by Heather Callaghan
Apr 4, 2014
The Internet of Things envisions a world where all things are “smartened” and connected to the Internet, always broadcasting real-time updates. Usually people think of appliances, which for me always conjures images of The Brave Little Toaster.
Did you ever carry this idea out into living things? Plants, then animals…then humans? Well, technology from the Internet of Things has definitely crept into the world of plants and is now making its way toward animals. Large-scale farms are particularly eager to use new technical applications – anything to help stay ahead of the changing food system and a shuttering economy.
So now plugged into the Internet of Things, we’ve got appliances, electrical meters, industrial equipment, devices for plants, and…cows. Yes, more and more cattle are connecting through their collars which emit real-time updates about their heat cycles.
The special Wi-Fi connected collar is called the Silent Herdsman, originating from Glasgow, Scotland. Not only does it monitor, but also uses artificial intelligence software to determine when Ms. Moo is in heat. There’s a similar product actually called the MooMonitor but requires more interpretation from the farmer.
In recent years a LOT of thought and theories have gone into methods for the most milk production for the farmer’s buck. This could be anything from waterbeds to relieve stress to biotech help with fertilization to the above-mentioned devices which are intended to capture the exact moment a mother cow can get pregnant again after having just birthed a baby calf.
To a large-scale farmer, it is apparently worth it, because one missed cycle means 5 more gallons of milk per day that could have been sold, to the tune of $315 per cycle. All of these cows are artificially inseminated – one failed attempt, during a tiny window of time that farmers believe happens during the night – is a high price.
Battery power is also no longer a concern. The Silent Herdsman lasts for three years and has actually synced the cow’s personal data to the software whenever it enters into the receiving area, be it a designated field or barn.
- Domestic “Internet of Things” Begins to Merge With The Industrial Smart Grid
- AT&T and IBM Partner to Connect The Internet of Things
- “Internet Of Things” One Step Closer With New Tech
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by Kevin Samson
Apr 2, 2014
Where Google sees adding robotic intelligence to every home, and the IBM/AT&T global partnership is to ensure that no home, appliance, or gadget is left behind, Microsoft’s Windows on Devices aims to offer its proprietary operating system to engage users on an already familiar platform.
Specific details remain sparse, but the video below speculates on a few areas that have come to light. The possible uses that have been offered are tame compared to what we already know are the intentions behind the move toward a Smart World.
In what researcher Julie Beal has dubbed “Uberveillance” she outlines the greater picture in her article from 2012:
Now global surveillance of citizens is announced with pride and accepted without question. This is the age of the ‘Internet of things’ – everything is to be woven into the Web. Companies like IBM are busily creating ‘smartworld’ where the Internet becomes the system of systems, linking all devices, people, and even nature.
Everything we buy from the shops, even our food, will one day incorporate smart tags. This practice is on the increase, facilitating what is known in the industry as ‘asset tracking’, and is being taken up more and more to enable tracking and tracing of documents, equipment, pharmaceuticals, warehouse stock, etc. (Source)
Clearly the potential is such that former CIA director David Petraeus made mention of it, implying that Smart tech will most likely lead to a CIA (and NSA) home invasion:
CIA Director David Petraeus made headlines with a speech given at the summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. In this talk, Petraeus discussed the emerging “internet of things” and the implications it will have for increased levels of surveillance. Petraeus explained that, because of the rise of gadgets which are connected and controlled by apps, intelligence agencies will no longer need to place spy devices inside your home – you will do it for them.
In conjunction with a recent unveiling of a new low-powered computer chip by ARM, one of the world’s largest chip companies, the fact is virtually every piece of electronic equipment (including appliances) can be controlled via apps and Internet-based systems. It is for this reason that Petraeus stated that the CIA will be able to read these devices via the Internet and even radio waves outside of the home.
Petraeus further stated,
‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies.
Particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft. Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters – all connected to the next-generation Internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.
He also added, “the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately heading to quantum computing.”
As the world moves toward connecting real devices to the virtual world of the Internet, the recent U.S. move to relinquish Internet control to a structure of global governance will have even vaster implications. Also consider the fact that major tech companies are working together rather than competing in the Internet of Things space by forming an “Industrial Internet Consortium.” Lastly, we have Facebook pursuing the purchase of a solar drone company to potentially offer planet-wide connectivity.
As if all of that should not be troubling enough, the Windows on Devices website states the following:
Connections are everything
Your Windows device can connect to the cloud to enable interesting new scenarios. Use Azure data services, build a new mashup, analyze your data, connect your devices together, or update your devices remotely. Once your device is in the cloud, the sky’s the limit. (emphasis added).
So beyond the normal government backdoors into your devices, Cloud interaction will be built in as well. In her article “Prepping the cloud for the internet of things” tech writer Barb Darrow leaves no doubt:
As billions more devices get connected to the internet (estimated to be 26 billion by 2020 – Ed.), there will be a huge infrastructure transformation on the backend. Cloud computing will play a major role in how the world takes advantage of that device-driven data explosion. (Source)
This push continues despite the fact that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak went on record to caution that Cloud Computing is absolutely not secure and is in fact fully compromised.
When the above developments are combined with the stated goals of UN Agenda 21, we are seeing a convergence of disparate areas under a simple single banner of connectivity.
To be sure, having you stay permanently connected in the real and virtual world has very little to do with your coffee mug or pet robot bear.
Video transcript with additional research links posted below:
Microsoft Could Bring Windows to Coffee Mugs, Robots
by Adam Falk
A new site suggests Windows might be coming to your coffee mug.
Engadget reports the site, called Windows on Devices, showed up briefly Tuesday – just ahead of Microsoft’s Build 2014 conference.
But it’s since been taken down and now looks like this, which tells us, well, nothing.
Before leaving the web, the site reportedly said Microsoft is “bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices.”
It even used a smart coffee mug as an example. This suggests Microsoft might embrace the so-called ‘Internet of Things.’
Meaning, it’s going to make our everyday, dumb devices – like kitchen appliances or coffee mugs – smarter by connecting them to the internet.
Reports indicate Microsoft is aiming Windows on Devices at makers. That is, if it’s even happening.
Reports are speculation at this point, and as CNET notes, “The Internet of Things is certainly designed to extend smart technology to ‘dumb’ devices, but a coffee mug or bear? That might be a stretch.”
How about a watch? The Verge says the question is whether Windows on Devices could power things like watches or eyewear, “both of which Microsoft is rumored to be working on.”
We should likely know more about this mysterious site and more as Microsoft Build kicks off Wednesday.
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