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Web 4.0 and the Internet of Things

We are entering the internet of things, but it seems as if it won’t really take off until 2020. Yes, we do have self-driving cars & connected home appliances, but it’s not mainstream yet. For example, not many of us have a self-driving car yet. This will change, and it’s not just with internet applications, but a whole lot of technologies ranging from robotics, AI, machine learning, and these combined with IoT (Internet of Things) that will make magic happen. These technologies are transforming our world into a smart connected structure. The idea is that you place a chip inside a device and make it smart. Smart roads, buildings, cities, people, anything seems to be possible. In the next decade, a number of developments will appear and start building the semantic web or web 5.0. In other words, whether we want to or not, we are building a smart planet where everyone is connected and communicating non-stop. So how many things are to be connected in the future?
Some estimates say 78 billion things communicating by 2025. Observers say this will be a trillion dollar market, or even a multi trillion dollar market, and that after internet and artificial intelligence, IoT will be the most impactful technologies for the next decade. Headline grabbing topics predicting ‘Annual revenues of 470 billion dollars for IoT vendors’ or ‘GE IoT investment expected to top 60 trillion dollars in the next ten years’ are doing the rounds. With TV, car, fridge, heating system, desktop mobile and watch, health monitor possibly swallowed, robot to look after the house, security system, dog, children and automated personal assistant all on the net, one person has around 15 items plugged in to his preferences. That would be more per family when everyone in the household is considered. A typical household in the developed economy should average out to 30 things on the net. So, it would be possible that we’re looking at a minimum of 10 things per person within developed economies online.
In developing economies though, there will still be a lot of things on the net supporting them. Definitely mobile devices, but government monitoring systems and smarter infrastructure are awaited. So a minimum of sixty billion things on the internet are expected this decade, and these things are communicating non-stop. The fact they are communicating means they can transact. If sixty billion things are trading and transacting non-stop, we are talking trillions of transactions. So it would also be possible for billions of things transacting trillions of times in a minute, all day long. What about the risk of your machine doing something it should not be doing?
Insurers today are using these smart technologies to insure us better. For example, if you have left the house with a window open or a light turned on, the insurer can inform you and reduce the risk. Or does one need health insurance if his or her health is continuously monitored , analysed and reported . Smart cities and smart networks connect everything, reducing risk drastically. Is the financial system supporting this structure solid and how will it know what transactions are allowed? Only time will tell.
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