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The Internet of Things

IBM Social Media (2010, Mar 15). The Internet of Things. Retrieved 11/20/2012 from http://youtu.be/sfEbMV295Kk
 

Overview

The revolution of the Internet was the catalyst that changed the future of communication forever.  It allows for the transfer of information despite the geological barriers that separate the computers.  As time has progressed, we have developed new technologies that have allowed us to move from the First generation of the Internet into the current transition into the Fourth generation.  This generation has been propelled by the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). Currently, the Internet is able to collect data on each individual that accesses it.  However, the information is disparate.  In other words, we have been able to collect an immense amount of data, but up until recently, we did not use the information generated.  We are in the transition now from the Third to the Fourth generation, which allows for the individual devices to communicate amongst each other to make our entire system to become more efficient.  

            The First generation of the Internet began in the 1970’s through APRAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network).  This was a protected network that allowed the exchange of information via computers that were situated in different areas within the United States.  It is believed, amongst many other inventions, that APRAnet was designed for military purposes.   Nonetheless, the network was designed to facilitate information from one area to the next.  The original four computers that were connected to ARPAnet were located at UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah (Bellis, 2012).  Although there were many problems pertaining to the compatibility of networks, it advanced and thus created the First generation of the Internet. 

            The Second Generation began in the 1990’s accompanied by AOL.  As computers and the internet gained popularity and accessibility, AOL allowed its consumers to access the internet in a whole new way.  It allowed people to log-on and gave them access to things such as chat rooms, web browsing, and email.  Although email already existed, it gained immense popularity in this generation. 

            The Third generation began in the 2000’s, which we still are in today.  It is primarily dominated by social media’s, such as MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumbler, etc. These social media’s allow people all around the world to communicate easily.   This generation is also characterized by connecting people in a more advanced way.  Dial-up was replaced by broadband giving consumers faster speeds and lower prices. 

            Society is currently in the process of transitioning from the Third to the Fourth generation.  The Fourth generation is represented by the Internet of Things (IoT).  The Internet of Things is an exciting new concept that involves the networking of all physical devices, in order to function more cohesively as one unit to assist everyday life. It works by implanting sensors or Radio frequency identification tags (RFIT) in machines in order to monitor and collect data from that machine to increase efficiency. It connects virtually “everything” to the internet. This concept will have a major impact on businesses as well as the average household.

            However, with every new technology come advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages of the internet of things are; a potential increase in business sales, an increase in household security, as well as an increase in energy conservation. On the other hand some disadvantages consist of; a breach of individuals privacy, an over-reliance on technology, and decrease in employment. The winners of this new concept are businesses and households, while the losers are employees and consumers.