A new paradigm is emerging: the “Smart” paradigm. It is driven by the emergence of so-called smart-objects, i.e. everyday objects that take on new capabilities and new ways of interacting with humans and the context.
In this paradigm, physical objects are equipped with sensing, computation, and communication capabilities and are able to perceive and interact with their environment and with other smart objects.
Embedding processing power into objects enables a range of potential communications: person-to-device (e.g. scheduling, remote control, or status update), device-to-device, or device-to-grid (e.g. appliances that are aware of fluctuating electricity prices, and which schedule loads during off-peak pricing hours).
Smart objects address environmental, societal and economic challenges like limited resources, climate change, aging population, and globalization. They are for that reason increasingly used in a large number of sectors. Key sectors in this context are transportation, healthcare, energy and environment, safety and security, logistics, ICT, and manufacturing.
“Smart Objects as building blocks for the Internet of Things”
Beyond mobile phones, laptops and other traditional IT devices connected to networks, the scope of what is considered an “intelligent” device is expanding as more and different objects get connected to the network. Health monitoring devices on the body, telematics in vehicles for safety, automated service scheduling, and driver convenience as well as smart grid equipment and meters that can monitor real-time electricity usage – all delivered via the Internet.
We are entering an age of enhanced asset awareness, where real-world assets (e.g. HVAC systems, shipping containers, shop-floor machinery, pipelines, etc.) can monitor events, execute rules, and automate business processes. Intelligent device communication is converging with IT and network infrastructure to enable vast improvements in efficiency and productivity.