The next wave in the era of computing will be outside the realm of the traditional desktop. In the Internet of Things paradigm, everything of value will be on the network in one form or another. Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) and sensor network technologies will give rise to this new standard, in which information and communication are invisibly embedded in the environment around us. Everyday objects, such as cars, coffee cups, refrigerators, bathtubs, and more advanced, loosely coupled, computational and information services will be in each others’ interaction range and will communicate with one another. Large amounts of data will circulate in order to create smart and proactive environments that will significantly enhance both the work and leisure experiences of people. Smart interacting objects that adapt to the current situation without any human involvement will become the next logical step to people already connected anytime and anywhere.
With the growing presence of WiFi and 3G wireless Internet access, the evolution toward ubiquitous information and communication networks is already evident nowadays. However, for the Internet of Things vision to successfully emerge, the computing criterion will need to go beyond traditional mobile computing scenarios that use smartphones and portables, and evolve into connecting everyday existing objects and embedding intelligence into our environment.
For technology to disappear from the consciousness of the user, the Internet of Things demands: (1) a shared understanding of the situation of its users and their appliances, (2) software architectures and pervasive communication networks to process and convey the contextual information to where it is relevant, and (3) the computational artifacts in the Internet of Things that aim for autonomous and smart behavior. With these three fundamental grounds in place, smart connectivity and context-aware computation via anything, anywhere, and anytime can be accomplished.
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