The concept of machine-to-machine communication, the “Internet of things”, has been around for a long time. As a post on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Insights blog says:
Look around you for a second and count the number of electronic devices, machines and gadgets. All of them—light bulbs, cars, TVs, digital cameras, refrigerators, stereos, cranes, beds—will be connected to the Internet over the next 15 years, if they aren’t already.
This is the potential of the “Internet of Things”: billions and billions of devices and their components connected to one another via the Internet. 50 billion devices by 2020, according to companies like Ericsson. The Internet of Things will radically alter our world through “smart” connectivity, save time and resources, and provide opportunities for innovation and economic growth.
The blog post is to promote a new report from the OECD which can be downloaded as a 45-page PDF document. Aimed at legislators, the paper describes some of the challenges that have to be faced in order to create networks capable of securely handling billions of devices.