Predictions are that 50 billion household devices will be connected to the internet in six years’ time. BT, just one example, is currently testing new network technology that will enable large volumes of machine-to-machine data in support of the so-called Internet of Things.
I’m all for greater integration and more technological help, but I do worry about the implications for humanity as we become more and more reliant on an infrastructure that could one day fail us for a wide range of reasons, from accident to terrorism. Our ancestors were capable of killing a beast, rubbing a couple of sticks together to make a fire and producing a meal at the drop of a hunting knife. Even fifty years ago we could get along nicely without utilities if push came to shove.
Now, in comparison, we are hopelessly helpless when any of our systems fail us. Without gas or electricity our lives would be a nightmare; and it is getting the same way with the internet, things or no things. It is bad enough now when the broadband goes now; the feeling of isolation at being thrown back into the 1970s is a massive shock. Just imagine the future when every useful bit of kit in the house switches off one by one. How will we cope?
Perhaps we should start with those two bits of wood and a handy rabbit.