Beyond Web 2.0 : The Internet Of Things.
It seems like a chapter from a sci-fi book, but it is actually something that majority of us will live to see in our lifetime if we make it to old age, Some may experience the full version while others will see the basic elements of it. Its application in our everyday lives is beyond comprehension only our imagination can limit us to what we can do with it. It is called the Internet of things. Web 2.0 and social networking is child’s play regarding to the revolution mankind will see with the onset of IOT.
Note …”The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. The term Internet of Things was proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999 though the concept has been discussed in the literature since at least 1991.The concept of the Internet of Things first became popular through the Auto-ID Center at MIT and related market analysis publications.Radio-frequency identification (RFID) was seen as a prerequisite for the Internet of Things in the early days. If all objects and people in daily life were equipped with identifiers, they could be managed and inventoried by computers.Besides using RFID, the tagging of things may be achieved through such technologies as near field communication, barcodes, QR codes and digital watermarking” Definition Courtesy of
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Picture smart homes where one can control almost every aspect in the home while at work or in a foreign land thousands of miles away. You can switch off your fridge, turn on the light bulbs among many other things. This is some of what IOT will make possible.
Being a spatial planner I couldn’t fail to notice how IOT will revolutionize the way we plan for and plan our spaces be they urban or rural. Data on transportation, population will be second or minutes old. The IOT will bring with it new businesses and innovations that will be driven by Big data as each of the components of the IOT which will run into tens of billions of devices will be churning out data as billions of people are doing it now in various social media platforms .
Was watching a documentary Earth 2050 about how the future cities will be especially in terms of efficiency, fuel and livability technology will indeed play an integral part in the living space of 2050.It may seem like a dream but trust me these dreams will come to pass not through us waking up, but through us turning them into reality.
It is actually time for spatial planners especially those from countries in the global south to start courting techies and hack spaces to make them better and livable. Technology is an agent that can change a society 360 degrees and one would not have to burn tonnes of fuel to achieve such change compared to say Industrializing. It brings much joy to see normal people (Not Planners)helping make life in cities easier by sharing their experiences about things such as medical services (in terms of access and cost) ,about the various matatu routes, Initiatives like carpoolKe which helps in saving the planet through ensuring that car usage carbon footprint is minimized as many people use one car to commute to and from work, Technology has also worked at improving the lives of the rural communities through making it easier for them to access banking services through innovative products in the field of mobile money and also others like M-Farm that helps farmers get the best prices for their products in the markets. These are some of the things that I have seen technology do for my country Kenya I am sure wherever you are you have your story to relish and tell.
Let’s buckle up as we travel to the future of opportunities , the IOT.