May 15, 2014
Pew Study Predicts ‘Internet Of Things’ Will Be Everpresent By 2025
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
It has become the new buzz phrase: "The Internet of Things" and chances are you'll likely hear it a lot more, or it could become such a part of everyday life that it will just be the new normal.
Pew Research, along with Elon University Imagining the Internet Center, canvassed more than 1,600 experts about the Internet of Things to determine where this might be headed by 2025.
A February 2014 report from the Pew Internet Project, which was the first part of a sustained effort to mark the 25th anniversary of the Web, examined the strikingly fast adoption of the Internet and focused on the generally positive attitudes users have had about its role in their social environment. The overall verdict of the study found that the Internet has been a "plus" for society but more importantly it has been very good for individual users.
The March 2014 Digital Life in 2025 report, which was conducted in association with Elon University, pondered the future of the Internet in the next decade. The general opinion of the experts and stakeholders was that if the Internet could become so deeply part of the environment that it could reach the level that electricity plays in our lives today -- it is less visible but increasingly more important in people's daily lives.
"The (1,600 tech) experts (canvassed) say the next digital revolution is the often-invisible spread of the Internet of Things," Janna Anderson, director of the Internet Center and co-author of the report, told USA Today.
"They expect positive change in health, transportation, shopping, industrial production and the environment," she added. "But they also warn about the privacy implications of this new data-saturated world and the complexities involved in making networked devices work together."
According to the survey respondents, the Internet of Things could become all the more evident in a plethora of ways. One notable sector that is already growing is in wearables and other wearable technology. The respondents suggested that the Internet of Things won't be just something we use but could become part of our body with a variety of health- and fitness-related trackers.
The respondents added that technology will increasingly be used to connect our homes -- with remote controlling of climate, security and maintenance -- and our communities, aiding in commutes and controlling infrastructure.
The Internet of Things could also be used to monitor supply chains, allowing for greater manufacture and distribution of goods, while it could provide real-time updates about the environment as a whole.
"Here are the easy facts: In 2008, the number of Internet-connected devices first outnumbered the human population, and they have been growing far faster than have we," said expert respondent Patrick Tucker, author of The Naked Future: What Happens In a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? "There were 13 billion Internet-connected devices in 2013, according to Cisco, and there will be 50 billion in 2020. These will include phones, chips, sensors, implants, and devices of which we have not yet conceived."
In other words this could truly become the new normal. To make sense of it, the concept could also finally have a new definition for the Internet of Things, which The Guardian newspaper reported would be: "A global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers in a world-spanning information fabric known as the Internet of Things."