Analysts call this concept of everything being accessible, the
Internet of Things. It refers to almost any
electronic device having an Internet Protocol (IP address) so it
can be uniquely identified, and of course to also be connected.
In this case, the man who lost his laptop computer to a thief
was able to connect to the computer and use the built-in webcam to
take a picture of the thief. After this was sent to the police, he
ended up being able to recover the stolen equipment. Of course the
newspaper presented it as a good news story – all the
more remarkable as distances of thousands of miles were also
But we don't think of distance when sending an email. Using
the Internet is not like the old days of making a fixed line
telephone call, with a different price depending on the physical
distance between the two fixed points.
Thanks to tools such as Slingbox, it's becoming fairly
normal for many to access their own TV and video collection from
anywhere. Your TV might be in London, automatically recording shows
you like while you are away in Hong Kong on business. With remote
access enabled, you can use a laptop to hook up to the TV allowing
you to watch your recorded programmes.
This is all normal now. But the Internet of Things goes far
beyond just being able to access TV programmes remotely. Imagine if
every lock in every door was IP-enabled, if every security access
in every office was IP-enabled, if every financial transaction was
made on an IP-enabled device... the list goes on.
Soon, almost every electrical product will be IP-enabled and the
possibilities for applications are endless. Soon the newspapers
will be full of ads for fridges that can let you know whether you
need any butter or not, not just computer engineers getting their
stolen computers back. What may seem fantastic is about to become
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A discussion on the predictions for the IT law developments in 2013.
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