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The Internet of Things

image of The Internet of Things

This publication is the seventh in the series of “ITU Internet Reports”, originally launched in 1997. It looks at the next step in “always on” communications, in which new ubiquitous technologies (such as radio-frequency identification and sensors) promise a world of networked and interconnected devices (e.g. fridge, television, vehicle, garage door, etc.) that provide relevant content and information whatever the location of the user – heralding the dawn of a new era, one in which the internet (of data and people) acquires a new dimension to become an Internet of Things. Topics covered include new enabling technologies, business opportunites, public policy challenges, and implications for the developing world. A statistical annex covering over 200 economies is also included.

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Opportunities for the Developing World

As previous chapters have illustrated, technologies enabling the emerging Internet of Things are beginning to make their appearance across the globe. It might be easy to limit the present discussion to the industrialized world, but that would be short-sighted. Although most developing countries have little foreign investment in this burgeoning field and few comprehensive national research initiatives, the emerging technologies discussed in this report have the potential to offer many economic, societal and environmental benefits. In this context, the developing world merits special attention. The present chapter explores this important opportunity for the countries that comprise eighty per cent of the world’s population, or some 4.9 billion people as of 2000.

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