Google's Nest Acquisition Speaks to the Future of the Internet
January 20, 2014 - Think you have a handle on the Internet now that you have mastered Google or Bing Search, have become chronically addicted to email, can't stop checking your Facebook Wall, or find yourself on Hangout or Skype with friends? Well think again because the Internet of Things is about to create an information explosion like nothing we have ever seen before.
I am sure you have noticed that Google Search today lets you ask questions by voice or by typing. And you can ask Google to search using very natural language queries. Well now imagine your house as being an extension of your computer with every electronic device capable of conversing with you. Imagine the WiFi and Bluetooth enabled network within your home as capable of understanding what you want when you ask. In this new world you will set when the lights go on and off, the temperature on your thermostat, the settings on your alarm system, even when to turn on the ignition to warm up your car. You'll also through ubiquitous mobile communication make reservations at your favorite restaurant, get tickets to the latest baseball game, or order in that triple-cheese pizza you so like.
You will do all of this because the devices around you will all be capable of interpreting what you say and executing on your commands. In taking us to this very Star Trekkian world we have Google leading the charge. In their acquisition of Nest, a smart thermostat developer, we are seeing one of the movers and shakers of the Internet take that first step into the world I have described above.
And Google is not alone. They are being joined by others like IBM, Cisco, Ericsson, Alcatel, Microsoft, and Apple, the who's who of the world of communications and computing, developing network connectivity like we have never seen before.
Think of everything around you being integrated for accessibility and you have a vision of the end point of this technology thrust. And then add artificial intelligence to every device, giving each built-in smarts. That's the future at our doorstep.
Will it take a decade before we are fully immersed in this Internet of Everything? If Google and others have their way, and they certainly have the money, muscle and intellectual capability to make it happen, I think a decade is about right.
Related articles across the web
Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
Free Email Newsletter
To sign up for Futurist Update, our free monthly email newsletter, enter your email in the box below and click Save.
The purpose of the Global Calculator website is to gather evidence about our impact on global climate. An open source tool, its developers are seeking public feedback to ensure that its modelling improves in accuracy over time. They are providing it to the world community under open license.
What happens in the Middle East reverberates across the world. There lie the roots and holiest historical places of the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There lies the frontier between East and West. And much of the world’s remaining oil is found in this prized and disputed region.
When we look into space we are actually looking back in time. This is because we are looking at old light traveling towards us at 186,000 miles/second. We already know that if someone is watching us through a large telescope on the Moon, they’re seeing events that happened 1.3 seconds earlier because that’s how long it takes light to reach Earth. Using this as a very crude proof, we already know that information does indeed transcend the here and now, but can we ever access it and reassemble it into a useful form?
The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has implications for world health that cannot be ignored. The disease has killed more than 660 and infected almost 1,100 in four countries since March of this year and new cases are cropping up every day.
The images that Curiosity is sending back from Gale Crateris showing soil profiles similar to the ancient soil found in the dry valleys of Antarctica and in the alto-Plano of the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. The soil images and data indicate chemical weathering and accumulations of clay just as one would find them here on Earth. Phosphorus depletion, associated with microbial activity here on Earth, is evident from the information Curiosity has gathered.
Nikolai Kardashev, a Soviet astrophysicist born in 1932, devised a method of rating advanced civilizations. Technological advances, according to Kardashev, could theoretically create conditions where a society could maximize use of energy. He categorized each of these stages as Type 1 through Type 4. Based on Kardashev's speculations where does our civilization sit today?
Powdery mildew-resistant wheat has been created using a pair of DNA-clipping and insertion tools. These are tools developed by Editas Medicine for editing defective DNA and are being used in the fight against a number of genetic diseases. And with wheat they are proving to be useful in overcoming the devastating impact of mildew.
This is not the first time I have written about the future of the Colorado River Basin and it probably won't be the last. But by then I may be describing the Colorado wadi, a former river.