Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Internet of Things will mushroom by 2025: report

  • Print
The Nest smoke- and carbon-monoxide detectors communicate with each other.

NHAT V. MEYER / BAY AREA NEWS GROUP / MCT Enlarge Image

The Nest smoke- and carbon-monoxide detectors communicate with each other.

If you thought the world was wired today, wait until 2025.

Our bodies, homes and workplaces will be sensor-filled, spawning both big leaps in quality of life and vexing questions about everything from privacy rights to the reliability of these smart systems, according to a new report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center Internet Project and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center.

"The (1,600 tech) experts (canvassed) say the next digital revolution is the often-invisible spread of the Internet of Things," says Janna Anderson, director of the Internet Center and co-author of the report.

"They expect positive change in health, transportation, shopping, industrial production and the environment. But they also warn about the privacy implications of this new data-saturated world and the complexities involved in making networked devices work together," she says.

We already see glimpses of this world today in Fitbit's bracelet health monitors and Nest's smoke- and carbon-monoxide detectors that communicate with each other and the homeowner. But the machines are rising up fast: In 2013, there were 13 billion Internet-connected devices, and that number will soar to 50 billion in 2020, Cisco Systems says.

The upside? "The net effect will be to reduce waste," wrote J.P. Rangaswami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com. "The quality of real-time information that becomes available will take the guesswork out of much of the capacity-planning and decision-making."

The downside? "Every part of our life will be quantifiable and eternal, and we will answer to the community for our decisions," wrote social-media educator Laurel Papworth. "For example, skipping the gym will have your gym shoes auto-tweet to the peer-to-peer health insurance network that will decide to degrade your premiums."

The techies whose brains were mined for the report -- experts ranging from social scientist Danah Boyd to Google chief economist Hal Varian -- painted a picture of the future that will challenge current norms of information access as well as cause some to opt out at a potential cost of emotional and employment stability.

"There will be an expectation that successful living as a human will require being equipped with pricey accoutrements," wrote librarian K.G. Schneider. "(This) makes me concerned that as the digital divide widens, people left behind will be increasingly invisible."

For those who do opt in, there will be a need for what Webby Awards founder and filmmaker Tiffany Schlain calls "technology Shabbats," during which she unplugs one day a week. " 'Can we talk?' will have new meaning," she writes.

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 16, 2014 B16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - Take It Easy

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.
  • Challenges of Life- Goose Goslings jump over railway tracks to catch up to their parents at the Canadian Pacific Railway terminalon Keewatin St in Winnipeg Thursday morning. The young goslings seem to normally hatch in the truck yard a few weeks before others in town- Standup photo- ( Day 4 of Bryksa’s 30 day goose project) - Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the city grant mosquito buffer zones for medical reasons only?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google