The most impressive about our contemporary networked society for me is that everything we know and everything we are currently using – in regards to the media and the internet – will be a part of ‘the history and development of the internet’ for the students studying the media at university in less than ten years time, and the things they will learn will be so much more advanced than what we think is advanced today.
I think it is absolutely interesting to think a little bit further into the future and, once in a while, have a look at the newest stage of development of the internet. Here, I want to mention the Internet of Things (IoT) again, because I really believe that (for example) implanted sensors in physical objects – which enable objects to be connected to the Internet, to be able to identify themselves to other devices, and to give us detailed information about their current state – will be a part of our everyday lives soon. The idea behind it is that computers knowing everything there is to know about things (such as material, resistance,…) will help us humans to be able to track and count everything, and reduce waste and costs. And we would know when things need replacing, repairing, or recalling. (Because the affected object gives us this information itself).
We are already using the technology to some extend. But, in a few years time, it will reach a whole new level. Yesterday, I read this on the InternetOfBusiness website (from the 16th of March):
Facebook has a new US patent which will allow it to control personal Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
With the Internet of Things now starting to become established in the home, this could represent a big addition to Facebook’s range of activities – and a change in direction.
The social network is currently focussed on allowing people to interact with other people. This new patent would augment that, and allow people to interact with things.
The patent includes examples of the kinds of ‘machines’ that might be controlled. These include a thermostat, an automobile, a drone, a toaster, a computer, a refrigerator, an air conditioner, a robot, a vacuum, an actuator, and a heater.
It does sound a little bit crazy and I am not sure to what extend the source is absolutely reliable, but I can imagine it. There are already human- like robots in progress (which is definitely scary for everyone who’s watched Ex Machina or the show Humans), so I don’t think there are any limits of implementing IoT in our already so networked society. It brings both, many risks and many opportunities. Robots could potentially become smarter than our human brains. But, I still believe that nothing will ever be able to completely compete against humans.