The Internet of Poorly Working Things

August 23rd, 2016  |  Source: Monday Note

In the mythical Land of Theory, where everything ‘just works’, we can connect all the objects in our lives. We have the sensors, the wireless networks, and the computing power, but progress is slow if not comically wrong. Why?

It was twenty years ago this month that the cover of the adorably geeky Boardwatch Magazine, a journal dedicated to the world of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS, remember them?), featured bearded professor Vint Cerf, the grandfather of the Internet.

Cerf’s pithy IP On Everything prophecy was simple, resonant, and inexorable: All objects in our lives will someday feature an IP Stack.

Two decades later, where are we? Moore’s Law has given us a 2¹⁰to 2¹³ improvement in chip performance. — that’s 1,000 to 8,000 times more computing power. Personal computers and smartphones are everywhere, well adopted, put to productive and enjoyable uses.

(As an aside, smartphones are actually the most rapidly and broadly adopted product of all times, leading observers to conjecture we’ll never see anything like it ever againFalse Prophets and worried CEOs looking for The Next Big Thing take note.)

With a three-orders-of-magnitude power increase and oceans of wireless data packets, surely we can endow our everyday objects with all sorts of sensory and connectivity magic.

So how is it that we don’t have connected objects that Just Work?

Before we offer an answer to this question, I beseech you to follow The Internet of Shit (@internetofshit ) on Twitter. Trust me, you won’t regret it:

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