by Stephen Downes
Jul 17, 2015
The Economic Potential of The Internet of Thing
Article identifying 9 distinct 'settings' where we'll find the internet of things (IoT). Settings are "the physical environments in which these various systems and applications are deployed." Examples of the settings include:
- Human - Monitor and promote improved health, wellness, fitness, and productivity using personal wearable devices and appliances
- Home - Energy management, security, safety, and automation of home chores
- Retail Spaces - Automated checkout, layout optimization, customer care, real-time personalized promotions
According to the article, "McKinsey estimates that the total economic impact of the applications it sized in these 9 IoT settings is $4 trillion to $11 trillion per year by 2025."
Turning self-assessments into powerful engagement tools
I'm sure most Facebook users remember the appeal of the spate of Buzzfeed quizzes that made the rounds last year. The Facebook algorithm has since moved on to promoting other branded content, but it remains true that quizzes - especially quizzes about oneself - remain an excellent way to engage readers. And this is the basis for this post.
The Web We Have to Save
When blogger Hossein Derakhshan - also known as 'Hoder' - emerged from six years of jail in Iran, he encountered an internet very different from the one that existed the last time he blogged. "The hyperlink represented the open, interconnected spirit of the world wide web... The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralization — all the links, lines and hierarchies — and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks... I’ve realized how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete.Nearly every social network now treats a link as just the same as it treats any other object — the same as a photo, or a piece of text."
The Next Wave
Although it feels like the future is rushing forward at us, argues John Markoff, in fact, right now, it's on a pause. "In the last two years, the price of each transistor has stopped falling." We're seeing advances in pattern recognition technology and in robots (which will arrive just in time to address labour shortages expected in China and Japan), but the fundamental discoveries underlying new paradigms are on hold. We have been in the mobile age since 2007 (yes, that long, almost a decade). "You see applied research everywhere. Even the national labs, you see projects that are intended to find ways to commercialize technology. The notion of science for science's sake is under assault." Two questions, then: in the short term, what happens when we collective hit 'pause' on Moore's Law? And second, in the long term, what comes next?
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