17 Oct 2015

The internet of things

From This Way Up, 1:40 pm on 17 October 2015
Internet cables

Photo: 123RF

The term 'The Internet of Things' was first used way back in 1999 and describes a network of connected objects embedded with things like sensors, chips, and RFID tags that can exchange information with other parts of the network.  This means these objects have their own identity or address on the network and can emit data from that location.

So now your fridge tells you when you need milk, your car books itself in for a warrant, rubbish bins tell the council when they are full and need to be emptied....so-called 'smart buildings' adjust their ventilation systems to cope with air pollution readings or changing temperatures.

But what about the privacy implications of internet enabled objects and the data they capture? Philip Howard looks at some of these challenges and the opportunities is his book 'Pax Technica - how the internet of things may set us free or lock us up'.