Future Trends of the Internet
28 January 2009
Luxembourg IPv6 Council
Luxembourg IPv6 Roadmap
First Council Meeting
Public Transport Links
Gérald Santucci: Abstract
Internet of Things — When your fridge orders your groceries
Gérald Santucci, Head of Unit, Networked Enterprise & Radio Frequency Identification, European Commission
Although the activities carried out by the European Commission since 2006 on RFID and the Internet of things have played a substantial role in today's wide recognition of the 'Internet of Things', the term itself is not new — it dates back probably to ten years ago when the EPC Network, and more broadly the RFID development community, started to devise a future for identification technologies. It is remarkable that in 2008 the Internet of Things was identified by world experts as one of the Best Inventions and Top Technologies of the year! However, the Internet of Things should be seen as one major likely application scenario of the Future Internet. The European Commission is currently making an effort to mobilise stakeholders, especially those involved in EU-funded R&D projects, around the idea of a Future Internet Assembly allowing open interactions and cross-fertilisation across technical domains and reaching out to whoever has talent when it comes to debating the Internet of the Future. Within this context, the Internet of Things must not be seen as a technology, but rather as a vision of things, especially everyday objects, that are readable, recognisable, locatable, addressable and/or controllable via the Internet. Such a vision will not be fully realised before at least 2020, when synergies between Internet connectivity and positioning will enable a number of advanced applications, and when intelligent software will be deputised to sense and instantly respond on behalf of people to environmental changes. Nevertheless, the first instances of the Internet of Things are already arriving on the market, thanks to the innovative use of technologies such as RFID, NFC, ZigBee and Bluetooth.
This presentation addresses the origin of the Internet of Things concept, runs through the enabling technologies and the potential applications, and describes the actions carried out by the European Commission to explore further the challenges and opportunities raised by the Internet of Things and to address the main policy issues that its development may entail. It stresses the fact that following the Commission Staff Working Paper put into public consultation in 2008, the European Commission intends to draft this year a Communication on the Internet of Things, which will largely frame the international debate on the strategic and socio-economic impacts of the Internet of Things as well as on the policy options that may need to be considered.
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