The Internet of Everything (IoE) represents the next “world-changing” revolution, after the Industrial Revolution of 1750 – 1900, and following the Computer & Internet revolution which started in the 1950’s. It is an exciting scenario in which objects, personal devices, even animals communicate, take Intelligent decisions, and autonomous actions on their own without human interaction. This revolution will completely transform industrial sectors and the entire world, for all of us, in ways as powerful as the Industrial Revolution and even more. It is our future, and it is happening now.
How is it happening? For an Evolution of Technologies, and with a Revolution of Minds…
TECHNOLOGIES… the Evolution
From a technology point of view, the Internet of Everything has evolved from the convergence of new advancements related to the Internet, Wireless solutions, and micro-biochip/sensors.
INTERNET Evolution: the advent of the latest Internet Protocol (named IPv6) enables an astonishing increase in the address space, which is a key factor for the Internet of Everything. With this new Internet protocol (IPv6), we can now assign a unique identifier to “everything” on the planet… or, actually, “to every atom on the surface of the earth, and still have enough addresses left to do another 100+ earths”.
WIRELESS Evolution: Once identified with IPv6, all “things” on the planet need to communicate with other “things”. Recent wireless advancements address this need with different types of networks and specific strengths. Low energy short range networks (e.g. NFC and Bluetooth) for wearables, very-high speed networks (e.g. 4G LTE) for cars, Zigbee and Wi-Fi -similar technologies for smart homes /smart cities, and vertical solutions for industrial “IoE” scenarios. All of this for free or at a very low cost.
SENSORS Evolution: inexpensive but powerful sensors are one of the biggest enablers of the Internet of Everything. We are experiencing a continuous vertical drop in the cost of electronic sensors, with their proliferation in devices of any kind. This enables “Internet of Everything” cheap devices to become “alive”,increasingly utilizing images, motion, touch, as well as sounds and environment sensors (including new technologies that react to smell, moisture, smart textiles, smart pavement, etc).
MINDS… the Revolution
SELF-ORGANIZATION Revolution: With processing costs declined by nearly 60x over the last few years, Internet of Everything devices are becoming not just connected but “brilliant” in their ability to decide what to do on their own. New microprocessors are enabling low-cost devices to take actions either independently or with other “things”, in a Self-Organized-Network (SON) flavor. Furthermore, the rich amount of data that devices generate (thanks to sensors) and receive (thanks to wireless) is strengthening this SON revolution, making “things” self-aware, predictive, reactive, and collaborative.
VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE Revolution: in the new era of the Internet of Everything, we expect intelligence to become either more and more “localized” or, in the opposite direction, “virtualized”. This is a revolution pointing towards two divergent trends. On one extreme, machine brains will reside close to the action, as in “Self-Organized” devices with intelligence “distributed” at network edges, for prioritizing speed. On the opposite extreme, intelligence will be “virtualized” in software-defined machine infrastructures, decoupling machines software from hardware. This means intelligence and data to be outside of local devices, often thousands of kilometers away, enabling “Internet of Everything“ central machines to remotely and automatically operate local devices.
DATA EVERYTHING Revolution: Billions of machines which communicate with each other, enriched with endless kinds of sensors, will generate a prodigious explosion of data. In addition, people connected 24×7 in “socials” and human-thing interactions will add up to this data flow. We are talking about a completely different order of magnitude from today’s so-called “Big Data”. Notably, making sense of this paramount information, through advanced analytics that sift through data, is probably the biggest challenge for the Internet of Everything, and many new technologies are addressing this space.
One final question arises: what roles will we (humans) have in the “Internet of Everything” future? I think many opportunities arise for all of us, with our creativity and adaptive competences! Please feel free to contact me and share your point of view.
This blog post is the personal view of the author and do not express the views or opinions of Capgemini.