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The Internet Technology

The Internet of Things and Humans 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the humans-are-communications-channels-for-our-gadgets dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Speculating the future of human computer interaction, Tim O'Reilly contemplates how humans and things cooperate differently when things get smarter. He says, '[S]o many of the most interesting applications of the Internet of Things involve new ways of thinking about how humans and things cooperate differently when the things get smarter. It really ought to be called the Internet of Things and Humans ... is Uber an #IoT application? Most people would say it is not; it’s just a pair of smartphone apps connecting a passenger and driver. But imagine for a moment the consumer end of the Uber app as it is today, and on the other end, a self-driving car. You would immediately see that as #IoT. ... Long before we get to fully autonomous devices, there are many “halfway house” applications that are really Internet of Things applications in waiting, which use humans for one or more parts of the entire system. When you understand that the general pattern of #IoTH applications is not just sensor + network + actuator but various combinations of human + network + actuator or sensor + network, you will broaden the possibilities for interfaces and business models."
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The Internet of Things and Humans

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  • In Montreal (Score:5, Funny)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:02AM (#46787491) Homepage Journal
    I think it would be a good idea for every pothole to have its own IP address so we can track how big it's getting, for example.
    • by tomhath (637240)
      In Philadelphia the have "roving pothole repair crews". A GPS tracking device on the potholes would seem appropriate there as well.
  • Dumbest trend ever (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:08AM (#46787543)

    The Internet of things is probably the worst thing that is being pushed right now, even worse than the cloud.

    • by smutt (35184)

      They're basically mututally exclusive. How can the trend be both; big intelligence in the cloud AND have lots of little intelligence in your home. They're mutually exclusive marketing tropes, and we're somehow expected to buy into both at the same time.

      • by datapharmer (1099455) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:38PM (#46788897) Homepage
        No, you don't understand. All the little internet connected things in your life like your thermostat with infrared sensor and tv with camera and xbox with 3d imager and phone with gps and toilet with butt activated hemorrhoid sensor all send their little bits of data back to the big intelligence in the cloud. This way the great data architects of Fort Meade know you need some anal cream, a diet, and some new pants. They might also recognize that you are a danger to yourself if you continue to play WoW. But if you stop playing you might be upset about your surroundings and be a danger to others, so you get a new online friend to help you play even more hours each day. I think the Internet of Things is quite Intelligently Designed. In fact, I think everyone else who supports it should all spread the word by using a hashtag for intelligently designed internet of things #IDIoT
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yep, looks like IoT is what cloud stuff was about five-six years ago. We already are in firefighting mode with enough security issues. Do we need to add a larger attack surface?

    With the track record of security, we should assume that every device can be seized and used by an attacker. That refrigerator? Shut off while on a trip. The stove? Turned on to start a residential fire with the "smart" fire alarms turned off.

    Lets have some security advances first, then people can have their Internet connected

  • the consumer end of the Uber app as it is today, and on the other end, a self-driving car.

    I'm quite capable of driving myself, including shifting gears. I don't need or want to rely on software to get me where I'm going. It's bad enough we have rearview cameras being shoved down our throats because people are too lazy or fat to turn around and look behind them, we don't need more technology to try and solve a human problem.
  • Internet of things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:16AM (#46787621)
    There was a time in my life when I would have thought the "Internet of Things" was really cool. Now, things like this are a huge turnoff to me because of constant surveillance by governments and corporations. The fun is over.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by alen (225700)

      so far the internet of things is like the late 90's
      when you can do the same thing with a computer using more effort and more money but it's cool because you are doing it with a computer and on the internet

      or for the crazy OCD freaks out there who need things to be absolutely perfect or they go bipolar

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      Even without the surveillance it is a turnoff because of the unnecessary liberal use of digital electronics in lieu of simple time-proven mechanisms rendering previously robust products more fragile and shorter-lived.

      • Yeah, I have wondered how many people bought a smart TV and never bothered to plug it into anything.
  • by hsmith (818216) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:26AM (#46787707)
    And websites can't even communicate with one another efficiently or at all.

    Yet, IoT advocates imagine within a few short years this magical IoT will create a system of intercommunicating hardware that will somehow work perfectly.

    Yeah ok.
    • by ctheme (2694307) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:45AM (#46787867)
      Really? Because from what Ghostery tells me, web services communicate with one another just fine.
      The problem is that it's not in my best interest for them to do so.
    • Yes they can. Especially the bad ones. They made cross site scripting into an art form.
    • When I step on my scale [withings.com], it tells me if I need to carry an umbrella today (based on the weather forecast it downloaded). Then it sends my weight etc. to my iPhone where it's merged with information from my fitness wristband [jawbone.com] and my diet tracker [myfitnesspal.com]. Based on that, I get suggestions like "you've been going to bed a little later than usual. You should catch up." or "drink more water today" or "try to walk this much further than you did yesterday".

      I think that's not so shabby.

  • And no, it will not be mindless Luddite sentiment. I enjoy the entirely visceral feel of driving a car or motorcycle equipped with a manual transmission. And the idea of internet enabled toasters and refrigerators are absurd.

    • by alen (225700) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:38AM (#46787799)

      yeah, but imagine your fridge linked to Fresh Direct or the Amazon grocery delivery service and automatically ordering food for you whether you want it to or not. Epicness

      or you can put your bread into the toaster at night and then use your phone to toast it the next morning before you get out of the shower so you don't have to do it manually

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I wouldn't be surprised to see solenoid activated locks on my fridge requiring sitting through a 5 minute ad from Safeway in order to open the door... only to find that a hacker turned the temperature of the fridge up so everything is spoiled inside...

        Or even worse, the fridge won't open until the chip on a new gallon of milk is scanned because it will "expire" anything and block access at an arbitrary date, similar to how ink in some inkjets expire.

    • And the idea of internet enabled toasters and refrigerators are absurd.

      A lot of stuff that I read on the Internet . . . looks like it has been posted by toasters an refrigerators.

      The problem with tech these days, is that too many people are jumping in because they think it is a gold mine. All they need to do, is throw a bit of money and time at it, and they will be the next Gates, Bezos or, aptly named, Zuckerberg ("pile of sugar", in German). I think there will be some very excellent ideas in there with all the trash and gimmicks. But the ratio of crap to good will be abo

  • #IoT is more-or-less a synonym for Sky-Net in it's infancy.

    Think about it: The devices and appliances get smarter by studying humanity. Watching, collecting data, adjusting response, eliminating (or suggesting the elimination of) steps in the chain.

    How long before humans get edited out completely, and the machine simply builds itself around us? How long after that before we're no longer needed in the flow-chart of its designs?

    Just food for thought, here. I don't like the idea of my fridge coordinating with

    • by unimacs (597299)
      That is one possibility and I do have some real concerns about it. There are all kinds of ways to misuse technology.

      On the other hand, have you ever sat at a stoplight and waited... and waited, for the light to change when nobody is coming from any other direction? It not only wastes your time, it's a waste of our resources and contributes to our pollution problems. This is the kind of problem that having better communications between devices or devices and humans can solve.
  • .... make it stop!

    Computers are things. It's always been an "Internet of Things".

    "Internet of Things" is as stupid as if we suddenly started saying "highway of cars". It's both true and free of meaning at the same time ... which I suppose is a weird sort of achievement.

    And no, calling it HoC wouldn't make "highway of cars" any more hip. Just stupider.

  • Ha ha, apparently proselytizing about the "Internet of Things" is trendy again. Don't hold your breath kids; until IPv6 is a thing that's really a thing, enjoy your "small home network of things", where your game console, thermostat and toaster have 192.168.x.x IP addresses dangling from your cablemodem, and require a 3rd-party cloud service to mediate contact with your neighbor's toaster.

    Seriously though... if anybody but major datamining companies are going to get remotely enthusiastic about this IoT shen

  • Can the Internet of Things stop people from using inappropriate hashtags in long-form content? If so, then please sign me up.

  • Are there any benefits to having everything connected to just one vast address space? I certainly can't spot them. I think this is a solution to a problem that has already been solved in another (and better) way.

    Although I may concede that it could potentially be useful to have a larger address space, I think it would be massively stupid to start frittering it away on insignificant frivolities like an "internet of things". I mean, would you want your fridge to have 'friends' on Facebook or start tweeting ab

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