The Future of Computing (Then) – The Internet of Things

Computing is no longer about a massive server sitting in a special purpose room, with PCs connected to it via a local network.  Nowadays, computing is everywhere and in everything.  Ordinary items (white good consumer items, motor vehicles, etc etc) all have computing power within them.  Increasingly, this computing power also incorporates network connectivity (typically, of a wireless kind).

The future of living is about things in our environment all talking to each other and to our applications.  Think solar power and electricity generation and consumption – all monitored and controlled using computer enabled “things”.

As an example, consider GreenGoose.  From their website (and other sources):

“Sensors measure actions you take to reach goals that you select. They’re wireless, battery-powered, and all a little different.  The exercise sensor is the size of a credit card and slips into your wallet, purse or backback. The others are stickers that you just stick on to things like a water-bottle, toothbrush or floss.  You stick these sensors on your bike, thermostat, showerhead “and even your keychain”.  Each one measures a different thing you do, but they all communicate with the same egg-sized base-station.  They communicate with a gateway you plug into your broadband router. Installation takes less than five minutes and you can do it yourself.  GreenGoose lets you set simple lifestyle goals. Track your own progress automatically with sensors.  Earn lifestyle points the more often you do things. Bonus points for consistency.  Share or exchange points with other applications, or partners offering rewards – or even an allowance for kids.  Eventually this type of connection, between sensors and mainstream services like banking, will be commonplace and probably won’t need to rely on gimmicks such as green eggs. But for now, Green Goose seems like a cute, interesting Internet of Things service for green conscious early adopters to try out.”

Basically, GreenGoose is all about connecting various things (typically exercise type things) together into the (computing) network, such that activity is automatically measured and recorded – and then used for other purposes (in this instance, rewarding oneself for the completion of exercise activity).

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