Our connected world is getting bigger all the time. And not just through people with phones and computers. The number of devices connected to the internet is expected to surpass the total number of humans on Earth before the end of this year. Welcome to the brave new world called the internet of things.
It's not a new concept, but there have been some new developments of late that promise to make it more of a near-term reality.
As the New York Times reported yesterday, a consortium of big companies have agreed on a new open standard for machine-to-machine communication. This is already used in everything from healthcare devices to stock trading. But having open standards will make it easier for more devices all over the world, connecting via the mobile web, to speak the same language.
But they won't only talk to each other – connected things will need to talk to us too. It's a situation that has both complex technical issues as well as political and commercial challenges.
Bringing together those theoretical questions with practical applications of the technology, there is an upcoming conference on the internet of things: it's happening in Sao Paolo this May.
(No word on whether your fridge needs a separate invitation.)