency identification, e.g. those tags or implants for tracking goods, people and animals. This term, now IoT, represents the coming world of internet connected, or smart devices. An example being an umbrella which glows when you should take it with you, as rain is predicted for that day. An EU initiative predicts “an ecosystem of smart applications and services which will improve and simplify EU citizens’ lives.”
Coming out this month is a book titled Enchanted Objects by David Ross, and Amazon’s offer of reading the first pages was certainly appreciated by me, anyway! It’s provocative stuff, even if not so exciting to a luddite like myself, but for me, more for reasons such as the environmental and even human tolls that may result, and that the ever dwindling natural world will be the only place we can disconnect. Or will we be able to?