The Next Internet Will Be Driven by Smart Objects

Posted by Yael Maguire on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 @ 05:44 PM

Tags: Sensors, Google, IBM, Smart products, Microsoft, Next Internet

Smart products fuse together electronics, software, sensors and network connections to provide a wide range of new capabilities. Smart objects can:

  • Measure, sense, see and report on their surroundings
  • Respond to changes in their environment
  • Interact with other smart objects, people, and IT systems in entirely new ways
  • Adapt to the unique needs of businesses and people

From trucks that can track what’s in them to critical care medical devices that know exactly where they are in crowded hospitals, smart objects are changing how we build and use products.

Microsoft, IBM and Google all recognize the growing role smart objects are playing in our lives. Microsoft’s Vision for 2019 video shows a world of flexible displays, touch screens and seamless data integration across smart objects that recognize and respond to one another and to the world around them.

Google talks about the Next Internet being a place where connected smart objects constantly exchange information and adjust and act based on the needs of the user.

IBM’s view is "The planet will be instrumented, interconnected, intelligent."

Many smart objects of the near future will comprise one or more wireless technologies to connect their state to the internet. At ThingMagic, we believe that ultimately, passive and semi-passive RFID will define the largest segment of this -- because these radios do not require batteries or can parasitically draw power from their environment -- all objects which do not have sources of power (the majority of objects humans create) have the potential to be tagged.

We are inventing and producing technology that helps give smart objects their intelligence. Our RFID readers, for example, act analogously to a WiFi router for laptops and smartphones, by connecting objects to the network and provide the ability to identify and track assets. And, in our labs, we are working on sensor technologies that will give objects the ability to analyze and respond to their environment without human intervention.

Smart objects can change the world for the better. Focusing of our food supply for a moment, think of the truck that knows when spinach has been contaminated by E. coli even before it arrives at the next distribution point. In the home, people have spoken for many years about the milk telling your fridge to re-order itself due to spoilage or short supply. We are finally at a cusp in time where this could be possible AND economically feasible.

It is an exciting vision. And a vision that we are proud and excited to be part of.

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