June 18, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
The European Commission (EC) today published Internet of Things: An Action Plan for Europe. "Every day we see new examples of applications that connect objects to the Internet and each other," said the EU's Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding. "From cars connected to traffic lights that fight congestion, to home appliances connected to smart power grids and energy metering that allows people to be aware of their electricity consumption, or connected pedestrian footpaths that guide the visually impaired."
In the future, even food can be networked, said the EC in a release. Yogurt, for example, could contain sensors that report temperature variations during shipping. The applications are limitless, said Reding, and over the next decade, connected devices could multiply a thousand times. And so, the EC wants to make sure that Europeans will benefit while at the same time confronting issues such as privacy and security of personal information.
The plan includes the following action items:
The Commission is also addressing IPv6, to allow enough IP addresses to handle the billions of objects expected to connect to the Internet.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.