It seems that about every 10 years the Internet takes on a new popular name. In the late 90’s the term World Wide Web (www) set the standard but as a new generation of SaaS and more connected applications came online the Internet needed a rebranding and the Web 2.0 revolution came into favor. By 2010 the concept of Web 2.0 was almost long forgotten and the Cloud started to dominate the popular terminology. While Cloud technically refers to an infrastructure model for elastic scalability most people use the term to refer to applications supported by the Internet in general.
If you haven’t noticed, thought leaders in the IT world are already working to define what comes after Cloud and there are strong currents suggesting Internet of Everything (IoE) may just be the next big idea.
What is this IoE Revolution all about?
To understand what the IoE revolution is it helps to understand the expanding role of the Internet in connecting people and things around the globe:
G1 (The Internet): The initial breakthrough connecting a small set of institutions and organizations.
G2 (World Wide Web): As individuals gained connectivity their PC’s began to allow connections to centralized sites and services, as well as early forms of collaboration such as email and forums.
G3 (Web 2.0): As web applications increased in ease of use and sophistication they started talking to each other and providing new models for social interaction.
G4 (The Cloud): Elastic scalability allowed a new breed of applications, especially social media, to flourish as well as drive down the cost of entry for new products; thus creating a massive proliferation of web apps.
G5 (IoE): The extension of the Internet to a wide range of devices, far beyond mobile, promises to be the next revolution.
While the Internet of Everything may not turn out to be the term that society latches onto for the next Internet revolution (it’s a term currently primarily championed by Cisco and gaining momentum) it’s clear that we are due for a next generation. It’s also clear that the next wave of innovation is focused on increasing connectivity beyond just people and information tools such as the PC and smartphones, but into the world of more classical machines and operations.
Some of the key potential Internet of Everything use-cases cited by Cisco are:
- Smart grid
- Smart buildings
- Connected ground vehicles (commercial vehicles only)
- Smart farming
- Smart factories (factory automation)
- Wealth management
- Next-generation retail bank branches
- Improved medical management
- Physical and IT security
- Digital malls (next-generation vending machines)
- Connected marketing & advertising
- Digital signage
- Business process optimization (BPO) and related processing services
- Virtual attendants
- Connected payments
- Connected gaming and entertainment
- Connected private college education (virtual private education)
Some other resources to learn about the Internet of Everything: