Today, there are roughly 1.5 billion Internet-enabled PCs and over 1 billion Internet-enabled cell phones. The present “Internet of PCs” will move towards an “Internet of Things” in which 50 to 100 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Some projections indicate that in the same year, the number of mobile machine sessions will be 30 times higher than the number of mobile person sessions. If we consider not only machine-to-machine communications but communications among all kinds of objects, then the potential number of objects to be connected to the Internet arises to 100,000 billion 10 ! In such a new paradigm, networked objects are so many that they blur the line between bits and atoms. Several authors have created new concepts to apprehend the Internet of Things paradigm. For example, Julian Bleecker speaks of blogjects to describe objects that blog 11 , Bruce Sterling speaks of spimes to portray location-aware, environment-aware, self-logging, self-documenting, uniquely identified objects that provide a lot of data about themselves and their environment, Adam Greenfield speaks of the “informational shadows” of networked objects, Rafi Haladjian speaks of the Pervasive Network connecting any type of machine, permanently and seamlessly, both indoors and outdoors, at high speed and at an imperceptible cost, but not with just anyone/anything.
All specialists agree that the challenges of the Internet of Things will be manifold and farreaching. We will try here to identify some of these challenges by considering the perspectives of Research, Industry, and Central and Local Government. Obviously, many initiatives involve Research, Industry and Government at the same time like, for instance, the three-year project, announced in February 2010, involving the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Microsoft.
Smart City perspective