Trillions™ Thursday: Let’s Talk About the Connected Future

October 6, 2016 in Connected World
Bridget Deely
Marketing Specialist

We’ve been talking about a connected world for 27 years (but who’s counting?). Our founders pioneered the idea of a trillion-node network, and predicted how the proliferation of devices and information would affect individuals and businesses in the future. In 2012 they wrote the book on IoT, called Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Economy™. We use Trillions™ as our guide to the future.

You Say IoT, We Say Pervasive Computing

We say the term pervasive computing because we’re not just talking about devices connecting to the Internet. We’re thinking about how to integrate technology with information, and believe the future needs to accommodate navigating a network of computation that we live in, not just use. That is: it is not just an Internet of Things—it is an Internet of things, and services and people and information. The way we see it, pervasive computing is the next paradigm in information technology. As connectivity acts as the driving force for change over the next couple of years, we will experience a point where change rapidly spikes—major high-tech players will fall and new ones will appear seemingly overnight. We are beginning to see this happen with organizations like Nokia being acquired to save their company, while startups like Nest Labs soar in sales and innovation.

Nest Labs has been able to disrupt traditional technology companies by using connectivity as a key platform for its business. Source: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The Opportunities Ahead in a Trillion-Node Network

When we talk about a trillion-node network we are essentially referring to the environment we will live in, where microprocessors are more prominent in everyday products (think washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and watches), and computers will exponentially outnumber people. This network is important because it is the future environment that will enable pervasive computing to thrive. However, this transition towards a connected future isn’t just for the sake of innovation. There is an economic difference between mechanical complexity and software complexity. It costs less to produce microprocessors than traditional mechanical hardware, and because saving money is a powerful engine for change, this shift is inevitable. A trillion-node network sets the stage for all kinds of opportunities in pervasive computing. It encourages us to see new technology as more than a tool for replacing old things; it encourages us to use it to achieve advancements never before possible.

The best way to prepare for a connected future is to plan for how your organization will fit into a connected world. Factoring pervasive computing into that equation can help you overcome the next set of information technology challenges. It can also help you plan your business to be a stronger part of the information ecology.

Google is a great example of an organization that is constantly envisioning its roles in a connected world. It’s latest initiative is a connected-home device called Google Home, a response to Amazon’s Echo. Source:

So during a week when Google outlined their battle plan to compete with Amazon for eventually connecting everything in your home, we kick-off our weekly series, Trillions™ Thursday. We’ll explore future trends in the connected world, and try to explain what they might mean for your business.

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