© The Financial Times Ltd 2014 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
Currently, the internet is a network of computers each with an identifying label consisting of an unique number called an IP address.
The vision of the internet of things is to attach tiny devices to every single object to make it identifiable by its own unique IP address. These devices can then autonomously communicate with one another.
The success of the internet of things relies on overcoming the following technical challenges:
With the implementation of such devices on every object, a medicine cabinet may be continuously aware of the status of each medicine bottle stored inside the cabinet such as its name, contraindications and expiry date. Also, engineers may be able to query each cable in a suspension bridge to determine the extent of fatigue wear.