Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some articles about the Internet of Things

An article [1] just pointed me to the fact that the vision of the Internet of Things is about ten years old now, after early work has started at Auto-ID Center at MIT. This was my trigger to search for current papers describing and discussing the Internet of Things.
A rather critical articel, [1], proposes to envision the Internet of Things as a hierarchy of objects with different capabilities instead of a network of fully peer connected items, as layed out in the early days of the Auto-ID Center [2]. In order to develop robust business cases, these heterogeneous requirements (tagging of strawberries, cheap items with short life-time, is different from cars with changing configurations) of objects have to be tackled with different technologies, e.g. barcode/RFID/sensor-networks. This is a reasonable argument against building an Internet of Things only RFID, RFID should be part of it, but others, barcode, as well.

Finally, I found a master thesis describing an art project about collecting and sharing stories about objects [3], which the authors calls an internet for things. It's probably not the killer-application but could be a nice consumer gadget for the EPCglobal architecture.

An interesting (but weired;) article is [4], where Rob Kranenburg (btw - the supervisor of [3]) argues for a society that should be in control of the (ubicomp) surveillance technologies it develops. The article is a little bit copious but provides nice arguments for why consumers should be empowered to play a mature role in an Internet of Things.

[1] Bob Williams, What is the Real Business Case for the Internet of Things?, Synthesis Journal, iTSC, 2008
[2] McFarlane, D.C., Sarma, S.E., Chirn, J.L., Wong, C.Y., and Ashton,
K., „The Intelligent Product in Manufacturing Control“, Journal of EAIA, July 2002
[3] Patrick Plaggenborg, Social RFID - internet for things, Master Thesis, Utrecht School of the Arts, August 2006.
[4] Rob van Kranenburg, The Internet of Things. A critique of ambient technology and the all-seeing network of RFID.

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