There’s an idea that’s been gathering steam in the tech world for years now, a concept called the Internet of Things.
More than just a catchy and vague description, the Internet of Things is the kind of “Jetsons”-esque future that we’ve been dreaming of since the dawn of the technological age: pantries that keep their own inventories, light bulbs that alert you when they’re nearing the end of their life and homes that know what’s in their own junk drawers.
And it’s already here. Look no further than the splash made a couple of weeks ago by the Nest, a thermostat that learns your habits and programs itself according to your routines.
In a recent article in the New York Times, reporters Claire Cain Miller and Nick Bilton took a deep dive looking into Google X, a top-secret lab on the search giant’s campus in Mountain View, Calif.
Many of the inventions and ideas being kicked around the labs are part of this idea of the Internet of Things, including coffee pots and garden planters that can be hooked up to the Internet and controlled remotely.
The idea of a completely connected world is one that Vint Cerf — an early innovator of the Internet and Google’s chief “Internet evangelist” — has talked about for years, he said in an interview with VentureBeat.
“I used to tell jokes about Internet-enabled light bulbs,” Cerf said. “I can’t tell jokes about it anymore — there already is an Internet-connected light bulb.”
And, according to the New York Times, Google is working on it.