We are entering the Telemetric Age.
A majority answered "yes" to the question and noted that this Internet of Things would become like "electricity," less visible even as it becomes more important in people's lives. Most believe there will soon be:
- "A global, immersive, invisible, ambient network computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers in a world-spanning information fabric."
- " 'Augmented reality" enhancements to the real-world input that people perceive through the use of portable/ wearable/implantable technologies."
- "Disruption of business models established in the 20th century (most notably impacting finance, entertainment, publishers of all sort, and education)."
- "Tagging, databasing, and intelligent analytical mapping of the physical and social realms."
In their overview of this report, Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie sum up what this all means for our everyday activities at home and at work:
- "Bodies: Many people will wear devices that let them connect to the Internet and will give them feedback on their activities, health and fitness. They will also monitor others (their children or employees, for example) who are wearing sensors, or moving in and out of places that have sensors."
- "Homes: People will be able to control nearly everything remotely, from how their residences are heated and cooled to how often their gardens are watered. Homes will have sensors that warn about everything from prowlers to broken water pipes."
- "Communities: Embedded devices and smartphone apps will enable more efficient transportation and give readouts on pollution levels. 'Smart systems' might deliver electricity and water more efficiently and warn about infrastructure problems."
- "Goods and services: Factories and supply chains will have sensors and readers that more precisely track materials to speed up and smooth out the manufacture and distribution of goods."
- "Environment: There will be real-time readings from fields, forests, oceans and cities about pollution levels, soil moisture, and resource extraction that allow for closer monitoring of problems."
The Internet of Things is growing very quickly. According to the company Cisco, there were 13 billion devices in 2013 and there will be 50 billion in 2020. "These will include phones, chops, sensors, implants, and devices which we have not yet conceived," says Patrick Tucker author of The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? "We are entering the telemetric age — an age where we create information in everything that we do. And computation continues to grow less costly, we will incorporate more data-collecting devices into our lives."