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Caring For Relatives By Robot
The days of extended independent living, where a robot could allow you to have a quasi-physical presence with a distant relative, talk to them, perform chores for them and possibly even have physical contact with them, is around the corner. At the Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum last week in Chicago, I caught a glimpse of the future and it isn't far off.
Even though conference sponsor Cisco admits that the IoT is overhyped, the progress is real and the effect on industries and society will be profound. Goldman Sachs is predicting by 2020 there will be 28 billion connected devices. 300,000 devices per hour are being connected to the Internet according to Wim Elfrink, Cisco's Executive Vice President of the Industry Solutions Group and Chief Globalization Officer--he's the visionary for IoT. According to Elfrink the IoT is being adopted faster than any technology in history. Essentially what he and everyone else is saying is that in the future, anything that can be connected to the Internet will be.
The sense I got from walking around the conference was that only a tiny sliver of the IoT market consists of the sexy and buzzworthy devices like the Nest Thermostat or the gadgets from SmartThings (just acquired by Samsung). Most of what I saw are really hairy and exceptionally complex networking and data analysis tools. Very geeky stuff.
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