I’m interested in the Internet of Things. I do believe that this is the next major advancement of the technology that every one of us uses. Outside of the “edtech” bubble (I use the word lightly despite of its connotations in IT ;)…) it’s a hot topic. Well, if not hot…maybe something of a pot-boiler. The IoT is definitely something though that is very much a horizon topic when it comes to technology assisted teaching and learning.
However, the system has been slowly but steadily taking shape and people who keep a track of movements in the world of technology can’t have escaped the buzz around the topic of mobile payments through Near Field Communication (NFC). This week Google (in partnership with US mobile operator, Sprint, Citi and MasterCard) have announced their initiative in this space, calling it ‘Google Wallet’. Well…I believe what we’re seeing now is just the beginning. These bullet points aren’t separate things…they’re just a way of me organising my thoughts (and pitch, if you will). So…here goes:
- The IoT will only really capture hearts & minds (ie. interest & creative thinking) through people seeing where there is human interaction…as in, not just a bunch of networked objects but how they relate to us, how we can involve ourselves in it
- NFC is the vehicle through which humans will interact with ‘things’ – objects, buildings, environments – through our personal technologies (yeah…at first…phones)
- The business case of mobile payments will drive recognition, uptake, understanding and acceptance of NFC.
- More businesses will latch onto the use of mobile payments, driving demand which will lead to more and more mobile devices implementing the technology (I’m looking at you, iPhone)
- As the devices become equipped, innovation in other areas will start to appear and grow as the technology moves toward ubiquity
- Everyday objects will begin to be tagged. Information services around environments will start to be delivered and people will embrace the added value of common transactions and communications with all manner of their daily lives
- The use (and proliferation) of sensors; networked and interfaced and made accessible to people, will open up opportunities for growth and improvement to everyday life. Sensors in environments and in the devices that we carry with us, connecting us to our surroundings
- Google Wallet is the first high profile innovation & implementation that will kickstart it all
Not to say that Google have invented all this. This has been talked about for a long time now but I feel it’s only really now that we have the technology so embedded in everyday life to make it really happen and I think that Google’s initiative will pave the way as an early pioneer in this space.
There’ll be upsets, accidents, cock ups, accusations over privacy and security and general, all round naysaying (isn’t there always). But the Internet of Things, Everyware, Ubicomp…it was always going to be a sea change and hugely disruptive. And it’s going to have growing pains.
But, I think, I believe, I’m seeing the birth of it starting to become real. And I’m excited about it.
Oh and, yeah, this probably reads as very idealistic and a little bit exciteable. But then I do tend to be to be honest.
For a quick look at coverage of Google Wallet I’ve picked out this article at Engadget…but it is late as I write this and there are no doubt more in-depth or simply more interesting articles out there right now. I shall have to update.