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The future of gadgets online: the Internet of Things

In this article, Professor Les Carr provides a succinct introduction to the future of gadgets online: the Internet of Things.
© University of Southampton

The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is an idea about what happens when you embed communications and intelligence into household appliances, white goods, street furniture, clothing, medical devices, vehicles and everything that we use.

Perhaps you think this sounds like a great futuristic dream, or perhaps you might think it’s a dystopian nightmare. (Try to imagine going back in time to 1989 and explaining ‘Twitter’ to the you from the past.)

Have a look at some hypothetical case studies for the IoT in the report Inspiring the Internet of Things! (this can be accessed from the link below in PDF format). It’s partly in the form of a comic book, to emphasise the sketchy view that we have of this future.

Do you think the ideas presented are credible or crazy – especially bearing in mind what you learned in the first week about the way that technology and society adapt to each other?

In keeping with the light-hearted comic book theme, here are some words that you might want to use in your evaluation: credible, crazy, crafty, cranky, credulous, creditable, creative, creepy, criminal, crucial, crude, cruel, cryptic.

Get cracking!

© University of Southampton
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