The above image, taken from this prezi by Teodor Mitew, is something that really surprised me when I first read it – “the number of things connected to the Internet exceeded the number of people on earth.” Perhaps when I think about it more, it makes perfect sense for the number of connections to the Internet to supersede the number of humans, but I suppose it is just a little bit frightening to truly realise how inferior we are to the power of the Internet.
This concept is known as the Internet of Things (IoT) – put simply, any object connected to the Internet. But in a more complex, conceptual form, it is an environment where objects transcend their materiality, becoming sociable, self-disclosing data streams. When I say ‘any object connected to the Internet’, I really mean this. Not just computers or technology, but animals, cars, clothing, fridges … you name it. Most interestingly, I’ve found that the Internet, or more specifically, wireless sensors, can now allow cows to communicate with humans. Well almost. The sensors are able to notify farmers when cows are either sick or pregnant, making it a lot easier to take care of cattle and saving a lot of time and money. Each cow transmits about 200mb of data each year. The meme below explores this data sharing, highlighting the way the Internet has bridged a connection between so many networks.
It is incredible to see how far the Internet of Things has come so far and we are only just getting started. I personally can’t wait to be able to speak to animals.