We are on the verge of the Internet of Things, where simple devices can now automatically and intelligently trigger an action in the real physical world.
It’s going to be a pretty neat transition, as big as the invention of the computer mainframe in the 50's, the PC 30 years ago, and the opening of the Internet to the general public in the 90’s. How big is that? Well to start with, the Gartner Group estimates that 20% of the Internet’s non-video traffic will be sensor data. Oh , and that is only by 2012. But the report also states that it’s a lot like trying to predict the market for plastics in the 1940’s. No one knew how pervasive they would become and be used in just about every consumer product.
Check out the full Hammersmith report if you like, but if you really want to experience the future of the Internet of Things, begin your search at the Pachube site and maybe pick yourself up an arduino from Lady Ada.
Here's my arduino-pachube project - an attempt to grow the spiciest of all peppers, the Bhut Jolokia: