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The Internet of Things and Humans

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the humans-are-communications-channels-for-our-gadgets dept.

The Internet 55

An anonymous reader writes "Speculating the future of human computer interaction, Tim O'Reilly contemplates how humans and things cooperate differently when things get smarter. He says, '[S]o many of the most interesting applications of the Internet of Things involve new ways of thinking about how humans and things cooperate differently when the things get smarter. It really ought to be called the Internet of Things and Humans ... is Uber an #IoT application? Most people would say it is not; it’s just a pair of smartphone apps connecting a passenger and driver. But imagine for a moment the consumer end of the Uber app as it is today, and on the other end, a self-driving car. You would immediately see that as #IoT. ... Long before we get to fully autonomous devices, there are many “halfway house” applications that are really Internet of Things applications in waiting, which use humans for one or more parts of the entire system. When you understand that the general pattern of #IoTH applications is not just sensor + network + actuator but various combinations of human + network + actuator or sensor + network, you will broaden the possibilities for interfaces and business models."

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#lot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787473)

what's #lot supposted to refer to? I don't see it set up anywhere in the article description

Re:#lot? (3, Funny)

mpicker0 (411333) | about 5 months ago | (#46787541)

Presumably #IoT = Internet of Things. But #I guess we're #supposed to invent #clever #hashtags for everything #now.

Re:#lot? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787581)

Presumably #IoT = Internet of Things. But #I guess we're #supposed to invent #clever #hashtags for everything #now.

Yes, that's what it is. What do you expect from the retards pushing this "#IoT"?

Re:#lot? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787837)

Who the fuck uses hashtags anyway? It's not Twitter users because only 13.3 percent of them use it [slashdot.org] .

Using hashtags as if it were a thing is as stupid as companies sending people to their fucking Facebook page instead of their own corporate website.

Here's a fucking hint: Twitter and Facebook are dying.

Re:#lot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46789033)

Since we're talking about #hashtags I feel it is entirely appropriate to put a #hashtag in front of every use of the word #hashtag. What are your thoughts? #debate #slashdot #curious #tech #technology #iot

Re:#lot? (0)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 months ago | (#46787979)

some kind of twitter twat babble? Sad because the author's picture shows he should be much too old and mature to bother with such rubbish

In Montreal (4, Funny)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#46787491)

I think it would be a good idea for every pothole to have its own IP address so we can track how big it's getting, for example.

Re:In Montreal (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#46788071)

In Philadelphia the have "roving pothole repair crews". A GPS tracking device on the potholes would seem appropriate there as well.

Re:In Montreal (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 months ago | (#46788893)

...so the roving crews know where not to drive...

the disorientalization of us (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787499)

we look away from the truth because we're already as uncomfortable as we can be? condolences mexico, you'll be 'submitted' at a time when you are stuff that matters

Dumbest trend ever (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787543)

The Internet of things is probably the worst thing that is being pushed right now, even worse than the cloud.

Re:Dumbest trend ever (2)

smutt (35184) | about 5 months ago | (#46788413)

They're basically mututally exclusive. How can the trend be both; big intelligence in the cloud AND have lots of little intelligence in your home. They're mutually exclusive marketing tropes, and we're somehow expected to buy into both at the same time.

Re:Dumbest trend ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46788863)

They're mutually exclusive marketing tropes, and we're somehow expected to buy into both at the same time.

No, in their world, all of the Internet Things get their smarts from the cloud. Totally bass-ackwards but that's the way they think it'll work best...after all, if the little things need the cloud to work, that means they can peak at your things data whenever they want to market new things to you, it's a win-win-win-win for them.

Re:Dumbest trend ever (3, Funny)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 5 months ago | (#46788897)

No, you don't understand. All the little internet connected things in your life like your thermostat with infrared sensor and tv with camera and xbox with 3d imager and phone with gps and toilet with butt activated hemorrhoid sensor all send their little bits of data back to the big intelligence in the cloud. This way the great data architects of Fort Meade know you need some anal cream, a diet, and some new pants. They might also recognize that you are a danger to yourself if you continue to play WoW. But if you stop playing you might be upset about your surroundings and be a danger to others, so you get a new online friend to help you play even more hours each day. I think the Internet of Things is quite Intelligently Designed. In fact, I think everyone else who supports it should all spread the word by using a hashtag for intelligently designed internet of things #IDIoT

Yep, IoT is the latest buzzword... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787561)

Yep, looks like IoT is what cloud stuff was about five-six years ago. We already are in firefighting mode with enough security issues. Do we need to add a larger attack surface?

With the track record of security, we should assume that every device can be seized and used by an attacker. That refrigerator? Shut off while on a trip. The stove? Turned on to start a residential fire with the "smart" fire alarms turned off.

Lets have some security advances first, then people can have their Internet connected blenders.

Re:Yep, IoT is the latest buzzword... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787671)

Set sail for fail!

Re:Yep, IoT is the latest buzzword... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46788907)

IoT will prompt many to make a game of it. Perhaps ID should get in front of it? Announce a real game: ID IoT

Think that would be vaporware in the Clouds?

Re:Yep, IoT is the latest buzzword... (1)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | about 5 months ago | (#46793179)

Worse, that refrigerator and stove will be commandeered to send more spam!

No thanks (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 months ago | (#46787619)

the consumer end of the Uber app as it is today, and on the other end, a self-driving car.

I'm quite capable of driving myself, including shifting gears. I don't need or want to rely on software to get me where I'm going. It's bad enough we have rearview cameras being shoved down our throats because people are too lazy or fat to turn around and look behind them, we don't need more technology to try and solve a human problem.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787639)

Besides, you just fucking know all these self-driving cars and things connected to the Internet are going to be used both by corporations and the government to further violate our privacy.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787767)

"...are going to be used both by corporations and the government to further control behavior"

FTFY

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787883)

we don't need more technology to try and solve a human problem

What exactly, in your mind, is the point of technology, if not to solve human problems?

Re:No thanks (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 5 months ago | (#46787949)

Based on what I've seen, to make humans lazier.

I'm not a luddite, but this continual drumbeat that technology solves all ills is quite clearly shot down when we see the downward spiral of common sense and critical thinking on a daily basis as a direct result of technology.

Re:No thanks (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 months ago | (#46788169)

I was alive when most people had never even seen a computer. I can assure you that the downward spiral of common sense and critical thinking started well before the high technology movement.

Internet of things (5, Insightful)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 5 months ago | (#46787621)

There was a time in my life when I would have thought the "Internet of Things" was really cool. Now, things like this are a huge turnoff to me because of constant surveillance by governments and corporations. The fun is over.

Re:Internet of things (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787765)

If I had mod points...

Re:Internet of things (1, Flamebait)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46787823)

so far the internet of things is like the late 90's
when you can do the same thing with a computer using more effort and more money but it's cool because you are doing it with a computer and on the internet

or for the crazy OCD freaks out there who need things to be absolutely perfect or they go bipolar

Re:Internet of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787947)

or for the crazy OCD freaks out there who need things to be absolutely perfect or they go bipolar

Your knowledge of behavioral labels is a bit off.
OCD is related to maintaining a strict order to everything. Debilitating OCD involves the crushing fear that someone or something is damaging your strict order.

Bipolar is an old term for someone who will (with little or no warning) shift between periods of deep depression and significantly above-average enthusiasm. The new label for this behavior is diagnosed when the extremes are significantly outside the "normal" range of emotional variance and the transitions are significantly faster than the "normal" emotional sine wave.

So the concept of OCD making someone "go bipolar" fails on numerous logical grounds. However someone diagnosed as a bipolar OCD would be an entertaining (for a time) cycle alternating between organizing everything in sight and curling up in a corner muttering, "none of it matters, the socks will get mixed up, they always do."

Re:Internet of things (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 months ago | (#46788033)

Even without the surveillance it is a turnoff because of the unnecessary liberal use of digital electronics in lieu of simple time-proven mechanisms rendering previously robust products more fragile and shorter-lived.

Re:Internet of things (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 5 months ago | (#46788407)

Yeah, I have wondered how many people bought a smart TV and never bothered to plug it into anything.

Re:Internet of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46790443)

Even without the surveillance it is a turnoff because of the unnecessary liberal use of wireless radiation that is "possibly carcinogenic [wikipedia.org] ".

Re:Internet of things (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 months ago | (#46806307)

why, what identifiable disease has been caused by this? the only identifiable cause of rising cancer rates is longer lifespan in world's population.

"Web 2.0" is a decade old now (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about 5 months ago | (#46787707)

And websites can't even communicate with one another efficiently or at all.

Yet, IoT advocates imagine within a few short years this magical IoT will create a system of intercommunicating hardware that will somehow work perfectly.

Yeah ok.

Re:"Web 2.0" is a decade old now (4, Interesting)

ctheme (2694307) | about 5 months ago | (#46787867)

Really? Because from what Ghostery tells me, web services communicate with one another just fine.
The problem is that it's not in my best interest for them to do so.

Re:"Web 2.0" is a decade old now (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 5 months ago | (#46789023)

Yes they can. Especially the bad ones. They made cross site scripting into an art form.

Re:"Web 2.0" is a decade old now (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 5 months ago | (#46789491)

When I step on my scale [withings.com] , it tells me if I need to carry an umbrella today (based on the weather forecast it downloaded). Then it sends my weight etc. to my iPhone where it's merged with information from my fitness wristband [jawbone.com] and my diet tracker [myfitnesspal.com] . Based on that, I get suggestions like "you've been going to bed a little later than usual. You should catch up." or "drink more water today" or "try to walk this much further than you did yesterday".

I think that's not so shabby.

Re:"Web 2.0" is a decade old now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46790263)

When I step on my scale [withings.com] , it tells me if I need to carry an umbrella today (based on the weather forecast it downloaded). Then it sends my weight etc. to my iPhone where it's merged with information from my fitness wristband [jawbone.com] and my diet tracker [myfitnesspal.com] . Based on that, I get suggestions like "you've been going to bed a little later than usual. You should catch up." or "drink more water today" or "try to walk this much further than you did yesterday".

I think that's not so shabby.

Not too shabby, but now you're not the only one who knows you've been losing weight. Could be the exercise.... could be the heroin since you've been tracked running by the local crack house you didn't know was there on a regular basis. They've determined you'll be extra tired Tuesday morning, so they bust down your door at 4am. You hear them yell police and make your way towards the living room with your hands up. Unfortunately the local water supply company has overshipped your cases of water because of "drink more" notifications, the cops mistakenly see their own reflection with their guns on the bottles thinking you're armed and proceed to fill you full of lead.
You're dead- welcome to the internet of things.

There will be an inevitable reaction against this. (1)

pigiron (104729) | about 5 months ago | (#46787739)

And no, it will not be mindless Luddite sentiment. I enjoy the entirely visceral feel of driving a car or motorcycle equipped with a manual transmission. And the idea of internet enabled toasters and refrigerators are absurd.

Re:There will be an inevitable reaction against th (4, Funny)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46787799)

yeah, but imagine your fridge linked to Fresh Direct or the Amazon grocery delivery service and automatically ordering food for you whether you want it to or not. Epicness

or you can put your bread into the toaster at night and then use your phone to toast it the next morning before you get out of the shower so you don't have to do it manually

Re:There will be an inevitable reaction against th (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787905)

I can imagine this, and it frightens me. Imagine constantly being barraged with managing everything in your life on your phone/tablet/computer. Imagine looking to it for everything, and having even more reason to check it constantly. It's already bad enough with several email accounts, games, social sites, and every other app seemingly meaninglessly trying to notify me.

I hate to think that my toaster might notify me that I forgot to start it, and then notify me again when it's done. Or to have the toaster and fridge working together to notify my when my breakfast is ready to be assembled. Sprinkled in with it is me setting the temp of my shower water, turning lights on and off, scheduling the car to start, and remembering that if I don't walk past the proximity sensor on my way out, the house might not realize I've left and the AC might stay on too long.

Really, it sounds terrible. Until we have autonomous robots that do all this stuff for us and can process everything, the constant barrage of information, tasks, and abilities is wearing on the mind.

The more things talk, the more they stress me out. I need less internet in my life, not more. The last thing I want to do is spend an hour of my weekend trying to remotely reboot/reflash my parents light controllers or recommending an integration package to my cousin. It's even worse when I feel like it's something I should have in my own house. All these things lead to more tasks, more stuff, more security issues, more updates - not simplicity.

Re:There will be an inevitable reaction against th (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787917)

I wouldn't be surprised to see solenoid activated locks on my fridge requiring sitting through a 5 minute ad from Safeway in order to open the door... only to find that a hacker turned the temperature of the fridge up so everything is spoiled inside...

Or even worse, the fridge won't open until the chip on a new gallon of milk is scanned because it will "expire" anything and block access at an arbitrary date, similar to how ink in some inkjets expire.

Re:There will be an inevitable reaction against th (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46789441)

use your phone to toast it the next morning before you get out of the shower

I never use my phone in the shower.

Re:There will be an inevitable reaction against th (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46790407)

use your phone to toast it the next morning before you get out of the shower

I never use my phone in the shower.

No no, it's just a remote interface for your phone built into the shower head. Right beside the hygiene monitoring camera that has been hacked and is currently being displayed on a giant billboard in shanghai.

Re:There will be an inevitable reaction against th (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 months ago | (#46788059)

And the idea of internet enabled toasters and refrigerators are absurd.

A lot of stuff that I read on the Internet . . . looks like it has been posted by toasters an refrigerators.

The problem with tech these days, is that too many people are jumping in because they think it is a gold mine. All they need to do, is throw a bit of money and time at it, and they will be the next Gates, Bezos or, aptly named, Zuckerberg ("pile of sugar", in German). I think there will be some very excellent ideas in there with all the trash and gimmicks. But the ratio of crap to good will be about 1000:1.

FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787869)

It really ought to be called the Internet.

What does #IoT mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46787961)

And, why does /. refuse to define it? I don't understand the hatred the CONservatives that rule this site have for the readers. Without us, you would be out of business. Of course, like typical Republicans they hate everyone that is not wealthy so they hate the fuck out of us. Also, their spew of meaningless stories is getting out of control. Does it stand for pounds of lice tits? Pounds of idiots of Texas? That must be it. It must be about Bush, their hero.

Re: What does #IoT mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46788095)

That's not why everyone hates you.

Re: What does #IoT mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46792325)

They why do you people refuse to tell the truth? To the GP, you are absolutely correct. /. is now run by jerks.

Taking Humans Out of the Equation (1)

X!0mbarg (470366) | about 5 months ago | (#46788151)

#IoT is more-or-less a synonym for Sky-Net in it's infancy.

Think about it: The devices and appliances get smarter by studying humanity. Watching, collecting data, adjusting response, eliminating (or suggesting the elimination of) steps in the chain.

How long before humans get edited out completely, and the machine simply builds itself around us? How long after that before we're no longer needed in the flow-chart of its designs?

Just food for thought, here. I don't like the idea of my fridge coordinating with my stove about what I'm going to have for dinner based on my vending machine habits of the week, and productivity rating at work...

Maybe I should... It'd be really convenient. Might lead to a Fractale-like [wikipedia.org] existence, though.

I guess it will all matter where we stand on certain things in society. Like Google Glass, and all-pervasive surveillance systems, and the Governing Body in place over it all...

Re:Taking Humans Out of the Equation (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 5 months ago | (#46789243)

That is one possibility and I do have some real concerns about it. There are all kinds of ways to misuse technology.

On the other hand, have you ever sat at a stoplight and waited... and waited, for the light to change when nobody is coming from any other direction? It not only wastes your time, it's a waste of our resources and contributes to our pollution problems. This is the kind of problem that having better communications between devices or devices and humans can solve.

as someone creating an internet of things startup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46788719)

This excites me greatly :-)

Gaaaahhhh ... (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 5 months ago | (#46792513)

.... make it stop!

Computers are things. It's always been an "Internet of Things".

"Internet of Things" is as stupid as if we suddenly started saying "highway of cars". It's both true and free of meaning at the same time ... which I suppose is a weird sort of achievement.

And no, calling it HoC wouldn't make "highway of cars" any more hip. Just stupider.

IoT not quite ready yet... (1)

BillX (307153) | about 5 months ago | (#46792647)

Ha ha, apparently proselytizing about the "Internet of Things" is trendy again. Don't hold your breath kids; until IPv6 is a thing that's really a thing, enjoy your "small home network of things", where your game console, thermostat and toaster have 192.168.x.x IP addresses dangling from your cablemodem, and require a 3rd-party cloud service to mediate contact with your neighbor's toaster.

Seriously though... if anybody but major datamining companies are going to get remotely enthusiastic about this IoT shenanigans, two things need to happen: IPv6 and dirt-cheap low-bandwidth wireless uplinks (think cellphone plan with pay-by-the-byte or 512kb/month dataplans and low/no monthly maintenance fees) so that all the applications (smart stoplights, weather/pollution sensors, whatever) that would benefit from not dangling off someone's cell plan or cablemodem don't have to do so. Maybe on the 3rd revival of the IoT hype, about 10 years from now, it'll really catch on and be actually kind of useful. (See also: "M2M".)

Hashtags (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | about 5 months ago | (#46792887)

Can the Internet of Things stop people from using inappropriate hashtags in long-form content? If so, then please sign me up.

What are the benefits? (1)

jandersen (462034) | about 5 months ago | (#46793501)

Are there any benefits to having everything connected to just one vast address space? I certainly can't spot them. I think this is a solution to a problem that has already been solved in another (and better) way.

Although I may concede that it could potentially be useful to have a larger address space, I think it would be massively stupid to start frittering it away on insignificant frivolities like an "internet of things". I mean, would you want your fridge to have 'friends' on Facebook or start tweeting about its contents? When we're all worried about privacy?

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