220px-Patch_PanelOur collegues Jeff Yang and Andrew Hawn have been at CES – the world’s whizziest and largest of the annual computer shows. Jeff had some reflections on the Internet of Things at the CNN blog. Here’s an extract:

This year, at the annual gargantuan gadget gathering known as CES, the titans of technology stood on stage to deliver virtually the same message, one after the other: We have arrived at a turning point in human society — one in which the world around us is so deeply embedded with intelligent electronic objects that we can essentially outsource huge aspects of our life to them!

Personal fitness. Family communications. Home management. And now that our devices are becoming interlinked as a vast always-on network, they don’t even need to be supervised anymore — our stuff can handle all of these irritating tasks just by talking with each another.

The buzzword for this idea is the “Internet of Things.” And if truth be told, the IoT (as it’s been hastily acronymed) sounds…pretty cool! …

But as you can tell, the problem with Internet of Things is that it depends on your having the right things — “smart,” “connected” things. And LG and Samsung and Sony and the other brands that paid millions to appear at CES aren’t exactly handing them out for free.

The bottom line is that it all sounds great, until you realize that unlike the infrastructure of the Internet, which was laid down by the Department of Defense, major universities and cable and telecom companies, or of the wireless world, whose antennas are paid for by mobile operators, the bill for the IoT’s infrastructure is coming out of your own wallet (Wocket has one that digitally stores up to 10,000 credit cards, syncs with your smartphone and unlocks with your fingerprint, for just $150). And the smarter and more connected your devices are…the thinner that wallet is going to be.

You can read the whole post over at CNN.

The image of a domestic patch panel is courtesy of Wikipedia


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