The Internet of Things
There's a great article in the Sydney Morning Herald discussing the possibilities of the physical Internet - that is, giving appliances, printed objects or anything else physical in our lives an IP address so that they can talk to each other over the Internet.
This got me looking at a site called Pachube. Awkward name, but the founder described it as "like YouTube but instead of sharing videos, people are sharing data that comes from sensors". It's meant to be a way of sharing all the feeds and data that's coming in from physical objects around the world that are already online.
What's all this mean? I don't know yet. But here's a cool example of what's being done with this tech right now - Siphonophora is a project that gathers live environmental data from a lake in Gunpowder, US.
Data like temperature, bacteria levels and pollution content from the lake are all transmitted live via the Internet using these devices.
This opens up some pretty nice possibilities for real-world interactions. Very cool.