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A View of the Future Internet

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A View of The Future Internet

Information and communication technology is becoming smarter, smaller and faster; and at the same time society is progressively becoming more densely connected. As a result, internet supported services are entering a new phase of mass deployment and consumerisation which brings a huge number of new opportunities and new challenges in terms of scalability, capacity, throughput, mobility and trust.

The next decade will be a period of great change across the globe socially, economically and technologically: In socio-economic terms we have enormous challenges ahead managing our ever growing cities, our excessive energy use, uneven water availability, increased mobility and our critical resource management. Technologically we are entering the third era of the internet; the 'Future Internet' where everything can become connected.

This enormous increase in communication potential, where it is not simply between people, but all manner of 'things' that can be connected is sometimes dubbed 'Web 3.0' or the wonderfully logical title 'Internet of Things'. This Future Internet is in truth the time when the machines really join the party. By 'machines' we really mean anything that can be measured, monitored or just 'seen' in a connected sense. So we mean RFID tags, anything mechanical, anything with a current or that can be monitored. It is pretty much any device if you put your mind to it, and these devices can be measuring anything.

Ericsson has estimated that in 10 years there will be 50 billion devices connected to the web. Intel gave more conservative data growth predictions--at least 20 billion connected devices by 2020 and a 300-fold increase in traffic. However, Intel warned that even at that level of growth the challenge "may be far greater than we expect". If we cast our minds back 10 years and consider what the internet was offering us then it is easier to accept these figures could be true, or even underestimates.

Smart innovation in connectivity is already resulting in the market adopting new technology and new behaviour. The current market sectors are being targeted by the rapidly growing Machine to Machine (M2M) business and the network operators that are establishing the connectivity necessary:

Intelligent Buildings

Smart Metering and Utilities

Medical Technology, Healthcare

Independent Living (wellness, mobility, monitoring of an aging population)


Security, Monitoring and Privacy

These markets are predicted to grow very quickly over the next decade:




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