Although it’s not growing as fast as some people thought a year ago, the Internet of Things continues to be deployed.
we often think of the sensors and other aspects of the Internet of
Things being part of the management of large cities or industrial
enterprises, some of the most interesting developments have occurred,
but gone largely unnoticed, on the farm.
A few weeks ago, two articles about this appeared – “The Dawn Of The Smart Farmer: Sowing Sensors And Connecting Crops” and a blog by Steve Lohr (one of the NY Times very best technology reporters) “The Internet of Things and the Future of Farming”.
things that are being connected have, so far, been digital devices. But
the Korean company Naran is introducing a micro-robot, called the Push.
Any non-digital switch, like a light switch, can be controlled by this
nearby device, which in turn is connected to a small Prota computer that
tells the little robot when to turn the switch on or off based on a set
of rules set up by the user. There’s also a smartphone app for
preparing these rules or simply controlling the robot directly.
Perhaps the greatest potential
of the Internet of Things is as a step to other ways of extending the
Internet. The University of Virginia announced a new way to use regular LED lights:
like using fiber optics to communicate – only without the fiber.
Imagine connecting to the Internet through the same room lights that
brighten your day. A University of Virginia engineering professor and
her former graduate student are already there… Their breakthrough means
that data can be transmitted faster with light waves using no more
energy than is already required to run the lights.”
problems, like security, are always an issue, even in surprising
quarters. Vint Cerf, the unofficial father of the Internet and Chief
Internet Evangelist at Google, worries that the software behind the
Internet of Things has bugs. Last week, he publicly confessed that “Sometimes I’m terrified by it”.
Andy Greenberg of WIRED magazine has been particularly active reporting on these issues. In July, he wrote how “Hackers Can Disable a Sniper Rifle—Or Change Its Target”.
In July, starting with another article in WIRED,
the hacking of cars built by major American car manufacturers made big
news. That led to a recall that was a nuisance, a necessary nuisance,
for car owners.
On a more positive note earlier this month, another reporter at WIRED followed up with an article titled “Researchers Hacked a Model S, But Tesla’s Already Released a Patch”
noting that the same Internet of Things which opened up a vulnerability
could also be used by smart companies to close those doors quickly.
© 2015 Norman Jacknis, All Rights Reserved