Elon University

The 2014 Survey: 2025 Ubiquity – The Internet of Things (Anonymous Responses)

This page contains only the anonymous written responses from Internet experts and stakeholders who answered this question in the 2014 Pew Research/Elon University Future of the Internet Survey. Some survey respondents chose to identify themselves; a majority remained anonymous. We share most of the anonymous respondents’ written answers here. Workplaces are attributed for the purpose of indicating a level of expertise; statements reflect personal views. To read the full report, click the image below.

Anonymous responses by those who answered this survey question

Link to Full SurveyInternet experts and highly engaged netizens participated in answering an eight-question survey fielded by Elon University and the Pew Internet Project from late November 2013 through early January 2014.

This survey question asked respondents to share their answer to the following query:

As billions of devices, artifacts, and accessories are networked, will the Internet of Things have widespread and beneficial effects on the everyday lives of the public by 2025? Describe the evolution of embedded devices, “wearables,” and “scannables” by 2025 – where will commercial and social applications of the Internet of Things most commonly and vividly be felt? What social and political difficulties will accompany its rise? Please discuss what you believe the barriers are to the spread of the Internet of Things and the benefits that are claimed for it. Bonus question: Consider the ways in which people will most commonly interact with the Internet in 2025 and tell us what you think the fate of wearable connected devices such as Google Glass and the Samsung watch will be. What do you think of the future prospect that people will interact via their thoughts or other bodily signals such as eye movements?

Among the key (and at times competing) themes emerging from nearly 1,600 respondents’ answers were: The Internet of things, embedded M2M, and wearable computing will progress significantly between now and 2025. The biggest impact by 2025 will be in machine-to-machine interfaces, where devices talk to each other and accomplish programmed tasks. There are hurdles to be overcome, and there’s likely to be only slow progress by 2025, despite today’s trends and enthusiasts’ optimism. People will continue to just say ‘no’ to the programmable fridge, ‘yes” to keyboards; wearables and the Internet of Things are not likely to have widespread visible impact. The ‘cool’ factor, attention, and intentions are key to the future success of wearables. Samsung’s watch and Google Glass are rudimentary, not ready for prime time. Information interfaces will advance – think voice, touch; few expect that brain-to-network connectivity will be typical in most daily lives in 2025. The daily lives of many will be enhanced by embedded sensors and wearable, networked devices, especially in regard to personal health. The perpetual feedback and stimulation loop accompanying always-available computing can lead to isolation, misanthropy, depression, and other problems. People will continue to surrender privacy and control to facilitate convenience; governments, corporations, and criminals will exploit evolving network innovations. Can algorithms be trusted to make the appropriate decisions for humanity? People will want to be able to ‘switch off.’ There will be complicated unintended consequences: ‘We will live in a world where many things won’t work and nobody will know how to fix them.’ The unconnected and those who just don’t want to be connected may be disenfranchised – what are the ramifications of the digital divide? Expansive predictive statements covered a multitude of potential aspects and impacts of the Internet of Things in 2025. In the face of the potential ethical and commercial implications of this future, a healthy dose of humility is required.

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

To read credited responses to the report, please click here.

Following is a large sample including a majority of the responses from survey participants who chose to remain anonymous in making their remarks in the survey; some are the longer versions of expert responses that are contained in the official survey report. More than half of respondents chose not to take credit for their elaboration on the question (for-credit responses are published on a separate page). They were asked: “Will the Internet of Things have widespread and beneficial effects on the everyday lives of the public by 2025? Where will it most commonly and vividly be felt? Discuss any potential barriers to its spread and the benefits claimed for it.”

An Internet law expert responded, “While my answer is, ‘Yes,’ there will also be widespread negative effects from the Internet of Things, including, but not limited to, destruction of privacy. We will see the proliferation of Internet-tech-free zones that people will voluntarily enter to have breaks from the totalizing effects of being Internet-connected 24/7. What happens in these zones will remain in these zones, and that is why people will seek them out. Enough will use them to make them viable, but these same people will learn to seek out, and need to separate from, the electronic leash from time to time.”

A top engineer for a major US company and longtime Internet architect wrote, “I have yet to see a compelling scenario for wearable computing. We will certainly see an evolution of personal computing, with, for example, heads-up displays or goggles: that, as well as Kinect-like interfaces for static displays. We can expect ‘natural user interfaces’ to progressively replace the current interaction models.”

A collaboration strategist responded, “They will be widespread and have both beneficial and deleterious effects. Sensor meshes for the head, voice control, and audio output will be more common than now. Biotechnologies utilizing body sensors for healing, disease management, prosthetics, etc., will become more common. Technologies developed for those with disabilities tend to be the harbingers of those things that become available.”

A US government executive wrote, “The information flow and content from the Internet of Things will equal, if not surpass, the intrinsic value of the underlying physical assets that are connected. My concern is, what will happen to the Internet of People if the Internet of Things gains tremendous traction? My fear is that the connectivity of people over the Internet will lose its relative meaningfulness.”

A pioneering academic computer scientist from Princeton University wrote, “More and more objects will be ‘smart,’ often in ways that are not obvious to us today. An example is a shoe that adjusts the behavior of its padding based on the user’s stride to provide greater comfort and injury prevention. But we will not get to the point where everything is seamlessly networked because of concerns about security and privacy. Instead, devices will talk to each other in more limited and purpose-focused ways. Future devices will have greater awareness of the user’s actions and surroundings and will try to provide information and services based on their inferences about what the user wants. But these inferences will continue to be only partially correct, leading to users’ throttling down the chattiness of the devices. The Holy Grail here will be a device that makes good decisions about when to intrude into the user’s attention.”

An anonymous survey participant who works as a senior executive for the US executive branch said, “The effects will be widespread an beneficial only if we can figure out a better way to do security—machine-to-machine security—and have trusted public-private partnerships to govern the cyber-security for the Internet of Things. The fate will be that these will become a part of us, embedded in us, and it will be somewhat quaint that we actually used to type on a keyboard. Perhaps, we can even ‘wear’ the Internet, versus have it inside of us.”

A program director focusing on ICT standards policy, Internet Governance and other issues wrote, “Yes and no, actually. Mankind always finds a way to turn new inventions and technology against us. While this technology will pave the way for significant developments that are a boon to society, it is inevitable that some will also find a way to make the same technology a bane to society. For example, see the NSA. This technology will only have a reasonably short shelf life. The true revolution will be biotechnology, which is already a reality, but not to any significant degree. That will change. Go read William Gibson’s Necromancer. If the sci-fi writers can conjure it up, in time, the engineers and inventors will translate it into reality.”

The CEO of a software technology company, and active participant in Internet standards development, responded, “This is a ‘fashion’ trend, rather than a technology shift. The most useful wearable would be head-mounted displays—glasses—as this will allow people to watch whatever they want, wherever they are. People are unlikely to interact directly with equipment using their thoughts—they may be able to mentally affect skin conductance or other externally monitorable factors. It is likely that some degree of non-keyboard input will be used; however, I don’t see this as a ‘megatrend.’”

A senior researcher at a leading British university observed, “Yes, it will have effects. Some may be beneficial—improving health and healthcare, lowering costs for business—but others are bound to be harmful—increased tracking of everything at every moment, further erosion of privacy. Unfortunately, many people probably will do this.”

A consumer advocate wrote, “Smart watches, eyeglasses, and so on, will be more common but hardly universal. In the 1980s, digital watches were introduced, but many people still wear clockwork watches today. Touch and voice will be the most common input mechanisms. There is little future in the use of hand or eye movements to interact with the Internet.”

An Internet pioneer who now works for Defense Distributed, wrote, “A programmable Web and quantifiable self will lead to interesting and augmented social configurations and commercial spaces. I still see the bulk of people involved in this larger sollipsism to be uninterested in attendant political consequences of this state of affairs, if there are to be any. I expect the FDA and other three-letter agencies will want greater police powers to intervene in the fun, new arrangements people have with their own bio-data.”

An Internet engineer and machine intelligence researcher responded, “Embedded intelligent devices will be pervasive, introduced at every opportunity where there is useful information to be gathered or money to be made. Scannable devices will also be pervasive. Similar to how cellphones are tracked by retail outlets today, these devices will track individual activities: whether this tracking remains unconsciously voluntary is not clear. Scannable devices will also become common for personal security and for personal currency. By 2025, the emerging trend will be device implants. Many people, particularly the older generation, will spurn these personally invasive devices; however, a growing number of people will be enthralled with the idea of interacting through neuro-electronic interfaces. Google Glass, the Samsung watch, and similar wearable devices will be popular alternatives for some users, only for a moderate period.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Yes [there will be benefits]—for the privileged few. The effects will be felt and mostly enjoyed by those who can afford it. The Internet of Things will have its limits, probably at the edges of the developed parts of the world. The rise of the Internet of Things will create yet another significant digital divide. People will have always-on digital devices and their digital lives will unfold in the Cloud. Technologies allowing easy access will continue to increase in sophistication, making Google Glass and other similar ICT look clunky and antiquated.”

A long-time scholar and activist focused on the commons said, “The unilateral introduction of smart sensors and wearable devices—usually to advance some company’s business strategy, not necessarily to advance a collective good—will provoke social disruptions and disorientation, and perhaps, backlashes, as the prospect of Google Glass already has shown. Conventional policy structures are ill equipped to deal with this trend, and disaggregated individuals are similarly powerless. While there are indeed useful purposes that could be served by these various technologies and the Internet of Things, most are being proposed in gee-whiz, socially naive ways and without serious concern for the long-term social implications or for social consent. Where is the US Office of Technology Assessment when we really need it? Who can host a more intelligent, or even dissenting, dialogue on this issue? Should these technologies be presumptively deployed just because they offer some focused, new benefit, and some company can make money from them?”

A computer programmer for the Canadian government wrote, “Each new device provides some benefits to some people. Wearable 233 MHz Pentium computers, made by Xybernaut, are no longer with us.”

The research director at a technology trade association wrote, “This is a qualified ‘yes.’ Multiple devices will have the capability of internetworking included in them, although the fact that they can be networked is not necessarily an argument for their being networked. Will the tagging of each article of clothing and incorporation of readers in washers and dryers really generate extensive benefits to consumers and society? There will be multiple dead ends among the networked options, as the benefits of some options will be unclear to users (and, as some people will seek to avoid tracking). Networking will nonetheless permeate both workspaces and living spaces, as the providers of Internetworking and Internetworked objects will include the capabilities, regardless of the level of consumer demand. The networking of these devices may produce benefits, as well as increased risks, since they may improve security at the same time as rendering it more contingent (as hackers could disable or damage networked systems and impact a broad population). The growth of such connected devices will prompt the introduction and marketing of devices or materials that will promise to reduce the tracking of purchasers’ movements and behaviors. Interaction through eye movements or other biomechanical means will offer benefits to individuals suffering from paralysis or other biological conditions (quadriplegics and amputees), though part of the general population may shy away from some of the products that are developed and offered because of fear of monitoring.”

A lawyer from North America wrote, “Three of society’s biggest challenges—education, healthcare, and energy management—have the potential to be disrupted in significant, beneficial ways by the Internet of Things by 2025.”

A senior consultant for user experience for Forum One Communications said, “This feels hype-y. There will be advances around the edges, as well as neat items, but not ‘widespread and beneficial effects.’

The director of an online-education support community said, “Beneficial is a value-laden word. From an economic growth perspective, the Internet of Things will be beneficial, as humans will be targeted more frequently and with greater acuity. From a privacy and intimacy perspective, this will likely be invasive. Embedded chips are next!”

An expert on smart cities wrote, “The upside is easy to imagine, from revolutions in medical care to simple convenience. As with all such technologies, we will need to evolve a new etiquette for their use. We will discover the downsides by trying them, and then we will slowly adjust to a new norm.  It seems likely that a thought-based system will be possible—and certainly convenient and effective. A great deal of experimentation with the human interface over the next decades will take place.”

The CEO of a professional not-for-profit society responded, “The greatest benefit will be instant information—the ability to dig deeper into a subject as it arises and not have to wait until later to ‘look it up.’ This will mean additional loss of privacy and greater vulnerability to identity theft.”

The senior policy advisor for a major Internet operations organization responded, “Device-to-device communication will be a basis for the networked world. As part of such an environment, we will see the early stages of the ubiquitous information society, where my car arrives when I step out of the meeting room, where devices report on each others malfunctioning, where the service economy (do I have a car, or do I pay a subscription for my transport needs?) starts to replace the goods-based economy; however, security needs to be addressed (what happens if someone interferes with the controls of the vehicle I’m in?), as does reliability (system failures, device failures, network failures). And, of course, trust in the provider of the information is quite important (do I want my employer to know that I took time out?). I’m not convinced that thought-operated systems will be viable by 2025, but I do believe that our interaction with systems will evolve—or even transform—over the next ten to fifteen years. Information capture must progress in the same way as other parts of the processing chain.”

A technology developer and administrator wrote, “The Internet of Things is the next revolution to come for the Internet. It will, however, be a silent revolution, with applications mainly in the industrial space (i.e., process automation), with some into the commercial sector (i.e., smart warehouses), and limited impacts on the consumer market (except, maybe, for smart home networking). I don’t believe Google Glass and the Samsung watch are good indicators of research done in new interaction models between humans and computers. Yet, I believe those two examples are too radical and will not be adopted massively. Instead, we will slowly see everyday wearable objects (caps, watches, glasses) being equipped with non-intrusive inertial sensing capabilities, along with the ability to connect wirelessly to other devices. This will only be successful after this connection can be done in a standards-compliant way (i.e., next generations of Bluetooth low-energy or ZigBee/IEEE802.15.4).”

A professor of technoculture at the University of California-Davis predicted, “The speed of delivery and exchange will have some beneficial uses. This is the way things will progress.”

The executive director of a nonprofit that protects civil liberties online responded, “The biggest application for embedded and wearable devices will be related to communications and warfare. The imagination is the limit on what will become popular!  I don’t think Google Glass or the Samsung watch will ever catch on beyond the novelty stage, but I do think they’re predecessors to technologies that will be less cumbersome and more useful.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “This will be one of the biggest privacy issues of the next 10-15 years. In the same way that social media has created incredible opportunities for the public, there will be downsides and detractors.”

An entrepreneur and electrical engineer active in ACM and IEEE wrote, “Young people are used to referring to their communications devices for anything and everything. Even genius-level engineering students don’t do mental arithmetic. They rely on the calculator in their mobile phone. So ever more augmented reality is inevitable. If wearable devices are visible, there will be pushback from those that don’t want to be videoed, but that pushback will fade as the wearable devices become invisible.”

The CEO of Wyoming.com, an ISP serving Wyoming since 1994, wrote, “I question whether the effect will be truly beneficial to society, but the Internet of Things will continue to transform how people interact. Most of such interaction will be without any redeeming social value, but it will indeed become widespread—more glop than anyone could imagine.”

The CFO for a major Internet company responded, “There will be medical devices linked to medical professionals allowing more accuracy of information. Retail formats will allow more customization of shopping experiences for consumers.”

The owner of a small publishing and consulting business wrote, “The effects will be overhyped in the short term.”

A retired software engineer and IETF participant responded, “The Internet of Things may well become pervasive, but the effects will be primarily to increase the level of control and monitoring of citizens to further de-skill jobs. It could be more dystopian than the Borg.”

The chief scientist at a Fortune 50 technology company responded, “It seems likely that wearable devices will help with medical monitoring, and it will allow people to stop being attached to wires.”

A professor at George Washington University wrote, “Lower transaction costs and fewer retail outlets have seen major cost savings due to buying online. Digital highway maps and cell phones have led to less wasted time in travel and arranging meetings. The Internet of Things will improve logistics, lower costs, and, perhaps, increase recycling.  Google Glass and cell phone cameras are good for reporting spills, accidents, crimes, etc.  Some people are already better than others in reading emotional states. Recording devices will increase the demand for storage of digital information.”

The chief executive of one of the key Internet infrastructure organizations responded, “Embedded devices, while popular, will not be significantly different than issues currently posed by pervasive smartphones.”

A professor at a major US business school responded, “We will see automated air conditioning, etc. The effects will be good for commercial buildings but not for much else. The effects are overhyped.”

A professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, wrote, “Absolutely, these devices will have benefits; they will also incur costs. Oh, to have all the devices I carry around somehow combined into wearable or embedded bodily devices. What ‘screen’ I would have to access all this? I don’t know. That is probably the wrong question to ask. But my purse would be lighter. I hate to be trite, but I am concerned about what this would mean for social life. Will many stores be gone, as anything we need can be delivered to us wirelessly or sent directly to our homes? Will social interaction wane in offline contexts? How distant will we become from direct experience?”

The CEO of a mid-sized company that has applied for and will operate many new top-level domains wrote, “There will be beneficial effects, but the initial deployment of such things will inevitably be in the military and will center around killing and destroying.”

The principal software architect for a large Internet company wrote, “The Internet of Things is just the evolution of the Internet to smaller devices. This is inevitable—smart watches, thermostats, sensors, etc. Each evolution towards smaller/cheaper technologies increases the potential number of devices by an order of magnitude. So, by 2025, a majority of all Internet hosts should be ‘things.’ By 2025, I would assume that the Internet will be potentially embedded in almost anything—watches and eyeglasses, sure, but why not also contact lenses, teeth, or piercings? Why not clothing (i.e., smart displays imprinted on cloth)? It’s not hard to see computing embedded in tables, such that you could just sit down in a restaurant, login via a fingerprint, and access your Cloud storage.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Intelligent sensor-equipped garments will have become a reality; efficient transport logistics are another wide field.”

A senior lecturer at the University of California wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yes. Beneficial? No. Mainly, it’ll be about eroding our privacy still further. I really don’t need some kid in Finland programming my refrigerator. Google Glass, I hope, will be illegal to wear in public. If not, expect to see people like me throwing paint in the faces of the wearers.”

A post-doctoral researcher wrote, “The issues that would rise would be invasions to privacy, as the case in Google Glass indicates.”

A distinguished engineer working in networking for Dell wrote, “I see this happening because of widespread use of sensors for all types of applications. I don’t think these new ways will take off. The keyboard and screen will always rule.”

A researcher and graduate student wrote, “The wearable technology will increase with nanotechnology inventions, making clothes more sustainable, if needed, or change color.”

A principal engineer for Cisco wrote, “The most obvious benefits will be in the areas of personal communication and health. Interpersonal communication will extend to telepresence, so that one can share one’s environmental experience with those with whom one is communicating. Health care benefits include not only telepresence—think rescue workers, paramedics, and remote diagnosis—but also the monitoring of key health metrics, automated drug delivery, and behavioral intervention. There will be a range of interaction styles, ranging from traditional ‘workstations’ to systems driven by intentional and inadvertent physical cues. (‘Thoughts’ are probably not feasible for fine-grained interaction by 2025.) Wearable devices will certainly be a part of that spectrum. Watches and glasses are obvious ways of introducing this, since they are familiar examples of pervasive technology augmentation, but others are likely to emerge (Hats? Pendants? Broaches? MIT once demonstrated a kind of neckband…).”

A self-employed software designer and policy researcher wrote, “‘Yes,’ and ‘no,’ is the answer. Most technologies can be beneficial in some cases but come with potential for abuse and harm. Technologies don’t exist in a vacuum. How they are used, who they help, and how much they’re abused are dependent on all kinds of factors. I have personally seen the benefits of assistive wearable technologies to those who can afford them and access them (for monitoring personal health, for communicating with services and loved ones, and for controlling home automation to make daily life more manageable)—but what about those who can’t afford them and don’t have the social support needed to truly make these solutions effective (probably the majority of those in need)? I have seen distances overcome via mobile technologies, helping to keep isolated individuals more in touch, but this often seems to result in fewer physical visits (I don’t have the research to back this up, so maybe I’m wrong, and that kind of connection instead leads to more visits—worth investigating). Yesterday in the train, this 70-year-old engineer from Singapore was excitedly relating to me his latest invention: a security bracelet for women that will ‘automatically’ alert the police and emergency contacts when triggered, while recording in audio and video whatever situation is occurring (there was no discussion of how the magical audio and video will know what to focus their attention on in the chaos of an assault or accident). It will also automatically scan fifty metres around her for cell phone signals and record all the SIM card IDs present in order to document potential witnesses. When I asked how that bracelet would help protect the woman at the scene beyond collecting evidence to assist prosecution down the road, his response was, ‘It will project an image of a policeman pointing a gun directly in front of her. This will scare off most assailants!’ When I asked whether he’d researched in what states it is legal for any old [person] to scan and record other people’s devices, he admitted he hadn’t, but he felt that the countries he was marketing at (i.e., India) would be more interested in technology’s ability to support policing and security than privacy rights (so now we’re looking at questions of technologies being developed in certain nations, where they could not be legally used on their own citizens, exported, and sold in markets where such ethical dilemmas are not on the table). When I asked how his technology intended to surmount its reliance on existing public infrastructure (effective/responsible policing, transmission of cell signals, physical accessibility to the victim, etc.) and whether the technology would be affordable to those most likely to need it, a lot of excuses were thrown my way. But the basic answer is that this was a technology meant for an upper class in an environment where they were already likely to have infrastructural support and, relatively speaking, less risk of personal harm. Yes, this is almost here and will likely become increasingly more pervasive and ‘normal.’”

The head of the department of communication at a leading US university wrote, “The Internet will be something much more commonplace, sort of like an ordinary utility that fuels these apps/devices, like electricity. They will be dominant, but obviously not in their prototype form.”

A leader of learning and performance systems at Pennsylvania State University responded, “Yes, definitely: the contacts will begin our day, we’ll check all our emails and texts, and it will all be in one device. Digital textiles and wearables will be much slower in terms of us being willing to be scanned as individuals, but businesses and governments will put a large amount of data out there for AI users. We won’t be using glass or watches because we’ll be wearing contacts that have all that information, and people will learn to wear them comfortably very quickly.”

A university research fellow wrote, “The Internet of Things will be primarily related to the senses—what we can touch, see, hear, and smell. We are already experiencing the first two, mainly through tablets and other ‘touchable’ devices. In this manner, the Internet experience will become more personal and individually focused. Barriers to the spread of the Internet of Things will be socio-economic, level of interest, and concerns for personal privacy. From a philosophical point of view, as machines increasingly participate in our capabilities for sensing and potentially enhancing our environment, do we run the risk of their overwhelming our physical senses? The technologies will be too expensive for the main population, so low uptake will mean that they will fizzle out.”

An anonymous respondent who works as a journalist wrote, “At the consumer level, I think this will be slower than at the infrastructure/industrial levels. There are quantifiable benefits to tracking—i.e., locomotive engine wear, office-building temperature, street light function, or even free parking spaces. But as more of the infrastructure becomes automated, people will increasingly want to plug into that flow of information to control it, or make decisions based upon it. All of the above will evolve. We will see a profusion of devices, each fitting individual needs and preferences. There is no right answer here.”

A CEO wrote, “The key is ubiquity. There will be no more ‘me.’ As Big Data anticipate all and the slightest needs/desires I have, there is no more ‘me.’ What makes for a ‘me’ is choice; that will be obsolete.”

The director of IT for the New York Academy of Medicine, a nonprofit specializing in urban health issues, responded, “Because of the lack of privacy, the Internet of things will just mean that more of our actions and activity can be monitored and measured, and we will be further divided from our relationship with the natural world, which, I think, is a very bad thing. If we don’t start providing better stewardship of the planet, it doesn’t matter how cool the Internet or the Internet of Things is. If we destroy the planet, what difference does it all make? I am very concerned that the increasing emphasis on technology and Internet is coming at the expense of mindfulness of the planet’s condition. Eventually, we will all have implanted chips, unless there’s some kind of wild revolution and a call to get back to nature.”

A principal engineer at Cisco wrote, “I don’t know about wearable devices, but I expect the rest of the Internet of Things will impact our daily lives. Smart toasters, fridges, roadways, etc., are not a long-term play. People just really aren’t that geeky.”

A professor of new media and Internet studies at a European graduate school wrote, “It will be a reality, but I think that Internet Clouds and storage will have to be possible to store in a way that can be physically located. Otherwise, paranoia will set in, and surveillance will be done on a massive scale. If I were to use a Cloud, I would prefer that it be physically stored in my house. I think that companies ought to make that option feasible.”

A PhD student wrote, “The industry of entertainment will experiment and develop a lot of trendy gadgets, such as the Google Glass. People like them, and they do spend money on them. Fashion will play an important role on this. [In terms of] difficulties: the gap between who can and who cannot afford it will be wider and wider. I think the difference will be that they will be less and less aware of what they are doing, and of which information comes from reliable sources.”

A researcher at a marketing firm doing work in the online privacy space responded, “I’m skeptical of how widely accepted they’ll be, and I wonder if there will be any pushback as these types of devices become more prevalent. I’m probably projecting my own desires here, though, and I’m sure someone said the same thing about email or cell phones. This question seems misleading to me. That’s like saying typing an email is communicating via your fingers. I know there are prosthetic devices that are able to turn brain activity into mechanical action, so I’m sure that if there are devices that can read thoughts and eye movements, then two such devices could communicate. But let’s be clear: people are communicating via devices, not their thoughts or eye movements.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The Internet of Things is probably better-termed the Internet of Sensors and Displays: getting data into Internet-connected and -enabled applications, and getting information out of them (in the form of visual or auditory signals, or control signals/actuation) in more places. The biggest issue I see here is that the collection of data will tend to accelerate the loss of privacy—but the services enabled by this new information may be worth the tradeoff in many people’s eyes.”

A professor at a major US research university wrote, “Yes, but there will also be negative effects regarding privacy and loss of jobs: pretty much as noted in previous questions.”

An anti-spam and security architect wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yes, but may or may not be beneficial from a sociological point of view. It takes a quadriplegic a long, long time to master finger or eye movements to order food, etc., and man-on-the-street-types may take even longer before they find Google Glass useful.”

A promoter of the global Internet who works on technical and policy coordination wrote, “This will be the next wave of Internet technologies, with the commercial side leading the way for the ease of product maintenance and customer service by 2015. The social side will lag somewhat, as privacy concerns will remain and will, hopefully, be addressed by a broader international consensus in 2025, easing the social uses of such devices and services. While the prospects of accessing the Internet with thoughts or bodily movements may be technically possible, personal usage will take more time.”

A professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, responded, “There will be positive effects but also negative effects regarding privacy and loss of jobs. It will happen since it is an already available technology and seems to make things easier to the people. And, the costs will be decreasing, so it would probably be a widespread and popular technology in a few years.”

A technology policy expert wrote, “Well, I do think there are ways to increase efficiencies and use the Internet to streamline mundane things, whether it’s scheduling, basic communications, or keeping track of glucose or cholesterol levels. I also love the automation in our house that allows us to control thermostats via a mobile app, as well as the reports we get from our solar panels about how much energy they have generated in a month. Difficulties include: forgetting what life is like before these devices; counting too much on their infallibility; trusting them without question, especially any ‘advice’ they may give based on aggregated data; and not having analog backups. What if I lose my address book? Could I call my parents without it?”

An Internet pioneer and longtime National Science Foundation employee wrote, “[Will the effects be] widespread? Yes. Beneficial? Maybe, though most will likely be banal.  ‘What do you think of the future prospect that people will interact via their thoughts or other bodily signals such as eye movements?’ Undoubtedly, it will happen. It will help handicapped persons, for certain, but I’d hesitate to prognosticate further.”

A professor of computer science at the University of Maryland wrote, “Yes, there will be changes, but other social factors will have greater and more widespread effects, which are not always beneficial. There will be modest successes, which may lead to larger successes in decades. Small displays are cute, but look to bigger displays, some public, to have more impact.”

The CEO of not-for-profit technology/education/innovation company responded, “The social consequences of the proliferation of modes of digital connection have, so far, been manifestly negative. The United States has become a society of distracted individuals, more isolated than ever, whose meaningful and humanely enriching encounters with each other have been eroded or displaced by technology. The driving forces behind wearables and scannables are commercial, and so, in the mainstream, these devices will be designed and deployed in efforts to control consumer behavior. There is no significant discourse of human growth or spiritual attainment involving these technologies. There is the possibility of contribution in the medical area, as some technologies may have prosthetic application.”

A former chair of an IETF working group wrote, “Outside of medical applications and amusement, I don’t see wearables becoming that mainstream. Now, the evolution of the smartphone into the wrist-radio into the pendant is possible, and likely, but I don’t think of that as ‘wearable.’ Embedded technology is a different question—the toaster talking to the coffee pot does become more and more likely, but the rate of change will not be so high that 2025 sees a huge change. There is too much stuff that works fine without intelligence in the pipeline. I think interacting via ‘thoughts’ is too scary for any widespread adaptation in the near-term. Investigations by scientists like Miguel Nicolelis show that a lot is possible, but I think immediate use will be confined to medical/prosthetic applications.”

A professor of entrepreneurship at Tel Aviv University wrote, “A Google Glass-like application will be regularly accepted.”

An expert on law, politics, and technology wrote, “It will probably ease our lives, as it will enable us to find the lost car keys and ‘ask’ the fridge to check out what is missing.”

A professor at South Dakota State University wrote, “This is inevitable, but I’m not sure about Google Glass.”

The grants coordinator at academic center for digital inclusion responded, “I said ‘yes’ to the ‘widespread’ impact of the Internet of Things, but I am not convinced of the benefits. We too often jump before we think, so there are bound to be numerous unforeseen consequences to all these embedded devices.”

An assistant professor at a US university wrote, “We are already seeing smaller and smaller devices being created that connect each device to one another, which means we can move about nearly seamlessly and still interact with our data from wherever we are. At some point, this will allow us to do away with some material possessions (credit cards, car keys, home keys, etc.) and merely address the interconnectivity we have to start the car, pay a bill, and turn on the lights (and, in some cases, this is already possible, though not to a mass consumer level, as I’m envisioning). But, I also believe that what this will demand is that we have policies governing who have access to that information, how it is used, and when it is used. I also suggest that it will become so ubiquitous that future generations will wonder how we managed without. Wearables will go beyond Google Glass and watches and will be embedded. We’ve already seen some work being done at the University of Minnesota on using the brain to control bodily movement through technology—especially for those with severe physical disabilities. These types of technologies may become even more ubiquitous for every day use—for instance, could it be possible to be asleep and still get things done? How would that affect our need for rest, REM sleep, etc.? Would we be more productive then?”

A professional who works for a nonprofit working to close the digital divide wrote, “The Internet/Cloud of Things will be invisible or will not exist.”

The general counsel for an Internet domain name registry wrote, “This is the safest prediction, and it will be largely beneficial. It’s possible, but not likely by 2025.”

A professor at the iSchool at the University of British Columbia responded, “Regarding the ‘effects on the everyday lives of the public,’ of course [there will be beneficial effects]. It depends what you think is ‘beneficial.’ While it might be great to track inventory, to see where products go after they leave the store, it will be a huge invasion of privacy—even when they are ‘just’ collecting metadata! Commercially, it will backfire if customers find they are being tracked by their products. Socially, we will have to reinvent product registration for these devices—voluntary registration. Will these new products create a digital divide—between those who can access their own data and those who can’t, between companies that can collect and manage data and those that can’t or don’t?  We’re already concerned about the over-engagement with mobile devices; how will Google Glass push that even further? Will driving rules (cars and bicycles) be implemented quickly enough to deal with safety issues (they were late coming regarding cell phones)? But eye movement will be very useful to some sectors—i.e., disabled, machine operators, etc.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “This is too much of a piece, with the tracking of users that’s already happening. I don’t think the benefits outweigh the negative effects. People will interact through eye movements and bodily signals! That’s revolutionary! It is almost like…the way talking in-person normally goes.”

A consultant and adjunct professor in satellite systems, wrote, “The trends are already there; like smartphones, some [devices] will succeed in the marketplace.”

A college professor wrote, “Politics suggest that the population participates somehow in its own governance. I don’t see that happening much now or in the future. Much has been staged for a sense of participation, but there are powerful forces behind the scenes, shaping much of what choices we get and what happens. The Internet of Things will estrange people from their physical bodies. We will become even softer and weaker and sicker because we will not work to make our own food any more—or only an underclass of people will perform this work. The incredibly wide distance between rich and poor will be unhealthy. Some people will be rich and ‘teched-out,’ and others will be treated like animals (even more-so than today). I don’t see good coming from these ‘advances.’ People are estranged from each other, and this only aggravates the intermediation between bodies. Too much eyesight and not enough touch will lead people toward objectification, theorizing, and psychological and emotional distance. These are effects of a predominance of sense-perception coming through vision.”

A professor of ICT and social sciences at the University of California wrote, “Beneficial effects will come in medical devices, of course. Other may include communication and interaction (i.e., buying) with people and organizations; information retrieval; entertainment; and luxury devices for conspicuous consumption. There will also be an increasing disparity between those who can and can’t afford these, as well as between those who can afford more privacy versus those who have less privacy because they can’t afford it. (The rich and powerful will always protect themselves.) We’ll laugh at how people put up with the inconvenience of having to carry phones and/or speak aloud to their devices.”

A self-employed lawyer who focuses on antitrust, copyright, trade associations, and free speech wrote, “These will certainly change the way people interact and allow for more unconscious communications. And, there are likely to be perceptions of value in many of them for many people. But on the whole, far too many of these developments will reach only a very small percentage of the human population and do little to eradicate hunger or lessen disparity in the enjoyment of life.”

A Web standardization expert wrote, “Healthcare seems to be the obvious win here. Beyond that, it’s hard to say.”

A PhD student in communications wrote, “The most obvious difficulties will be related to the privacy question earlier, along with the vulnerability of the systems we build to gather and protect the data gathered by these devices. I see these devices making the most difference in their use in health and medicine; by having such devices to monitor patient progress, or patients that are experiencing infrequent difficulties, I can imagine hospitals becoming more efficient. This kind of technology would also be amazing for seniors living at home, as well as babies just leaving the hospital. I also see a very interesting, but still totally underground, world of biohackers (which exist now but will probably expand), but that’s another thing entirely. I don’t think we’ll get to reading thoughts quite yet, but I bet that companies will be monitoring basic emotions (are you happy, agitated, sad?) and eye movements to track what they should push advertisements on. It’s so creepy.”

A PhD student from Berlin responded, “Although I’ve answered ‘Yes,’ it is a qualified ‘Yes,’ as I believe the spread of ‘wearables’ and the Internet of Things will vary from country to country, depending on its economic potential, as well as the existing (or absent) disposition in society to adopt technological innovation.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “While such technology can save time, and often does today, or save a trip to the store, in effect, phones and laptops are wearable in that they are portable. They will only get smaller and more portable. The future is already here, but I find that the benefits are more about convenience than any real effect; it’s not like running water and flush toilets, which changed health and sanitation and reduced mortality. My concern is that Google Glass violates the privacy of others. I worry about surveillance if things can be controlled by thought, and thoughts could, therefore, be surveyed.”

A professor of telecommunications at Pennsylvania State University wrote, “What about ‘widespread and detrimental’ effects? I expect any day now to be able to buy a tie that will tell me whether or not it clashes with my shirt (or jacket), or shoes that tell if they match my socks. I expect we will see many bizarre and useless items based on the Internet of Things; however, the real value is not in that, but rather in networks for transportation, health, power, etc. These are grids that can read from billions-plus of data points and make life easier and healthier. I’m not sure planners have fully factored the demands of the Internet of Things into the overall demands on the network(s). The use of RFID chips in consumer products is already widespread, and will likely become more so. I shudder to think of their use for social applications on the ‘dating’ (hooking up?) scene. I think wearable, connected visual devices—i.e., Google Glass, or some contact lens version thereof—will be the gateway to integrating the real and virtual worlds, backed up by AI. Imagine all the functions of your ‘smart phone’ visible in a head’s-up display, along with real-time data of all kinds about your environment. This raises all kinds of safety and social issues that will need to be addressed. This can be controlled with eye movements, twitches, sub-vocal signals, or other things. Such technologies are currently being tested for those severely handicapped. Still, I don’t see it as a major market segment by 2025, unless some app makes it take off. Brainwaves are another story—and a harder one. It has been well demonstrated that it is possible to use brainwaves to move a mechanical arm, move a cursor, and play a videogame. Those areas have great potential. I think, for sure, there will be more instances of using brainwaves to control devices; however, I know of nothing likely to be available by 2025 that, in effect, supports telepathy (the implications of which, both scientifically and socially, are profound). It may be that it is possible by 2025 to pick out letters or words using brainwaves and then have some standard device text/send them to another person, but that’s not really interacting via thoughts. Take writing a letter—the words in the letter are carefully (I hope) selected articulations of thoughts, processed and, to some extent, edited. The underlying thoughts are complex, multifaceted, and mixed with history, emotion, hopes, and fears (and maybe sexual interests), and I’m not sure I want mine read unedited.”

A computer science and security professor at Purdue University wrote, “The biggest benefits will be in healthcare, and in real-time sensors for things that can be optimized or watched for failure; however, concerns over privacy and security may restrict adoption of some potential technologies. The need for ‘always-on’ connectivity will be another driving factor. The ISPs and telecoms may price access in such a way that it hinders adoption. Governments will also want to assert themselves for monitoring, for crime, and for terrorism control. The balance of privacy and social good will be a recurring theme.”

A member of the Internet Society chapter in Costa Rica wrote, “We will be able to better control our ecological footprint with both wearable and scannable devices; there will not be enough spectrum available for public sphere, but maybe there will be enough in smaller environments.”

The director for an e-learning strategies company wrote, “Already, mobile devices are seriously empowering people to be more effective in their lives, and this will continue as we find the true affordances delivered by new technology. There will be issues, such as privacy, that will accompany these developments, as well as backlash, but our desire to be empowered will win out. I think we will be able to integrate a variety of physical interactions into a robust language, combing voice, gesture, and device interaction to communicate in richer ways. Some will welcome cyber-integration, but others will resist and prefer external, though wearable, devices.”

A professor at the University of California wrote, “I see no benefit in these terrible things. Of course we are doomed to confront them.”

The dean/provost of a research university and former CEO of the California Virtual University wrote, “The greatest benefit will be the portability of information and the capacity to accomplish things electronically. The Cloud will protect information and make it available at all times and places. I don’t think people will use devices like Google Glass very much because they interfere with ordinary capacities, but I think we will be using the Internet from iPhone-like devices that will have enormous power and versatility. The Siri phenomenon will expand; we’ll talk and listen to our devices. I expect these portable devices to attach to desktop screens and keyboards and to run our entertainment centers, such as TVs and music players.”

A researcher responded, “Mesh networking can be a powerful way to have short-range communication outside the grasp of data collection; or, it can be another aspect of a tracking world—likely both. The user interfaces are currently dreadful and anti-social. They have a long way to go.”

An associate professor at a university responded, “A lot of services will be offered through wearable devices.  As much as 20% of the population will have and use wearable devices by 2025.”

A research scientist working at a major search engine company responded, “Again, it’s difficult to predict these things. Fundamental problems still need solving (sensing, networking, etc.). But in this case, I can see how to work around many of the fundamentals. Wearables will be with us. Will they be in the form of Glass? Probably a future derivation of this. It might not be on your head, per se, but certainly somewhere on your body. The wrist-mounting format is just too handy to ignore. Watch-like devices will grow in capability by leaps and bounds. More importantly, all of your body devices (pocket device, wrist device, head device) will work together as one unit, each with slightly different capabilities (and not as three separate, non-talking widgets).”

A webmaster wrote, “Already, we are seeing children attached to their devices, to the degree that they are reticent to be ‘outdoors.’ This is not a healthy development.”

A research professor of computer science at Georgetown University responded, “I expect this to be more of the same—no transformative, singular event, but instead, incremental improvements here and there.”

A senior lecturer at Ohio State University wrote, “Today’s issue is privacy; we must first work to set out codes that protect the individual; however, the evolution of the Internet of Things is inevitable; it will be driven by the desire of the wealthy for new toys. There will be many gains for society, particularly for education, the elderly, and people with disabilities. It will be a challenge to provide access to the disadvantaged, due to the economic disparity in our society.”

A digital learning and media specialist and educator responded, “Certainly, for monitoring health and well-being, wearable devices can have a huge impact.”

A Syracuse University professor wrote, “I’m totally into the Weiser-like thinking that the very over-presence of such devices will render them invisible. Such a flow of knowledge without social arrangements to keep and maintain social barriers will make for great pubic and private stories of hurt feelings, indiscretions, and other common, but not so-laudable, social activities—a shared experience for us all. We’ll re-develop the thicker social skin that William White reported on in street-corner society—an ability to live with each other while still well aware of each other’s foibles and failings. Simply—there will be more social dirt, as well as a greater acceptance of that dirt. I have not yet begun to grasp what this level of over-information will do. But, I think the rapid rise in autism among children in the developed world is a signal.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Yes, and no.”

A research director for Microsoft wrote, “Internet of Things is a buzzword. People don’t understand how all of this will work; however, in time, we will figure it out.”

A director of networking and applications predicted, “Healthcare is the obvious focus area—and we’re already seeing early devices, such as Fitbit, that monitor user vitals. In the future, widespread use of sensors can more accurately monitor and diagnose health concerns. Home automation is another promising area (i.e., sprinkler systems that sense how wet areas are, programmable thermostats, lighting sensors, etc.). Glasses are too obvious. Wearables will take off once people clearly identify the use cases and then make the devices invisible. One of the reasons 3D flopped was that it requires people to actually wear something.”

A Mozilla browser engineer wrote, “The main challenge is one that we are already encountering: the accumulation of vast amounts of data on individuals. The major Internet companies will have ever-increasing amounts of data at their disposal and a greater capacity to process that information. For people engaged in work with computing devices, something that an increasingly large proportion of the working population will be required to do, the models of interaction will not change significantly, though interaction will definitely bring in new advances like voice and touch. New advances will be used primarily to change the way that we interact with everyday items. Interaction will be more passive; for instance, lights will turn themselves on, and temperature controls will be automatic.”

A lecturer at Southern Cross University in Australia observed, “The Internet of Things will take a serious back seat to global environmental concerns and associated catastrophes. I can only think that these things might be useful in the developed world. The billions of people who live on less than $1 US per day will not have a look into these expensive, and basically trivial, devices.”

A researcher at Tallinn University in Estonia wrote, “There will surely be some changes. But the change will be incremental. In twelve years, we will not have a fully operable Internet of Things. ‘Big Data’ will continue to be a very complex process to master, and interoperabilities of systems, also a lot of data being proprietary and not open, will not support building effective analytic systems. The privacy concerns of consumers will also decelerate the advancement of such systems. I don’t believe people will interact with their thoughts any time soon. Tracking eye movements is probable, since this technology is almost there already.”

A professor at Swarthmore College responded, “Forget Google Glass and stunt devices of that kind: the real change-making scenarios here are more the kind described by Neil Gershenfield and others—devices intercommunicating with each other and with the informational holdings of their owners. The potential of these transformations will be stunted if we don’t reverse income inequality, however, as intercommunicating devices will likely cost more (at least at first), and, more importantly, will likely require middle-class household budgets to realize their transformational potential (i.e., devices which can monitor health, help people stay with dietary restrictions, etc.).”

A self-employed writer, researcher, and consultant wrote, “Expect sensory apparatuses to improve, as well as Siri-type instant information. Also expect embedded medical monitors to call for help if someone has a stroke or heart attack. I doubt it will work well for thoughts, but other bodily signals will be able to help people enjoy near-perfect hearing and sight. Miniaturization is an issue—a lot of devices are already difficult for older people to use.”

A professor of political science at a US university wrote, “Such items will mainly have commercial and social uses, but broadly speaking, the use of such devices will not be beneficial. They may bring some small conveniences—I get to where I am going easier, I find a product faster—but that is the main benefit. This is a divide issue—some will have these and use them, but the use won’t be broad across socio-economic groups.”

A telecommunications and Internet policy professional who works for a Japanese nonprofit research center wrote, “Yes, some form of Google Glass will be commonplace, but not a watch. Some form of wearable technology will be useful, and glasses will be most acceptable: many of us already wear spectacles, and many more are used to sunglasses; they are an acceptable accessory if the benefit’s good enough. Watches, even cheap/everyday, are durable goods. If I spend $30 on a Casio or $3,000 on a Rolex, it will be on my wrist for years. $150 on a pair of Raybans or $500 on prescription glasses, they will be replaced in two or three years. The devices better fit with how we treat less-durable information and communications technologies.”

The director of a web-based journalism project at a major US university responded, “In the short-term, I don’t think there will be such a widespread effects on most people. These items will remain too expensive. Google Glass and Dick Tracy wristwatches are overpriced fads. I don’t see much use for them, unless and until they become cheaper and more practical. I also don’t see how people can interact via their thoughts, although bodily signals certainly seems doable and even practical.”

An Internet researcher and entrepreneur said, “Yes, this will have many beneficial effects. We’ll never lose our keys again because we won’t need keys. Systems will be self-regulating, meaning energy efficiency will increase substantially.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Future effects seem to be all good, as long as we don’t realize that all this wearable gear is making our bodies ill. It will be a fine line between keeping people’s interest in the technology, making it affordable, and seeing how much consumers will put up with invasion of privacy for ads, etc.”

A professor at a research university in the US wrote, “Overall, I think these will be beneficial, although I worry about people relying too heavily on embedded devices and such. Sunspot activity, a major storm that takes down power stations and towers, etc.—these are very real events, and I hope we all have a back-up plan. Google Glass is probably the best metaphor for what I think is coming. The future prospect of interaction via these wearable devices and body movements is exciting, but at the same time, we have no idea how the human brain will adapt to this sort of multi-tasking at this very detailed level. Long-form conversations, books, essays, and the like, will give way to short bursts and what someone (at Microsoft Research?) called ‘continuous partial attention.’ The pros and cons of this have been discussed in detail in the news media (i.e., Nicholas Carr), but we really have no idea yet.”

An advocate for free software wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yes. Beneficial? It depends on how much you value free software and computer user freedom. Right now, wearable devices tend to rely heavily on proprietary software—code we cannot see. Unless wearable devices become free software compatible, and therefore encouraging of DIY, creative hacking, these devices will do more harm than good. Proprietary software in medical devices, for example, is presently unregulated and arguably easy to hack, which could result in the stealing of medical records or the sabotaging of devices like pacemakers. There is also a privacy and security concern with storing so much personal information on centralized servers ‘in the Cloud,’ as long as mass surveillance continues.”

An employee of the US government based in Washington, DC, responded, “The human appetite for data about ourselves seems to be unending. I believe that as neuroscience evolves, it will blend with wearable data, so that we have readings on our brains at all times, as well as other parts of our bodies. This may or may not be beneficial—we’ll have more information, but will we also have more anxiety? Will we grow so data-driven that we lose touch with our spirituality? Will we become so obsessed with the brain that we’ll fail to exercise our minds? So, I see the trend growing, but to what benefit, I don’t know. It’s likely that Glass and Watch are the forerunners to a device or trend that really takes off. Glass and Watch may not be big hits, but they are ushering an age where other things will be.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Wearables will build on the smartphone and apps and be embedded into everyday life. The issues will be of the potential intrusion, surveillance, and uses of such extraordinary data. Wearable, connected devices will certainly grow and become more effective—and more of our sense will be used to manipulate, input, and communicate.”

An associate professor at the Pratt Institute wrote, “Medical and behavioral feedback devices will be commonplace—I already have a device that tells me not only about my steps and sleep, but also my posture.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It will be more popular, but not yet wide-spread; most (average) people find this scary.”

An administrator for technology-focused units in educational nonprofits wrote, “Information about everything that people purchase, read, or do that has been made available/monitored electronically will be available for ‘re-use.’ Knowing human preferences in many arenas will be common, and people will come to expect it. Difficulties will emerge, where people feel that their privacy has been invaded, a trust has been breached, a contract broken. It’s too soon to tell about uptake with the likes of Google Glass and the Samsung watch. They are interesting concepts, but whether the devices are useful enough (either for general or specific applications) to warrant getting used to and using them is unclear. A small number of people will probably want to experiment seriously with so called ‘mind melds.’ Alternatively, if communication by thoughts and bodily signals were part of a game, people would probably play with it.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It’s already becoming mainstream; in ten years, it will be prevailing technology. New connectivity models beyond Wi-Fi will drive this.”

A PhD candidate in information sciences and technology responded, “The interconnectivity headache that is the Internet of Things will prevent this from happening by 2025. The history of computational development has shown that we tend to keep proprietary standards alive and well in order to achieve a market competitiveness vis-a-vis other similar systems. For the same reason we will have multiple operating systems today, with versions tailored to different devices, which keeps inter-connectivity low, I see the same headache plaguing the Internet of Things. Also, too many existing ideas for Internet of Things ignore the technical/computational barrier to entry for the everyday person. Most people won’t want to learn to code just to make their fridge, garage door opener, or pool accessible to their smartphone, as is the case currently with most approaches, and few of the devices for these interoperate.”

A Web standardization professional wrote, “It will be interesting to see whether augmented reality apps take off as a result [of these technologies].”

A CEO for a company that builds intelligent machines that make you smarter about your money wrote, “The Internet of Things isn’t necessarily as important as the data it produces or the analytical engines that will evolve from the needs that vast amounts of data will expose. It is the appearance of these engines, running all day and night, which will signal the sea of change alluded to by the initial question. It’s not hard to imagine how our daily routines might change if our wearable devices, after connecting to engines that process how much money we have (and will have), how happy we are (and can be), and how healthy we are (and should be), give us feedback on conscious and unconscious levels about how we could improve our personal outcomes. You don’t have enough potassium today? Eat a banana. You need a little extra money? There’s a short-term contract position available, for which you have the perfect professional profile. Are you feeling a little blue? Your best friend just downloaded your favorite movie and wants you to come over to watch it. Today’s devices are what you’d expect from developers building for early adopters—they’re too literal, taking what we understand today about computing (including its limitations) and putting it into a form-factor for which is wasn’t designed. Glasses are a good start, in principle, as the utility of wearing corrective lenses is something we culturally understand. So, adding computing to that utility can feel almost like an incremental improvement by 2025; though, we’ll have clothing that computes—jackets, shirts, shoes, belts—our homes will compute, retrofitted with wireless capabilities in all their systems (water, electric, etc.). These won’t be computers that need to communicate with us the way our laptops and tablets communicate with us today. We need to get away from von Neumann’s perceptions about what input and output are supposed to be, and instead, open our minds to the myriad ways we communicate as humans with one another, as well as the similarly complex ways our bodies communicate with our conscious and unconscious selves.”

The policy director for a large US-based technology company responded, “We will see greater integration of the Internet of Things as the technology generations emerge—both more comfortable in using new technologies, as well as in creating new applications to use. We will see the rise in use in both commercial and social applications—from collaborating on projects in the workplace to seamlessly ‘meeting up’ with friends and ‘keeping up’ with family. The immediate difficulties will be a sense of being ‘always-on’—and the norm could shift from fear of being tracked to being considered odd if you are not tagged—which would be a profound shift in fundamental perceptions. The possibility of always being tracked, tagged, watched, filmed, and monitored will have an impact—especially given that, in many instances, an individual may have little or no say in being subject to the surveillance. Will there be ‘zones of privacy’—akin to some Seattle restaurants banning the use of Google Glass—where people are allowed their privacy?”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “You will never lose your car keys again—if you live long enough to experience the true ‘Internet of Things.’ Google Glass will fail. Google Retina Implants on the other hand…”

A freelance writer on social issues said, “I hope the Internet of Things, first and foremost, improves many aspects of personal health and safety.”

A professor at Stanford Law School wrote, “Sensor technology will enable the automation of medical tests, environmental quality monitoring, and other things that require deliberate action today.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The big elbows in the curve will include medical and security monitoring. There will be a bit of a digital divide here, but it’s too soon to tell how impactful that might be. It’s just a matter of time before one or more such devices create a highly attractive combination of ease of use, non-obtrusiveness, convenience, cost, and advantage—just like cell phones, PCs, and tablets. I suspect a useful perspective is that of having a constant companion that steadily learns your inclinations, needs, interests, and communicative habits. These might include gestures (explicit and otherwise), signs (where you point your eyes—already seen in some phones), and explicit commands. And why not?”

An executive at a top-level domain name operator wrote, “Perhaps, but the ‘benefits’ will probably accrue to technology’s early adopters more than the majority living their everyday lives. It sounds more science fiction than science fact. Considering the pushback on genetically modified crops, why should we believe that the general public will embrace wearable connected devices, when certain special interests will spread FUD [fear, uncertainty, and doubt] about the ‘downsides?’”

A computer-networking engineer at a network technology company that employs 75,000 people, and author and administrator of IETF standards, wrote, “That’s a broad enough question that I can answer, ‘Yes,’ without knowing what the specific impacts might be.”

A prolific technology writer responded, “Anything that we ‘care about,’ including infrastructure that’s never before been ‘instrumented’ (bridges, overpasses, drainage conduits), will be monitored in the Internet of Things. I’m skeptical that personal connectivity will evolve much beyond the current phones and wireless earphones/microphones—it’s just too invasive. One new class of devices would be an iWatch; I trust Apple to develop an elegant information appliance that fits into a watch form factor. I would find that far more compelling than a Google Glass. Professional connectivity will rapidly evolve—anyone doing something involving knowledge with their hands would benefit from having a heads-up display in their field of vision—from air conditioner repairmen to surgeons. Google Glass will evolve to be mainstream in professional usage, but only a very few will choose to use it in their personal lives. The most common interaction method will be voice (like Siri). Thought-based interfaces will be developed, primarily to aid those who have lost use of voice or limbs.”

An assistant professor at a Big Ten university wrote, “This idea of everything being ‘networked’ is disturbing. It’s convenient, but it’s problematic and invasive. I do not believe that people should be able to access all of their personal, private, and otherwise information in a single place. It is too risky for things like theft. Such technologies will reduce the very nature of being human, and people’s ability to effectively communicate may be diminished.”

A university professor based in Europe wrote, “The correct answer is—these devices are going to revolutionize all walks of life in very short period of time. The efficiency in production, services, and interpersonal communication will increase immensely due to these innovations; however, they will be a mixed blessing, since they will substantially increase the dependence of people on technologies and will immensely deepen the differences between the rich and poor parts of the world. All these developments are now in the reach. We are moving in the direction of Orwell’s prophecies on the basis of technological breakthroughs.”

A doctoral student at a university in Washington, DC, said, “Cyborgs rule. If science fiction is so powerful and so pervasive for so long, people will be readily accepting of body modification and cyborgian adaptation.”

A freelance editor and writer responded, “It depends on how people use them. They will be most useful for handicapped people and for the techies.”

A professor of business and economics and technology consultant wrote, “Smart clothing, constant physical health monitors, and linked appliances all will improve the quality of most lives, as well as improve the efficiency of natural resource utilization. If the technologies are used wisely, most people will be better off; yet ignoring the good potential from fear of change, or making poor use of the technology potential, could hurt billions of people. As in all of human history, the paths available have many opportunities and threats. Mankind must strive for improved governance systems to encourage gains for the many, and not for today’s increasing rewards to only the already wealthy and connected. Eye movement tracking is already here and being used in good ways. Helping keep the vehicle driver alert, monitoring human activity to encourage and protect safety, and other outcomes are already saving lives. This is likely to expand as technology and robotics protect humans from their own frailties. Yet the same tools could be used for evil, as has been human history. You can use dynamite to improve construction, or to destroy, as Nobel himself observed more than a century ago. Few of us would want all of our thoughts to be known to others or acted upon, and how to contain or control these in the future will be a challenge. Perhaps we will learn to have less violent, exploitative, or negative thoughts.”

A leader with Customer Carewords wrote, “By 2025, we will have embeddables. We’ll have more brain capacity.”

An information science professional wrote, “The effects will be widespread—people being more connected and yet disconnected, fractured attention spans, more people being physically one place while their attention/interaction is elsewhere. Some benefits to health include: monitoring exercise, diet, vital signs, etc. The barriers are social and economic—plenty of people still do not have access to the Things, or they can’t afford them. It will probably happen, and many will welcome the opportunity to further integrate the devices into their bodies and minds. I personally resist it—it’s bad enough that I’m so dependent on my smartphone. I still want the option to leave it behind or turn it off.”

A university professor from the Southwestern US wrote, “Individuals will want to keep tabs on their possessions. Governments will want to keep tabs on individuals. So, while private citizens seek to deter thieves and find misplaced items, governments will use ‘stealth-’ embedded links in an attempt to track as much as their data storage and analysis systems can hold. Google Glass is the gross-level beginning of a class of technologies that will eventually come pre-installed in many articles of clothing and consumer accessories. Some people will merely want to create permanent records of their experiences and surroundings, perhaps for blogging/journaling purposes, or perhaps in order to have ‘life logs’ to take with them in an attempt to cheat death by ‘uploading’ their minds (neural patterns) onto other ‘substrates’ (i.e., non-biological computational systems). Bodily gestures (of the sort Google Glass uses) are too obvious to observers to continue as a control system. Superior systems for that purpose include subvocalization, small muscle twitch, and, eventually, trans-cranial electrical signals from brain activity (when unobtrusive detectors become available in hats, etc.).”

A self-proclaimed “social innovation orphan” wrote, “Everything we invent has positive and negative effects. I can say ‘yes’ here, more because I am a believer in the human drive to improve than that I have some specific idea that wearables will have more good than harm in some specific way. Privacy will be a massive issue. Misuse will be an issue—say wearable devices for the ‘disabled’ will be so advantageous that the able-bodied people may adopt them in small cults, for example. Body signals are fine; eye movements won’t be. That, or the Asperger’s people who develop them will set the pattern for how they are used. <sarcasm>. I am not sure the Internet will be the Internet then; we may be on version three. The more states try to suppress it, the more likely it will be that it will surpass what it is now to be something that routes around those issues.”

A private law firm partner specializing in telecom/Internet regulatory issues wrote, “Everyone has a limited mental budget—you can only decide so many things, worry about so many things, etc. The Internet of Things will assist in taking some of the routine decision-making burden off of all of us. It really will help to have the refrigerator remind you that you need more milk. I suspect some of that will happen, but how much is impossible to say.”

A professor specializing in surveillance wrote, “These technologies already mess up everyday life and tamper with social relations—why not in 2025, when there is no sign yet that the ideology in place now will be altered? The Internet will be even more driven by consumption and standardisation—to control commerce and people.”

A futurist wrote, “The effect of the Internet of Things will be widespread but not yet transformative by 2025, as twelve years is not much time for systemic change. Rollout will be somewhat constrained by doubts about privacy and safety, along the lines of paranoia about smart power meters. The fact of ubiquitous spying using IT by intelligence agencies may be another constraint. Device formats and interfaces will proliferate, with room for anything that can provide desired functions.”

An independent researcher and writer who works at a major university wrote, “There will also be widespread and negative effects, including: privacy concerns, endless stimulation, lack of creativity, and lack of rest.”

An academic researcher wrote, “It is already happening!”

A technology developer/administrator employed by a large cable company responded, “This is where privacy becomes a serious concern—the benefits of always-available, ubiquitous computing and sensors are many in terms of efficiency, information access, etc., but the amount of information generated by interacting with them makes much more information available. The user interface will be the most important thing—the current method of interacting with computers (via screen, keyboard, etc.) is not intuitive, and as voice and gestural interaction become less frustrating and more accurate, people will transition to it naturally because it’s just simpler to use.”

A senior policy advisor for EDUCAUSE predicted, “Mobility raises concerns about monitoring and surveillance, especially in light of recent disclosures regarding NSA practices. More voice recognition and less typed commands will dominate the landscape.”

The digital editor for a major business and finance news organization responded, “Yes, [we will see effects]. Computers are getting smaller and closer to our bodies. There’s something to the quantified self approach: prevention, rather than treatment, in healthcare, anticipatory computing with AIs that can be much more helpful, etc. There will be the usual speed bumps to do with privacy and security, but these can be addressed.  Augmented-reality overlay of the real world will happen but requires centimeter-level indoor positioning, which is hard, along with head tracking, which requires more processing power. But in the long run, Google Glass will be seen as an early step in this direction, akin to Newton and smartphones.”

A futurist and consultant with MindShift wrote, “We will be in constant connection with the people and things in our lives. We will have a dashboard of items in use—their need for repair, schedules turning on/off, monitoring best times of use. Energy consumption will go down, and we’ll have reinforcing feedback to improve the lifestyles we choose.  These will eventually become implants and not accessories.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Sure [there will be effects], but again, not in the way that the hopefuls and the dystopians have in mind. We will continue to use technologies to communicate and to mediate the way we do things in our lives. Yes, there will be smarter technologies and homes, offices, transport, and cities. But hopefully, we will be more constrained, eventually, in our wild ambitions, and be more thoughtful about information security, infrastructure security, and human autonomy that all of this will just, as we always have done, work out. Wearable computing is a great opportunity, but Google Glass and the Samsung watch are terrible implementations. We will want better interfaces and better ways of communicating to others that we are interacting with in spaces that are not necessarily our real-spaces; and those types of wearable computing won’t be the ideal methods of doing so.”

A self-employed digital consultant responded, “There will be enhancements to the transhuman experience. All of the technology already exists; it’s just about uptake—market forces dictate that, so if Google smiles on it, it’ll probably happen.”

An anonymous survey participant who works as a cyber security policy strategist and consultant said, “No: while interconnected devices will make certain aspects of life easier, the ability of these devices to be affordable to the masses is still more than a decade away. For these devices to become part of everyday life, we not only need these technologies to be developed with generative technology so that they’re not reliant on costly firmware or subscription updates, they also must have saturated the environment such that there is a secondhand market. This likely won’t happen for most Americans until the 2030s. Physical touchscreen surfaces will remain the most prominent medium through 2030.”

A professor, Internet researcher, and entrepreneur with 25 years of experience wrote, “Again, most progress will be made in transport/logistics, with some improvements in business spaces and personal spaces. With ‘things’ becoming smarter and more connected, there will actually be need for fewer ‘things.’ Interaction with environments, both close and remote, will be done in a more sensible (more ‘automated’) way; however, the main barrier is in clueless regulation, which very well might either be too little for a real market to form or too much so that the market is inhibited before it really takes off. We have stopped ‘interacting with the Internet’ already a while ago, just as we are not interacting with the air around us, except for some special cases. Devices that reduce the threshold to accessing the digital part of reality will continue to thrive, just as laptops, smartphones, and tablets have. Much of the attention to Google Glass focuses on the privacy aspects, as the regulatory environment has not yet adapted to its surveillance capability. BCI (brain computer interfaces) and other always-available forms of accessing digital reality are promising, but it is still hard to predict whether they will have gained traction only a decade from now.”

The CEO for a major US analytics and trends consulting firm wrote, “The biggest impact will be on health, with sensors that alert the user and healthcare providers with information early enough for intervention to be more successful than it is today. Also, information systems will be available 24/7, so it will no longer be necessary to ‘go online’ or look at a device to get information. Google Glass is only a hint of what is to come. [I am] not sure about thoughts by 2025, but certainly, body movements, voice, and gestures will become standard as ways to interact with devices. That’s already happening. As per thoughts—that also will happen, but I am not sure how well by 2025.”

A digital knowledge lab director at a major US research university wrote, “I don’t like the binary structures of these questions. ‘Yes,’ and ‘no,’ are the answers to just about everything. These devices will be laughably archaic in 2025. No one knows what the next thing will be. It might be something one swallows…”

An anonymous survey respondent said, “Over the next decade, wearable technology will definitely become something more accessible to the greater population and make more people desire to quantify their lives. Some people will be really turned off by it, but others will readily accept the practice. While these types of devices will not replace traditional laptops and computers, they will definitely allow people another level of immediate sharing that will be useful to more easily capture news and funny moments.”

A senior researcher for a government research agency in Canada wrote, “People will become lazier, expend less personal energy, and become less fit. This will be the biggest impact, unfortunately, of computers being used to replace many tasks that currently use personal effort to complete.”

An activist advocating for individuals online wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yet, whether they will be beneficial is arguable. People will track themselves, maybe to the detriment of attention to outside themselves. Yes to impacts emerging from thought and eye control of devices, though it most likely will be voice. Eventually, some will get weary, rebel, and turn themselves off.”

An assistant director of the Center for Advanced Study of Communities and Information at the University of Maryland, School of Information Studies responded, “Distributed sensors and wearable devices, such as cell phones (which are in most people’s pockets or purses), will continue to have important impacts on human behavior. In addition, they allow detection and management of environmental health. The ability to monitor these continually and on a micro-scale will enable a better understanding of relationships between the physical, biological, and human activities. Fingers have been the main method for interacting with devices since their inception—first through keyboards, then the mouse, then touchscreens. We have recently begun using voice more, but it is still fairly faulty. It will take a lot to move people to rely primarily on voice. Moving to such methods as eye movement tracking will be even harder.”

An associate professor of history and author wrote, “More networked wearable devices will be manufactured—more clothes and accessories, for example. But I’m not sure the results will be beneficial. In fact, these will be outlawed in some public places—we already saw the beginnings of such restrictions when some restaurants banned Google Glass. When people will be able to interact via their thoughts, others will be able to hack their thoughts; that’s a terrifying thought.”

A professor at the University of Toronto wrote, “I worry about the ecological and environmental consequences of these technologies. We need to think about this as we develop new apps/services/technologies—from the beginning, and not afterward. I worry about the health (bodily) implications of wearables.”

A researcher and professor at the University of Maryland wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yes. These devices are a baby-step in the direction of pervasiveness. The problem is that they are still trying to force a desktop-office metaphor for thinking about and organizing information into the rest of the user’s life. That has never really worked. But someone will come up with a new information architecture.”

A developer of technological systems that assist the development of the whole human wrote, “Particularly, we will see impacts in managing the effects of aging. Forgetting things will become rare since we will wear a ‘memory agent’ that understands our life and habits and can answer (if not preempt) a question about who or what or where. Robotic-physical assists will be commonplace, whether by amplification of nerve signals or by direct mind control. We will be able to see the world at any time, through any digital filter, as we walk around it. Solitude will become another commodity. Whether we have moved past an obsession with knowledge or not? There may be a frustration with knowledge as a thing and for people to yearn for understanding and mastery. Exactly what products emerge from this is a little hard to predict—possibly robotic add-ons that move our bodies so we learn physical skills. Will there be AI systems that question our understanding of ideas?”

A senior staffer for an Internet/Web standard organization responded, “It will happen because it’s useful to connect to anything, and it’s possible to do so. The HCI (human computer interaction) will evolve so that we don’t see the computer anymore. Thoughts may be hard to capture with enough details—but body signals, of course. There are sensors already that you can put anywhere on your body, even inside like a pacemaker, and that can tell with a 1-cm precision what your body has just done (teeth movement, toes, etc.).”

A professor at a university in North America predicted, “Commercial aspects will grow.  Robotics will help people with disabilities, too.”

A self-employed programmer and Web developer wrote, “People will find new and useful ways to organise, work with, and even block out information.”

An associate professor at a university in the US Northeast wrote, “There is increased funding going for developing pervasive technologies for public use, and I believe there are many research projects in that direction, as well as a lot of interest in going in that direction. Pervasive computing will continue to rise, with cross-platform interaction, interaction with computing devices, and interfaces everywhere and anywhere.”

An academic wrote, “I am so tired of reading about the ‘Internet of Things.’ I don’t see much there except the buzz. This will still be a niche usage.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There are also downsides: remote vulnerabilities, surveillance, and a new digital divide between users and non-users—people who trust the new world and people who don’t.”

A managing director of a consultancy wrote, “Medical devices, fitness, and cars will be the primary applications.”

An anonymous respondent predicted, “Wearable devices, from the iWatch to the personal trainer wrist band or the cardiac monitor, will become common household consumer items. Industry will further automate with embedded systems and the Internet of Things. The critical issue will be how much privacy and autonomy over digital data will remain for the average citizen. No to thought-based interfaces. People will want to be in control with their fingers and hand gestures.”

A futurist with the Millennium Project predicted, “Human consciousness and technology will begin to be noticeable as a continuum—as a new kind of phenomena in conscious-technology evolution. The distinctions between humans and technology will blur as a global conscious-technology begins to emerge. This is not just the global brain(s) concept, as the bodies of technology and the bodies of humans will increasingly be interconnected.”

A professional in software research and development for a major software organization said, “It will have widespread effects, but many will be, arguably, just as harmful as beneficial.”

A professional who works for a small user research consulting firm observed, “[The effects will] spread, yes. [Will there be] benefits? That remains to be seen. I’m not sure that Google Glass and the Samsung watch are really meaningful examples, but they will be replaced by meaningful examples.”

A past member of IEEE and ACM noted, “It will have both beneficial and negative impacts. I am not sure which will be greater.”

A research fellow at Danube University Krems, Austria, predicted, “The effects may be widespread and that the spread will not stop. I am not sure if they will be necessarily beneficial to humans, and I worry more about them being utilised, abused, and taken advantage of. I am not sure if personal information is ‘safe’ and whether organisations that collect or join-up such information are safe either! I fear the 24/7 communication and the belief that people should be contactable all the time.”

A professor in the humanities at a major private university responded, “[The effects will be] widespread, yes; beneficial—that is much harder to determine. I suspect that this technological transformation will also change our sense of what constitutes a ‘benefit,’ so it is impossible to answer from our current perspective whether a new paradigm of what counts as a benefit is better or worse.”

A researcher based in Europe wrote, “[The effects will not be] entirely beneficial—but widespread, yes. I would imagine devices would be able to help people with disabilities more. Google Glass is stupid and will die a death, but something like it might then be reappropriated as aids for people with disabilities. The watch thing seems unlikely to catch on, given that watches are no longer that common. A certain subset of gadget freaks might get them.”

An engineer at an Internet company responded, “The effects will be widespread, probably, but beneficial? I doubt it, especially when it comes to privacy (most gadgets today send everything to the Cloud).”

A professor at Aoyama Gakuin University wrote, “There could be some really great benefits in the area of medicine, but there are heavy privacy problems there, too. Eye tracking as part of user input is already quite feasible, but thought-controlled input will take more time. In both cases, the problem is that, contrary to control for our hands, which is very precise, we are not in full control of our eyes and our thoughts.”

A research scientist wrote, “It will be widespread, yes, but beneficial, no.”

An information scientist for a non-profit research organization said, “This will probably be true. I’ll argue by analogy. We lived without smartphones prior to their introduction and have now adapted behavior and social interactions to take advantage of them. The same will happen with an Internet/Cloud of Things.”

A PhD and Internet policy participant in global activities of civil society wrote, “I guess intelligence, health, and entertainment will use this technology the most.”

A technologist working in Internet policy wrote, “It has been meatspace versus cyberspace for too long. Internet of Things devices will work to collapse this notion and bring us to a more ‘present’ and comfortable state, with respect to both physical interactions and digital communications. We will need to adequately give people control over what these things can send and from where they are sent, and that is very hard to predict. We need forms of interaction that are simple and seamless but not unintuitively not present (so we don’t make mistakes regarding where things reside and who has access to them). Devices will continue to get smaller, more powerful, and more malleable (conducting plastics), as well as become embedded as parts of our body. We will need to deal with the implications (disease caused by implantation, psychological effects of new forms of interactions, and government access to our thoughts or computer-supported cognition).”

A research scientist based in North America wrote, “The only reason I say ‘no’ is that you use the words ‘beneficial’ and ‘public.’ The Internet of Things will happen; the public may see benefits, but I’m not sold on the public benefiting from that. Most of the benefits will be reaped by the installers of the Internet-of-Things-crap, and not by the public. For example, I do not think that I will reap any benefit from the crappy electrical company that installed a smart meter on my house; they, on the other hand, have the potential to benefit. I’m a strong believer in voice commands and hope that it becomes the main input medium for devices. The devices you mention are the first generation of technologies that have great potential to fail by not getting market acceptance. Thought control is not going to happen in the next twelve years. Eye movement is possible, but that has serious implications when multitasking, such as looking at a map and driving. Thus, I’m not sure it will work.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Yes, and no: As previously noted, there is great potential in ubiquitous sensors and data gathering, yet I do not see this as innately something that would be beneficial. It may be so. It may also be yet another form of labor that shifts from the public sector to the uncompensated (or even paying!) individual.”

A professor and dean at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill responded, “I use several simple health monitoring sensors regularly. Baby Boomers will buy all kinds of devices to monitor themselves, and their health care providers will prescribe even more. Some parents will track their kids. As an optimist, there will be more benefits than deficits. Cool toys are always fun for a while.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Every single thing in 2025 will be connected.”

A university professor wrote, “Life will be much different, and these innovations should improve the quality of life. That is beyond my imagination.”

A director of creative services for a nonprofit in Washington, DC, responded, “The common barriers of cost, distribution, and quality can be anticipated. But we are nearing an event horizon in this area, I believe. We can only imagine.”

A PhD student wrote, “Healthcare will certainly be an arena for research and development and adoption. More seniors elect to stay home, so monitoring systems both of the physical property, as well as their physical being, are essential. Implants for eye, ear, heart, lung, and kidney will have wearable accessories that gather and transmit data to medical care professionals and pharmacies. On the Big Brother side, be careful about buying a cheeseburger with your debit card after having a pacemaker installed—you might get fined for not managing your diet properly!  I am waiting for the Star Trek communicator—a device that you wear that transmits messages to the right person by immediately analyzing your tone and the content of your message.”

A principal research scientist at a university-affiliated research center predicted, “The prevalence of networked, embedded devices will create an infrastructure ripe for per-person tracking, leading to the complete loss of privacy for all people. People’s willingness to give up basic privacy rights in exchange for trinkets will quickly turn society upside down. Think 1984.”

An Internet policy professional wrote, “The Internet of Things is simply a way to describe more identifiers tied to networking. It is possible that medical advances will be made and beneficial.”

The senior policy adviser for a major US Internet service provider wrote, “Health monitoring through clothing and devices will reach extraordinary levels of proficiency. Energy and home security controls will become extremely efficient. Social backlash to devices such as Google Glass will require manufacturers to impose key constraints on the capabilities of such devices. The backlash to clickstream monitoring will grow, and this will fuel deep distrust of any technologies that ‘read’ thoughts or eye movements.”

A network scientist with BBN technologies observed, “I’ll grant that Internet of Things technologies will be beneficial but probably not dramatically so. I suspect that, for the most part, the Internet of Things will help more things go right and help more dumb things do smarter things. Anywhere there’s currently a human in the loop, there’s an opportunity for failure, as well as an opportunity for a device to make sure things go right. And, new, smarter devices will be able to do more things right—i.e., the new security devices that can learn their users patterns of living. My general instinct is that technologies that feel futuristic don’t come true—the benefits are usually overstated and the costs understated. Google Glass and the Samsung Watch both have that feeling for me; likewise thought-based interactions.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “I’m more positive about this one. Embedded medical monitoring devices could be a huge help. Considering the Internet of Things—how do we record our cultural heritage? What about our environment—potential for much better environmental management though collection of data and monitoring programs? We need simulations to illustrate what will happen if we don’t take care of things. The limitations will come from ‘human brain processing power.’ Our sensory systems are already getting overloaded, though if we don’t have to drive and do some of the other things that we currently do, this will free up time for more sophisticated wearables. At present, the wearables are clunky, but they will get better. The question is will they be good enough?”

A business school professor noted, “The key dividing line is when these kinds of phenomena go from special-purpose to taken for granted. It was one thing when some companies had websites; it was something else entirely when every company did. By 2025, there will be many classes of consumer products, where networked connectivity will be taken for granted.”

A researcher in computer science wrote, “The quantified-self movement has just begun. It will be a big deal in the future, resulting in more wearable gadgets.”

A leader at an online news organization wrote, “Huh? Everything will be networked, at least for the rich. Unfortunately, if we let corporations control access, it will be unequal and censored. A chip in the head is inevitable, though I am not sure if [this will happen] by 2025.”

A general manager for Microsoft predicted, “General benefits from sensors/the Internet of Things will most likely be felt in the civic infrastructure—for example, better traffic management, etc., by 2025. I tend to think that many of the wearables concepts are likely to be fads without a viable market, but it will be interesting to see what happens.”

A freelance journalist, editor-at-large, and product reviewer for technology publications wrote, “As I said in my previous answers, absolutely. Wearable technology—technology that scans and gathers and analyses our personal data—everything from daily activities to blood pressure—are already creeping into our lives. As we age, clothing that monitors our life signs will become prescription items. Some surveys suggest that Bluetooth headsets have begun to take the stigma from hearing aids. Can tattoos with embedded circuitry be far behind? As I said, the potential of a product like Google Glass is hard to quantify, but if they get it right, it’ll be game-changer. Imagine a version that is integrated into what appears to be a regular set of prescription eyewear? The wearer of those ‘glasses’ could Google people they just met while they’re being introduced, verify their identities with facial recognition software, share the conversation secretly—including video from his or her POV with someone remotely viewing the same scene—and record events with digital video. Once all this gets going, I suspect some sort of null-force generator will emerge, something you carry on your person that jams any electronic perception activity around you.”

An Internet consulting services professional wrote, “The most significant and beneficial application will be in health monitoring for elderly and chronically ill people.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The effects will not necessarily be beneficial, but they will definitely have a commercial impact. If a wearable device might allow a company like Google or Facebook to take control of our buying habits, they will undoubtedly invest millions on making this wearable device as affordable as possible. Beneficial effects will be an illusion people will be willing to live comfortably with. As always, big companies in control of wearable devices will just become bigger.  Biosensors capable of measuring everything from our heart rate and temperature to our blood levels will be tied with pervasive, geo-referenced commercial applications in a way that people might be easily directed to what to buy. It’s always been about what to buy, only with new tools.”

The CEO of a Internet Network Information Center wrote, “Yes, we will be more Internet-connected to everybody, but we will be socially unconnected to those in the same room.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Health monitoring and personal safety will become the norm. We will lose our freedom. We will be able to use SQUIDs, which will read our thoughts. I have no idea where that will lead.”

A professor at the University of Southern California responded, “Like all new technologies, it is apt to have beneficial, harmful, and neutral consequences. On the positive side, we will see applications that are designed to insure accessibility for people with all kinds of disabilities; we will further enrich the information environment, allowing us to draw up information as needed—for example, much greater annotations from a range of groups around the food and other commodities we buy. On the neutral side, there will be a range of entertainment applications. On the negative side, this is apt to further expand inequalities of access to information and control over the infrastructure of our society. And, there is apt to be further difficulty in sustaining face-to-face communication amongst people who are cut off from each other via their digital overlays. Eye movements and other individualized gestures will be utilized for sure—I am less sure about thought-based interfaces.”

The project director for the national health portal of India wrote, “Newer generations will be more attracted to those [technologies] and use them more frequently.”

A research scientist for Google responded, “Cars will be much more tightly regulated and monitored. The current generations of wearable computers will not attract a large following, but the later generations that incorporate exoskeletons will be much more popular among outdoor enthusiasts.”

The publisher of Innovation Watch wrote, “Everything will have intelligence, increasing economic efficiency and productivity, and reducing risk through real-time sensing of the environment. Robots will become mainstream. An economic revolution will result, with both positive and negative consequences. A radical, new economy will emerge. Many new jobs will be created, but many more will be destroyed. Economic inequality will increase as entrepreneurs are rewarded and wage pressure and unemployment continues to hollow out the middle class. This will increase the level of social unrest.  The next convergence is brain-machine interfaces, where people will be able to control devices with their thoughts. Silicon chips may be embedded to repair or augment the brain. Internet traffic between connected devices (including robots) will far outweigh the traffic that is generated by people. Wearable devices are inevitable, given the future prevalence of the Internet of Things.”

An associate professor and researcher from the University of Toronto said, “IPv6 will increasingly be used for end-user tracking and routing/storage. Interfaces will be somewhat sensual.”

A policy advisor in an academic library said, “I can envision programs that will remind people to exercise, or that by tracking individuals, will be able to develop better transportation systems (both pedestrian and for bicycles). We will also be able to have the devices remember names and faces for us. Privacy may be an issue. What if governments no longer had to rely on CCTV cameras but could access video feeds from every person in the country? It could make finding criminals much easier—but it could also invade privacy. Similarly, will insurance companies want to know if your Fitbit count for the day was not up to the recommended levels? Thoughts seem like a reach, but eye movements, physical movements, and sound/voice seem like the ways we will interact with the Internet.”

A retired professor of education wrote, “Quality of life has little to do with more ‘things.’  [Benefits are] likely, but nobody will be happier than in the 1960s.”

An information science professional wrote, “There’s still a lot of novelty stuff out there in this area. Useful things, like devices that can monitor health issues, will probably not be affordable for the average person. Google Glass is stupid. Enough said.”

A professor of political science wrote, “I am not a Futurologist! Probable development of smart watches with phones will lead to medical applications that will allow constant monitoring of a person’s vitals. Some Google technology is likely to develop alongside smartphones and watches.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “They may be implemented but not entirely beneficial, unless one goes missing.”

The publisher for a large scholarly society specializing in digital communication observed, “It becomes increasingly possible to imagine just about everything we own and use being somehow connected to the Internet. Privacy issues, as mentioned before, will abound, as will connectivity issues and issues related to the widening of the digital divide. I can absolutely imagine increasing levels of gesture-based interaction with devices and the information they carry: thoughts—I’m less sure of.”

The chief privacy officer for a US technology company wrote, “Yes, [there will be] beneficial and negative impacts. Sixth sense is the future. We will interact more with the digital environment and use the data more naturally.”

A director of innovation wrote, “High-tech wearables (i.e., with displays showing the mood of their wearer) will be commonplace at parties within a year. I spoke at last month’s World Forum on Internet of Things (Cisco) and met leaders of several city-level projects using Internet of Things to collect data on a citywide basis. That is the good (intended) side of Internet of Things. I also heard that some high-tech criminals are already tracking smart-phone users (via their Bluetooth signals) to identify people who are worth mugging. This was in Barcelona, whose criminals are very technology-aware.  Today’s wearable devices will be long superseded, seen as quaint. Viable devices will be much smaller and less obtrusive and will have long-life power sources or will use scavenged power (collected from movement of limbs or from surrounding electromagnetic fields). In terms of interacting via thoughts: in the lab, maybe. Neuro-technology that sophisticated is neither small nor cheap. But it is hard to imagine that thought-based interfaces will be portable and widespread. In terms of other bodily signals: I would say ‘yes’ to sub-vocalised sound. We give away more information than we know—for example, people using ATMs typically rehearse their PINs to themselves before they enter their PINs on the keypad. But eye movements are hard to disambiguate on a sustained (all-day) basis.”

A political scientist who studies cyberculture wrote, “I don’t think that there is a barrier: just that most of the ‘wearables’ will be frivolous. Hopefully, the energy will be put into wearables for medical needs.”

A law professor at Georgetown University wrote, “There will be benefits that flow from the ‘Internet of Things,’ but those benefits may be overhyped. It will be great to have your refrigerator tell you when you’re running out of milk (or beer), or be able to adjust your home heating from your smart phone—and on and on. Those are tangible benefits that will make easier for folks who are financially able to live a networked life. But will they be transformative? I doubt it. I would put my money on wearable devices that are not, like Google Glass, devices that you must engage with on a constant basis. To me, the watch idea is far more attractive. As to whether people will, by 2025, interact via their thoughts, I am skeptical that that will come to pass in only a decade.”

A self-employed consultant focusing on Internet policy and technology said, “Yes, But whether the beneficial effects will outweigh the harm is another matter.”

A self-employed digital communications consultant wrote, “The biggest changes will come in the service sector and retail. You will see more customized shopping experiences or customized service experiences in the hospitality industry (i.e., hotels, restaurants). In my humble opinion, those are ‘low hanging fruit’ for embedded and wearable devices. If marketers can avoid glomming these things up with bad experiences, crappy content, and one-sided dialogue, things could be quite revolutionary. If so, we could see a lot of QR code-like fad marketing trends. As someone who has a disability that affects how much I can type on a screen, I would like to see people interacting with their thoughts and body signals in the future. And there certainly seems to be advances with people working with robotic limbs, etc., that seem to point toward this being a possibility. The key, like everything, will be the ability to monetize it and how easy it is for the public to use and integrate into their day-to-day life.”

The CEO of an Internet-based company wrote, “Lines will need to be drawn on what is acceptable and not acceptable for security reasons; however, with knowledge comes power, which gives people more control over their life. How they use them will be up to them. It would depend on the application, its safety, its security and purpose. Fun, efficient, minimal feedback wearable devices will be accepted such as the Samsung watch; however, Google Glass may not be due to unforeseen implications—for example, a person’s ability to drive their car could be negatively impacted by the glasses and become a safety concern, similar to some states/provinces forbidding people to text while driving.”

A professor of education at a major US research institution said, “Consumers must plan to pay for these bonuses from such devices, or else the commercial realities and costs will produce high social and political difficulties in the area of digital divide and privacy concerns—for example, where a device aids tracking health, and how an insurance company could deny coverage based on one’s behavior that ordinarily would be private info.”

The principal engineer for an Internet of Things development company wrote, “The Internet of Things (IoT) will become more important, as any/all electronic devices (i.e., refrigerators, lights) will become increasingly fitted with communication modems and TCP/IP (or equivalent) stacks.”

A behavioral researcher specializing in design in voting and election wrote, “I can’t imagine what the effects will be. In 2006, I couldn’t imagine carrying around a lovely piece of glass in my pocket that was not only a phone, but also a sophisticated computer. Glass and the Samsung watch are toys—prototypes. They’re out in the world right now as a sort of proof of concept. The designers and developers will be watching to see what people do with them, as well as how they’re misused, over the next few years. And then, they’ll iteratively improve them, perhaps even by throwing out what we see now and moving to something quite different based on what they see people doing in the wild.”

An associate vice president at the University of Maryland-Baltimore wrote, “Absolutely, there will be widespread, beneficial effects. I can see no greater advantage to the Internet of Things than in health care and in support for the disabled. To be able to monitor patients in real-time and evaluated data interactively will be a boon. Right now, those things are novelties, but most technologies need to succeed commercially before there can be real advancement in use of the technology for other things. Think of CDs as music storage before they became mass data storage devices. I’m not so sure I want people in my thoughts, but I could see an advantage to the use of brain waves and eye movements for people with disabilities. It’s happening now.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Absolutely there will be widespread, beneficial effects. Look at Google Glass—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’re a short step away from implants, nanotechnology, and computers that connect directly to our cerebral cortex, as well as artificial limbs that can be controlled with nerve impulses and the like. Need and novelty will be the hard drivers in this area of technological development. We’re moving so swiftly into technological realms that, twenty years ago, we all considered Star Trek to be fantasy. There’s really no way to tell how or where the interaction will emerge. I do believe that there will be a bellwether to lead the charge, followed by adoption of any new technology that provides a service.”

A technology risk and cybersecurity expert for a US-based financial services association wrote, “The Internet of Things represents a convergence of cyber with physical that could provide new and beneficial services, as well as introduce new dependencies, vulnerabilities, and security concerns. If the last ten years of technology development were about making it easier for people to exchange information with one another and connect via companies like Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Dropbox, perhaps the next ten years will be about making it easier for the physical world to interact with computer control systems over the Internet. Internet of Things introduces the potential for new security risks and new forms of attacks if these sensors and devices and their supporting infrastructure get compromised. Vulnerabilities in every device you own could provide the attacker with an opportunity to penetrate, intercept, and manipulate information, modifying the behavior and trustworthiness of the devices, while we become increasingly dependent on our personal Web of information and things. Wearable, connected devices open up new possibilities and benefits (particularly for medical monitoring) but also introduce new challenges and concerns, especially around privacy.”

A lecturer in international politics and the cyber dimension responded, “I don’t like the use of the word ‘beneficial’ in this question, but I’ve selected ‘yes’ anyway. There will be detrimental effects as well, depending on perspective. The prospects are exciting and promising. I don’t know that the Samsung watch could be placed in the same category as Google Glass, though.”

The deputy director of the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute wrote, “This is part of the move toward ubiquitous computing. ‘Labor saving’ devices, along with networking us as individuals to the Internet and the Cloud, will be enabled by wearable devices.”

A counsel for the Shuttleworth Foundation responded, ” The most common daily devices linked to the Internet will be devices that monitor various aspects of the wearer’s health and, in some cases, deliver drugs or other treatments to the wearer. While granting health benefits to wearers, the devices will also collect a lot of personal data. There will be legal and political battles over who owns the data, even in the aggregate. There will also be absurd fights in which the manufacturers of wearable or embedded devices, on which the lives of wearers depend, will try to remove the devices based on intellectual property claims. By 2025, not everyone in the world will benefit from these devices. Many in Africa will not be able to afford the devices and will have significantly worse health prospects. One significant development will be the way in which personal computing devices (whether phones, watches, or tablets) will become the universal remotes for all kinds of other things. While people will interact with their devices and Internet through voice commands and screens, they will also interact with cars, washing machines, industrial equipment, and systems in buildings through their personal computing devices. While the personal computing device, most likely phones, will be what most people carry with them all the time, they will interface with the PCB (wirelessly) through any number of input devices, such as large screens in homes and businesses, watches, and HUDs in vehicles. The user will give the PCB voice commands that the PCB will then translate into commands transmitted wirelessly to ‘things:’ washing machines, industrial machines, and security systems. ‘Things’ may often not be directly responsive to people, who will require a personal device to communicate with and control them. This will create some threats to safety so that it will likely be necessary to legislate manual overrides. It does not seem likely that eye movements or brain waives will control devices by 2025; however, a generation accustomed to voice command over their personal devices, as well as through them, almost all manmade ‘things,’ will operate them with an assurance and fluidity that older generations (including ourselves) will find as bewildering as brain wave control.”

A research scientist wrote, “The current driving forces behind the Internet of Things as a concept and technological innovation seem to be technology-centric, rather than people- or human-centric. I have very limited hope for its widespread uses for greater benefit for human society.”

A department manager for an Internet Network Information Center wrote, “I see the biggest value (and drawback) in how children will be supported. I envision being able to use these wearables/scannables to always know where my grandchildren are, who they’re with, what they’re studying in school (in real time, of course), and what risks are posed by their immediate environment. The downside to all of this is that true privacy, or being able to slip ‘off the grid’ for even a few minutes, will likely be impossible. I hope we never get to the point where internal physical processes are publicly available—that idea creeps me out.”

An analyst at a US think tank wrote, “It will become common for everyday objects (i.e., keys, coats) to include devices so that you can find where you placed them. Self-biomonitoring will become increasingly common. There will be devices projecting out from the Fitbit, etc. Some may be no better than mood rings, while others will surely be for legitimate medical reasons and will communicate information back to your doctor or new health monitoring services.”

A research scientist wrote, “It is debatable whether recent technological advances have had a net-positive or net-negative influence on the quality of ‘everyday lives.’ Given that the key factors influencing the quality of everyday lives are structural (i.e., poverty), I doubt the technological advances will do much, save increasing comfort and efficiency for a modest proportion of the population. I’m sure Google Glass and other similar devices will do well, and I’m sure some people will interact (using new technology) with bodily signals and eye movements.”

The president and principal consultant at a product usability consulting firm wrote, “The Internet will increase greatly in bandwidth by 2025, but much of that bandwidth may be consumed by a vast increase in the number of personal devices accessing the Internet and an even larger number of autonomous data-transmitting and collecting devices attached to the Internet. So, it is possible that the net effect will be no significant perceptible increase in response time. Interaction via thoughts is in the distant future for everyone except paraplegics. Interaction via eye movements and other subtle gestures is much closer to being widespread.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Implants will be used to access the ubiquitous Internet.”

A researcher and academic wrote, “As a society, we have adapted to technological change. A 2-year-old with an iPad or iPhone tells us everything we need to know. It has happened in a rapid-fire way that leaves only a ‘generational’ divide or an income divide between the users and the non-users. In my opinion, this is more generational than income-driven. There will be less visible but far more 24/7 connectivity, along with adaptation to body-Internet synergistic movements.”

An educational technology broker wrote, “It’s Minority Report.”

An independent scholar wrote, “Global warming can destroy everything and cause massive, if slow, social upheaval. People won’t interact with the Internet; they will interact through networks.”

An anonymous respondent said, “No, [there will not be widespread, beneficial effects]. It will continue to make people lazy in terms of access and routinized (but important) thinking.”

A research professor at the University of California-Berkeley, wrote, “We will become very vulnerable to these technologies, and it could be devastating. You should read Marge Piercy’s book, He, She, It, for a futurist view; she did it before the Internet, almost prophetically.”

The associate director for a non-governmental organization wrote, “Wearable devices will be widely accepted and used; however, embedded devices—not so much. People want their technology to ‘show.’”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The big impact will be in disintermediating human beings from the boring stuff. I won’t have to fill out forms, write shopping lists, or remind myself to replace light bulbs. There’ll also be a reaction to this—the rise of artisanal shopping list writers who provide expensive artefacts with beautiful copperplate calligraphy. The quantified self also seems to be an emerging trend (coupled with the ‘quantified group’). The big question will be whether we listen to what our gadgets tell us. At this stage, we don’t know how these different interfaces are going to pan out. Despite tools like Siri, we still haven’t integrated voice recognition technologies into our human-computer interaction experiences. Our primary interface is a keypad, with a layout designed 150 years ago. It’s inevitable that we will see more interactive technologies (such as eye movement), but not all of them will be winners.”

A Columbia University doctoral student wrote, “Embedded and wearable technologies are already emerging as part of everyday life. The quantified experience of individuals will only expand.”

The CEO of a company located in Africa wrote, “Almost every human and business relationship will be digitalized. With the rate of the accelerated technological development, this will be most expected.”

A college professor and social science researcher studying health information and social media responded, “New technologies equals new effects. These may or may not be beneficial, but the collection of data via networked devices is not inherently good. The development of new technology is often lauded as inevitably positive and transformative progress, but we seem to rarely take the time to critique these claims. Social and political difficulties include concerns over privacy and surveillance. Barriers may be that there is not sufficient benefit for them to be adopted and sustained.”

A professor in the department of communication studies at a Texas university wrote, “I answered ‘yes,’ assuming that there will still be an energetic population developing a constant stream of innovation. The dangers come from a consolidated market in which a few interests attempt to restrict others. There is a limit to such devices because of human information processing limits. We cannot spend all of our time processing information that leads to more processing of information that leads to more processing of information. Furthermore, most of these devices discourage communication and encourage performance. ‘Interact via thoughts’ assumes interaction. I see less ‘interaction’ today. Furthermore, having access to thoughts does not mean people will choose to interact this way—see preferences for SMS over voice when using a telephone as an example.”

A professor of political science at a university responded, “These will simply be extensions of our smartphone and make the use of computers and the Internet more flexible. So, the bonus question is, [will there be] a technique to get people to answer more questions?”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “When everything is connected the amount of computation capacity will grew exponentially and then, that is akin to create a large intelligence (after all, our mind is simply a large network of neurons, a Internet of things). Remember, the most important permanent wearable connected devices is called smartphone. If people still need to differentiate between online and offline interaction then overt visible interactions (such as eye movements or verbal orders) will not be the most used way to interact with Internet (since they tend to disrupt offline interaction). Thoughts could be less overt and more ‘immediate’ way to interact but it will depend on physical integrity (since physical interference probably will generate more fears ).

A research scientist wrote, “Yes, there will be benefits in terms of health maintenance and monitoring energy usage. We will have devices internal to our bodies.”

A research scientist based in Asia/Southeast Asia wrote, “Yes, such devices may change our lifestyles, particularly for women and for people with disabilities, by bringing more opportunities to participate in society. In turn, this may challenge the existing social arrangements in such key areas as workplace and in education.”

A social scientist at a North American university wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yes. They will be beneficial sometimes, but also negative as things can be hacked, such as runaway cars. I don’t think that much will be done via thoughts or bodily signals. Glass will provide information and some communication.”

The head of a communications technology association and editor of communications technology handbooks wrote, “Medical remote monitoring will be a major area of growth of applications, particularly for the elderly population. Development of self-maintained biological interfaces will be an area of primary development if they are advances in treatments for illnesses that can be delivered and managed in that fashion (in a more cost-effective fashion). As the general population encounters possible reductions in freedom and mobility, or in increased financial burdens associated with the Internet of Things, there will be increasing domestic vandalism that attempts to render some of these undesirable systems. Thought control of devices will become more developed but will probably not be widely diffused in the next decade; the decade afterward will see more growth.”

A political science professor at a private university located in the US Southeast wrote, “The success of the Internet of Things will need the right informational technology and the right people.”

A university professor from North America said, “Yes, the Internet of Things will have widespread effects, but they will not all be beneficial. We’ve already seen some of the downsides in terms of attention/focus loss and social disconnection.”

A principal sampling statistician at the American Institutes for Research wrote, “One effect will be integrated networks of robot-driven vehicles. Another will be medical hook-ups to provide quick responses to strokes, heart attacks, accidents, and other medical conditions requiring a quick response. The fascination with wearable, connected devices will begin to level off. There will be pushback against exposing thoughts to others.”

A research assistant at the Polytechnic University of Portugal said, “As Internet access and wearable computing become more common, people will start using them. If I can turn on the heat before coming home or feed my pet from the office because I’m running late, I will want that. Some company will want to sell you these capabilities. And this will improve people’s lives in some way, so this will become standard issue. I’m thinking more about neural helmets or something similar. People will think what they want—take a picture, call mom, check email, and such—and those actions will be performed. More complex tasks will still require input, but this will make the experience more natural.”

A PhD and active scholar of online communities who works at the University of Pittsburgh wrote, “‘Scannables’ will increase, but ‘wearables’ will remain used by a niche population. At least, I hope so. There are significant social pressures to disconnect, at least sometimes. There will always be innovations like this that come and go. I can see some kind of wearable device with a pop-up display, like the watch, but with some kind of projection abilities. Voice-activated and voice-controlled devices will continue to flourish.”

A researcher who works at the University of New Hampshire responded, “Yes, and no: some things will, of course, be good, while others will be perceived negatively, especially loss of privacy. The Samsung watch is stupid. Google Glass will be improved dramatically.”

A research scientist from North American wrote, “Will there be a widespread effect? Yes. Beneficial? I’m not as sure. Many of these devices are shifting the ways we think about ourselves by allowing us to quantify information and construct narratives based on those quantifications. Additionally, the more control we have over various elements of our lives through the Internet of Things, the more labor is involved with managing these devices. Often, the technologies that make our lives ‘easier’ actually create new forms of work that can be burdensome and stressful.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “We already see such developments in healthcare and for the elderly. Of course, there will be more beneficial effects—but equally likely is the ability to do harm with such devices.”

An educator wrote, “The Internet of Things is likely to be the next big thing.  Eye and hand movements are very probable in the near-term.”

A research associate and doctoral student at a European university wrote, “Yes, there will be many upsides: increased connectivity, easier access to information, more comfortable living. At the same time, digital inequalities might increase even more, leaving a substantial part of the population behind. I am somewhat ambivalent. As with other technologies, such changes require adaptation and learning.”

A professor from The New School in New York wrote, “For some there will be major changes, but for most of the world estimated 8 billion people [by 2025], most daily life will be dealt with at mid-20th century levels. Approximately 60% of the world population still doesn’t have toilets. Perhaps in 2025, we can get this below 50%, but not because of ‘the Cloud.’  We already interact through our thoughts, but, yes, the media that we do it with will change. There are those who do use small body movements to communicate (See: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly or Stephen Hawking). Most human communication will remain the same for most people, especially at NHL games, where people shout, jump, and rarely text.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The evolution will happen, but there are few, if any, benefits. ‘Social’ media makes us less social in a real sense. Already, politics is a complete disaster because of social media. Nobody in their right mind can safely run for a political office without the threat of total disclosure of every sneeze or hiccup. It makes governing and decision-making too difficult.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There will be more access to more information at once. It will be a different kind of communication.”

An Internet and society academic researcher wrote, “It already is [showing effects] via currently existing mobile Internet devices. Strapping these devices to our foreheads or wrists may be of some additional benefit, but the majority of this particular technological revolution has already happened. Thoughts and eye movements are unlikely and irritating, respectively. Google Glass, may be still evolving then, the Samsung watch, not as they are now. Improved and more powerful speech commands would be more compelling.”

A research analyst for a survey research firm wrote, “As someone who thinks the Internet has done more harm than good, I simply think the Internet will continue to erode society’s morals, traditions, and communities. It seems like the next big technological advancement in communication will be implants.”

An associate director and assistant research professor at Rutgers University said, “While I personally loathe the idea, I suspect it will take.”

A usability engineer responded, “I take an optimistic approach here and say that benefits will outweigh mere use for recreation and socializing. People will benefit by having information they need immediately available, but the prevailing use will be for socializing. People will communicate with their ‘friends’ by capturing images of where they are. We might see advances in interacting via eye movements, but using thoughts is still too much of a futuristic idea for me.”

A self-described “geek with decades of survey research experience across government, academic and commercial organizations,” predicted, “We will be assimilated. Resistance is futile—until a Head of State trips down a flight of steps wearing one of those contraptions. And then we will see fit to only provide them to the family pet, in the case of dogs, to know just how much they love us and, in the case of the cat, to know exactly how they are plotting to kill us. The technology will work to search for apps that allow us to manage our time like we manage our diets today and possibly provide a public utility score which will be visible in Wi-Fi to anyone who passes within ten feet of us. The purpose of the score is to help people instantly assess, bloated as an individual’s day is with inefficient, silly use of technology, versus productive, creative, and useful output. And this is true, in a sense, whether we are a consumer, a producer of new content, or a drone. These arbitrary traits will replace the Myers-Briggs and overcome gender, race, and ethnicity, and strangely define our value to employers, friends, and colleagues.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Many people already live in the Cloud. This partly makes me nervous to know that my information is floating out there.”

The research director for a small consulting firm wrote, “WTF is the Internet of Things?  Hopefully our future will not be that shit. Google Glass is annoying.”

An anonymous respondent predicted, “Eye-controlled applications will offer a true alternative to those who cannot use their hands for controlling devices; however, the majority will not be using eyes-only devices. But the eye gaze will augment interaction with subtle features that make interaction more personalized.”

An associate professor of IT management at a California university said, “Some will be flashes in the pan, or niche devices. It will take some time before Google Glass provides enough value to everyone that we’re willing to tolerate even a minority wearing them in all public and private places (See: Hong, 2013, Privacy In the Age of Google Glass, Communications of the ACM). I’m sure some aspect of these will be integrated. It’s not clear, though, how well it will work. We’ll need pretty granular control to make sure a glance doesn’t lead to deleting a file.”

A professor at the University of Delaware wrote, “You can see it now. These are incremental developments.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “There may very well be a Cloud of Things. Would this be beneficial? I wonder. Would Google Glass be linked to facial recognition, so that I would instantly have a name and public profile of anyone I encounter, and, of course, they of me? Would we have no more anonymity? I really do not wish to be pursued or tagged in a grocery store as I wander the aisles, or for that matter, at Macy’s. Nor do I really want to know who is serving me that hamburger, not really. Google Glass is an excellent testbed for this sort of thing. Not being quite that nerdy, I don’t have Google Glass, so I rely on comments that I have read. Evidently, the devices have been banned in a number of venues, from movie theaters to gambling casinos. One assumes that they would also not be welcome in a brothel. But, hey, wait! These are my glasses! I can’t see without them! No, they won’t be widespread, not by 2025, I think, unless you mean very specialized devices for the severely handicapped.”

A PhD candidate in communications said, “First, I need to clarify the ‘yes’ answer. Like any new technology, different kinds of wearables will have pros and cons. For some, devices like Google Glass, Samsung’s watch, and other ‘wearables’ could be very beneficial; however, I suspect many people will have physical difficulty manipulating these devices. Physical dexterity already limits some people’s ability to optimally use laptops and mobile devices, and I suspect this will be an even larger barrier for various ‘wearables’ over the next decade. In a generation or two, maybe this problem will be fixed, but I suspect it won’t be over the next ten years. People think learning Twitter is hard. Imagine how difficult it will be to learn how to use eye movements to input commands!”

An associate professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign responded, “Embedded devices, wearables, and scannables will be able to provide detection and, perhaps, afford better security for schools and the workplace, thereby reducing workplace violence. Better detection of weapons will be an important aspect of safety. In schools and the workplace, individuals are able to get past without much notice. If we have commercial applications where individuals are required to have in their possession a device that detects things that can cause harm, then when individuals refuse to wear them, the person or persons would not be allowed to enter a building. This process would be less visible than metal detectors that we see in airports and other places.  Interacting using thought can be very dangerous, but also helpful in some ways. Obtaining access to thought (unless you can filter what is thought, which is impossible) would be too problematic. Most people are unable to control their thoughts. Thought is so different from speech.”

A university lecturer and researcher in media from Australia said, “Wearable devices will become the norm and be equipped with all manner of apps for all areas of life. I have elaborated only one in any detail—the automatic speech-to-writing editor. I am not sure whether 2025 will see all of the apps I envision in circulation. Some may be available only to certain professions for a while; however, I would not agree that these would necessarily be ‘beneficial’. It depends on whether one has access to technology (financial resources seem necessary), and what one expects or wants from life. What happens if a person is not keen to be technologically enhanced? In some ways, this would be opting-out of the modern world and may, thereby, be classed a deviant. I see very few barriers to the Internet of Things, as you put it, except time, the resistance of luddites such as myself, and financial barriers/identity mismanagement. [I am] not sure about thoughts—although, already, this is being tested for those who are disabled. Again, however, it may not be available to all by 2025 if the disabled are still unable to afford such cyborg enhancements. Eye movements are already being used as well—I see no barriers to this being adopted by some as a way of communicating with one another and, via technology, in a hands-free way; however, one needs to keep one’s eyes on the road, or the ground, if any self-propulsion is required. Or, will this mean that driving can be done with the eyes? Well, the possibility does not mean the wholesale adoption. Some things require concentration anyway—one cannot draw from life and talk at the same time (i.e., looking at the road and making a cake?). Also, I’m not sure that technological interaction via thoughts will be so popular. If it did become popular and widespread, then I hope people like myself are not forced into such a context. Furthermore, ‘thoughts’ are rather nebulous; by ‘thoughts,’ one would be restricted to needing to be trained and to be able to concentrate. There are many levels of ‘thought’—as with the notion of AI, I do not believe that the brain and computer are so comparable.”

A higher education professional from the University of Delaware wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yes, and beneficial, [only] for some. I can foresee benefits in terms of monitoring biophysical data—i.e., alerting an individual as to his or her waning insulin levels or signaling a nearby emergency room if an individual has suddenly had a heart attack. The intense trackability of individuals’ whereabouts and doings, however, can reasonably be regarded as less than beneficial, as it heightens the reach of the ‘nanny state’ and eliminates privacy/anonymity. In 2025, I don’t think that interacting via eye movements will be very widespread, but a less invasive and more bluntly manipulable mechanism, like a finger and a watch, will be more popular. Additionally, this option is less ‘cyborg-ian.’”

An anonymous respondent said, “The Internet of Things will become a gigantic mass surveillance system run by corporations for profit. Your appliances will beg to be upgraded and filled with brand-name goods. Your vehicles will be charged large fees for frequent minor violations. Google Glass will be widely used by blind and visually impaired people and by soldiers, though, presumably, for different reasons.”

A postdoctoral researcher wrote, “[We will see a] widespread, effect, yes—but as with most technologies, the effect will be both good and bad.”

A customer-experience strategist in the health industry wrote, “Wearables and embedded devices will have major impacts on privacy as we know it. A network of embedded devices will provide the data for wide-sweeping and far-ranging analysis, prediction, modelling, and influence.”

A PhD candidate at the University of Oslo predicted, “Wearables or implants will be common—along with all the conflicts and anxieties it raises related to privacy, recording, and publishing. Also, regarding issues related to the data wearable/implants produces—who owns it?”

A communications professor at the London School of Economics said, “Clearly, this is an interesting and likely development. The biggest challenge—at least in my field—is how government adapts to the potential to gather many new streams of data available to it.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I really want to believe that wearables will be beneficial. As we have increased awareness of ourselves, perhaps we will feel more empowered to take control of our own lives; however, this all circles back to privacy issues and the need for boundaries. Eventually, people will ask, ‘Just because we can monitor everything we do and every interaction we have, is this necessarily a good or useful thing?’ Maybe we are coming to the age of the cyborg. Sure, maybe I read too many comic books as a kid, but eventually, people won’t want to wear these gadgets. It will be too inefficient and cumbersome. Let’s embed the technology and make it less awkward. Now, we come back to privacy again, don’t we?”

A researcher and graphic designer wrote, “I would have to know more about the ‘everyday lives of the public by 2025’ to be able to answer this. I can say that the everyday life of 2013 was vastly different than the everyday life of 1973. I cannot begin to imagine what the technology would be then. There was a time when what we saw in The Jetsons was a figment of someone’s imagination—such as seeing the person that you are speaking to on the phone during the conversation and a box that prepares food in a moment.”

A research librarian wrote, “The Cloud will enable us to move past just managing and storing data to interacting with Cloud services. If I am correct about what it can do, there will be impacts on home controls, HVAC, appliances, lighting, and other products that communicate with the Internet, smartphones, or tablets. Some of the wearables that I am familiar with are the small digital devices that track how many steps you take, how many calories you burn, your heart rate, etc., which is useful on a personal level but can also be useful for medical providers. Environmental sensing through various types of information gathering digital sensors will be stored and shared in the Cloud. Supply chains and health care services can all benefit from cloud computing. Clients’ access to data wouldn’t be confined to a corporation’s internal network. Businesses could save a lot of money because they would only need terminals to access the Cloud, where the Cloud computing systems would give these organizations company-wide access to computer applications. Servers and digital storage devices are not only expensive but also take up a lot of space. The biggest concern that I have is about privacy and security. Who actually owns the data? Is data stored there owned by the person or company that uses the service, or can the service owners share your pictures, data, and analytics with a third party? When you decide to move to another Cloud-sharing system, what happens to your data? Is it easy to move around or to recover data that is lost?”

An anonymous respondent said, “Maybe: The industry can’t even get Bluetooth devices to pair reliably. This is an industry with a long history of not being able to get things to interoperate. Look how long it took them to get USB to work (if you can say it works). We’ll see lots of embedded devices, mostly in medicine, but I don’t think we’ll ever see the connected kitchen, for example. People will use whatever is easiest for them. The most likely UI will be speech. That’s how we interact with each other, and it is the most natural UI for man-machine.”

An anonymous respondent said, “These devices are probably among the most vulnerable to hacking and will cause significant annoyance to consumers in that respect. We all have some Internet of Things already in our lives, and that will only increase in the coming decade.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Within the health services, ‘wearables’ will revolutionize the treatment of chronic diseases.”

A librarian who works in the Bahamas wrote, “[Will the effects be] widespread? I don’t think so. This gets back to the privacy question. Some will embrace stuff, and some will pass it by. Once again, corporations and governments have a need—our money, our peace and harmony. ‘Beneficial’ is a loaded word.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “We’re already seeing that consumers don’t really want too many embedded and wearable devices. Early reviews on that Samsung Galaxy watch are poor, and Google Glass is still a punch line. What we’ll see is not a glut of new wearable or scannable devices, but rather, improvements on the devices we already use (like tap-to-pay credit cards). Applications for people with injuries or disabilities are extremely promising, but I don’t believe the majority of the temporarily able-bodied will want to interact in this way. Most wearable, connected devices won’t do well with consumers, and technology companies will return to perfecting devices that are already de rigeur (like smartphones and media players).”

An anonymous respondent said, “I envision wearable devices monitoring one’s health, whereabouts, and mood. Health-related wearables could warn a person when the heart rate is too high, the blood sugar is too low, the likelihood of physical harm by continuing with exercise could occur. In an emergency, the device could relay the information to the 911 system and call for assistance automatically—giving GPS coordinates. This may be a very important function for caregivers of aging Baby Boomer parents, or for the developmentally disabled, in managing their parent or child’s care and safety.”

A market researcher who conducts usability testing for sites and apps said, “There will be more concern about wearable-IT and the physiological effects these devices may have. Additionally, there is already a small backlash beginning to being ‘connected’ 24/7.”

A science/medical writer and communications director for a state government agency wrote, “There will be widespread effects in the healthcare industry, which will have some major benefits to our aging population, despite the financial and privacy expense. The entertainment industry will benefit, and people will have more choices (again, at the expense of their privacy as those choices are tracked and data mined). Just as there is a tipping point for how human people like robots to appear, there will be a tipping point for how much people will want wearable, connected devices (aside from those with physical disabilities, who will benefit from such devices that can substitute for a limb, or for corrections officials who want some control over inmates or parolees) and the use of body signals or thoughts. The digital divide between those who can and those who cannot afford technology will grow wider.”

A social worker for a non-profit organization said, “The Internet of Things will be fully integrated into our lives sooner than 2025. Already, we can see ‘wearables’ on the market. Google technology has almost fully integrated into our lives through our cell phones—it knows when to wake you up; knows when your flight lives; it can read your emails; notify you when your package has arrived; can locate you; and can notify you that there is traffic. There are now watches that connect to your phone. I would argue that the cell phone is a wearable. Google Glass is on the market. Social skills are already being broken down by technology. People are less likely to converse, relate, laugh, and cry together. Intimacy and human contact has already been damaged by the way technology has integrated into our lives, so much so that people don’t know how to interact with each other in a positive, community-oriented way.”

A communications specialist wrote, “I haven’t given this a lot of thought. The convenience of having knowledge at your disposal is exciting and tempting, and I would jump at the chance to own or wear this technology. I am also fearful of too many virtual experiences. I hope for a balance. I am both excited and scared. Everyone now records everything. I don’t want my image, my outfit, my stupid expressions, or my private conversations uploaded and shared without my knowledge. I’m getting very Star Trek-ish here, but all of this seems inevitable. I would also want to employ some type of personal ‘cloaking’ device or jamming device, so if I am out and about—I have some way of knowing that recording devices around me are ‘on,’ so that I am informed and act accordingly.”

A director of entertainment marketing wrote, “This is another area where we’ve only begun to scratch the surface, which makes it a key area of development. Whether or not folks are ready to accept it or not, this will be felt socially first, then politically. It will just take time to trust. As small groups of folks begin to trust, others will catch on quickly, and it will become widespread. I don’t believe the majority of people will utilize these wearable devices, at least not in the beginning. Health issues will become prevalent, and we also need to be wary of the erosion of person-to-person social skills.”

A senior project manager in distributed software development responded, “Health and fitness are two items that most Americans will not take responsibility for, and, in large part, it’s due to the lack of reward for achieving goals in those arenas. Wearables will change that completely and will spur a new generation of social-media-engaged exercisers. Of course interfaces will become embedded. The actual Eye-phone isn’t far away, and I know a few people who would be happy to be implanted with one. As long as the manufacturers and developers of this technology keep creating innovations that solve problems and improve people’s day-to-day lives, then it’s certainly the way of the future.”

A content marketer and writer said, “I would say ‘yes’ to the widespread use of connected things but ‘no’ on the beneficial aspect. It presents yet another opportunity for a third party to control an aspect of a person’s life, with or without consent.”

An advisor to a state government library wrote, “The fear of losing privacy will hamper the Internet of Things. Unless individuals have more seeming control over what/how things are tracked (and maybe shown compensation or benefits), it will be slow going.  Personal wearables will have faster acceptance. If different manufacturer’s products ‘talk’ to one another, in which company or organization will it all reside? Will individuals have direct access to their own info and the big data that it will generate in union with other’s data? The data of the Internet of Things can be beneficial for individuals, especially when our own bodies start telling us things before we have symptoms.  People will want to get their smart phones away from their bodies as more comes out that having those devices next to our bodies can harm our health—so people will want the information fed from their phones to the wearable devices—but they will want to be able to access it all. The Google Glass will need to go contact lens-style or implantable. With our minds mapped, we will be able to transfer our thoughts to computer. We use that as upload and implantable Google Glass for download.”

A distance-learning specialist for a K-12 government organization wrote, “The only reason I say ‘no’ is that, unless all these companies work together, there will remain a million logins and a million different applications. Unless there is a networked group of applications that handle everything, or somehow everything is compatible together, I can’t see how they would work together for benefits. It is a novelty. Being able to control things with gestures or eye movements will remain. A wearable device like a watch is possible—but the user interface is too small to be more than a novelty. Think of the calculator watch—it remained a novelty. You need a screen big enough to read and interact with.”

A researcher for a major American media company wrote, “Google glasses are almost ready, and they will certainly be ready by 2025. There may be other, much better interfaces between yourself and your mobile devices.”

A retired senior IT analyst for a major insurance company wrote, “It may be widespread, [though whether it will be] beneficial as gadget is doubtful. The main benefit of such devices is more a reinforcement of the capacity to play, but that brings few real benefits. The 90% have been done with 10% of the technology. The law of diminishing returns applies. A real change would come from a radically new possibility (as in the last twenty years, the mobile phone: the major step is the conversation and the SMS, not the super-sophisticated apps). A gadget is a gadget is a gadget. Science is not science fiction.”

An information science professional said, “I am deeply suspicious of the Internet of Things, but it could be very beneficial in some areas. Healthcare comes to mind, as does the protection of the vulnerable among us, such as children or mentally challenged individuals. The barriers would be a basic distrust of government and big companies. Much of the country is suspicious of the government, as are the many new immigrants we see. I know this is a flip answer, but maybe communication will improve if body signals and thoughts are used, rather than the filters of our sometimes-damaged personalities.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There will be a loss of privacy, and there will be personal safety concerns.”

A manager of technical services wrote, “There will be benefits for public health and for social science research, engineering, etc. These networked devices create new ways of looking at (and tracking) human behavior. That data will be analyzed by people who want to produce a better world and by people who want to produce a better (more marketable) widget. Sometimes those people will overlap. Often, they will not.”

A professor of information science wrote, “I’m skeptical, but I would hope that some of the wearables may help with preventive health care. Increasing awareness of exercise levels and consumption levels could start to turn around the upward trend of obesity in the United States.”

A public affairs professional for a US federal government entity said, “Today, at 41 years old, I’m not active in social media and don’t feel the need for everything in my life to be connected. I am probably an exception to the norm, but I imagine there will be an even greater degree of people continuously being ‘connected into the network,’ but it won’t be me!”

A marketing communications specialist responded, “Monitoring medical conditions, children’s locations, and activities [could be good things], but all are susceptible to misuse by someone or some organization.”

A content creation and distribution professional said, “There will be more wearable, rather than embedded, devices by 2025—although embedded devices are coming too.  Google Glass is ridiculous. Something better will come along, and people will not submit to have ‘screens’ in front of their eyes constantly. We won’t enjoy existing in parallel universes simultaneously. It’s just the best that technology can do right now, even Google.”

The editor-in-chief of an international digital trade journal said, “I’m not sure how beneficial the result will be, but the majority of everyday appliances will be networked (or at least network-enabled) well before 2025.”

The director of market intelligence at a large, well-known company wrote, “Education stands to benefit the most, until corporate greed makes it inaccessible to the masses.”

A retiree who worked thirty years for the US Department of Defense in contract administration responded, “I have a very limited knowledge of Google Glass and the Samsung watch. As one advances in age, I have discovered that sight is failing fast. For a senior, the applications of smaller and smaller devices have lost their desirability and usefulness.”

A president of breakthrough strategies predicted, “We will ‘optimize’ every breath. Individuality will have a whole new meaning. Average will be gone. Tiny niches, hopefully connected by a few common threads, will remain. Huge amounts of individual data feed into the system and everything will be custom—clothes, medical treatment, exercise, food intake, transportation, etc. All the details will be handled by robots and by computers. The idea generators will prosper. It will be hard for everyone else.”

A teacher wrote, “Yes, it will be widespread. No, it will not necessarily be beneficial.”

A self-employed researcher and consultant wrote, “As a deaf person, my life has been immeasurably improved by technology—from cochlear implants to captions on TVs and phones—all of YouTube needs to be captioned as well. Home security systems need to be enabled for all persons with disabilities. Technology can do so much more for millions of people with disabilities and, when persons are differently abled, they can make significant contributions to society.”

A US federal government employee wrote, “No, [the effects will not be widespread and beneficial]—there are too many people who are underserved by Internet or are intentionally living off the grid.”

A self-employed researcher wrote, “It will not be more beneficial.”

The manager of a business that connects local government and civic organizations to constituents online wrote, “This is an interesting proposition, but ‘wearables’ will be much more prevalent. However, people will self-regulate the industry to temper the incursion of such technology to a yet to-be-determined acceptable limit. People will self-regulate the use of wearable connected devices to temper the incursion of technology to a yet to-be-determined acceptable limit.”

The owner of a media company wrote, “This will bring more of what we want right to us, when we want it, and how we want it. More appliances and technologies will be connected to the Internet, and it will be a major way of controlling various aspects of our lives. Thought technology is not far off but is also fraught with lots of error and room for misuse. Wearable technology will become more prevalent but could also be very disruptive. They need to be less evident and obvious when in use.”

A PhD candidate at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Canada, predicted, “The Internet of Things will gain real and definitive acceptance by the people. And so, it will be playing a major role in the economic prosperity and a leading contributor to advancement of knowledge in connection with neuroscience development and quantic networking. Google Glass will be thing of the past by 2025.”

Freelance Internet journalist, researcher, and editor commented, “Hopefully, this will especially impact medicine and education, two fields which are in serious need of enhanced connectivity and networking. Business will always find a way to use such technology to make money, but the general public must fight for inclusion to share in the benefits for civilization as a whole. Perhaps these wearable devices will catch on. As a visually disabled person, I would like to see the use of such devices expand the lives of people with physical limitations, as well as for the general population.”

A PhD student in communications at the University of Kansas responded, “Yes, but there will be a number of negative effects on the everyday lives of the public as well.”

A usability specialist wrote, “I feel this technology can help save lives.”

A university faculty member wrote, “What we wear (and even what we eat) will have embedded technology. Your fridge will know what you need, and your grocery cart, if there even is such a thing, will put your list in front of you based on what you have at home. It will get better, faster, smarter, and cheaper. We have just begun seeing [the effects], and by then, we will be well past early adopters (in maybe the fourth or fifth generation of these devices) and well into they becoming commonplace.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Author Madeline L’Engle predicted this ‘kything,’ in the 1960s.”

An associate professor at an East Coast university in the US commented, “Google Glasses are a great example of wearable devices that will provide data on the spot. Privacy regarding scannables will be a major problem as businesses and government seek to invade individual privacy. This is highly possible.”

A marketing communications consultant predicted, “They will be commonplace, replacing the desktop computer for all but business uses.”

A chief marketing officer for a media company wrote, “There will be negative effects. And, it will take a number of decades to balance this and solve some controversy. International travel will need to evolve; passports and security systems between nations will need to evolve or get better—way better. It does not seem implausible that people may have chips inserted in their bodies, as do some animals now. It does not seem plausible that people will interact with the Internet via their thoughts by 2025, but through body signals, sure!”

An anonymous respondent said, “Embedded devices and networked devices will be commonplace, but not everyone will be tracking the data personally. The majority of people will still want professional services to manage and interpret data from these devices. Power will be a big issue, and R&D will focus substantially on developing products that have a sustainable energy source.”

A senior strategic planner at a mid-major marketing agency predicted, “Health and healthcare will be impacted dramatically as we begin to see long term effects of today’s wearable technology on users (i.e., studies that demonstrate which ailments are most preventable or best treated by wearables and embedded devices).”

An information science professional wrote, “I am doubtful about how much wearables like Google Glass will impact people’s lives. I’m really doubtful as to how many people will use devices like that. Things like Google Glass or 3D TV (which requires you to wear glasses) seem cumbersome, and I’m not sure that they would appeal to a large number of people; however, smaller devices, like the Fitbit, and scannables will undoubtedly impact people’s lives. More and more people will own and use such devices to assist with daily tasks. The Internet of Things will have an effect on people’s hobbies and daily tasks—cooking, fitness monitoring, etc. By 2025, people will be interacting, more or less, as they do now—via speaking through and with devices, communicating via the written word, etc. Interacting via thoughts and body signals is something that I feel is further off than the next decade.”

An information science professional who works with health professionals commented, “I remember not having a cell phone while in high school, undergraduate, and then graduate school. I lived through it just fine. Now, I require everything to fit in my pocket: my phone, texting, photos, music, games, my dissertation—everything! My cell has more memory than my first three computers put together! The commercial aspect of the Internet will be its downfall. Companies see it as a place to sell, whereas folks just want to connect with others and try to ignore the ads. The biggest problems I see will be the question of who owns what. If I took a picture with my phone and it saves to my Google drive, does that mean that Google owns it instead of me? The rules keep changing by company. It’s almost enough to drive a person mad. It also makes me consider becoming a hermit and not using it all. You’re forgetting voice and fingerprints! Personally, I’m waiting for the item that will be embedded into my body. It’s important that people can see that you’re wearing said item, but the power of these items won’t matter until they are hidden.”

A chief administrator for a large library system wrote, “The first applications will be commercial—i.e., you glance at an item in a store and you are virtually deluged with ads. They will also be social—no intermediaries like Match.com. You glance at someone and get their info; with a glance you can ask them out or simply hook up. There will be no sharing or discovery through human interaction—ick, again. I hope I’m not around for it. It will happen, though probably not by 2025. You remember the song In the year 2525? That is coming way too close to reality.”

An information science professional wrote, “This should be a ‘maybe,’ depending on the area. It will give a lot more control to insurance and our employers and maybe parents. The question is how will we as human beings understand connection.”

A journalist and healthcare communications consultant said, “The devices will be many, and very beneficial, and also very crippling socially. They will allow amazing audio, visual, and imaginative communication. The problem will be a compounding of the problem we have now—we do no speak to each other; we do not look at each other. When you do not see or hear or speak to one another, it is increasingly easy to not feel for their plight, revel in their joy, or be saddened in their loss. In effect, the populace will become more like the machines upon which they rely. Continuing from what I wrote above, I am not so sure the people will be interacting, so much as the machines will be interacting, or at least, the interaction will be taking place among those who made the technology. Those who make the technology do not know the people for whom they are making it. They know only their habits.”

A digital engagement strategist wrote, “Beneficial, widespread effects will include health monitoring for elderly friends and relatives, household monitoring for safety and safekeeping, other health-monitoring effects.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The Internet of Things will greatly benefit individuals in 2025; however, along with the benefits, there will be increasing pressures on policymakers and corporations in the technology industry to define the boundaries of the permissible. In other words, we will still be struggling to come to terms with the extent to which embedded devices can track everything that we do and everywhere we go. In 2025, wearable, connected devices will be almost everywhere. We will also continue to find innovative ways to embed them to maximize our potential, as well as those of our surrounding environments. We will use them to monitor our bodies and get information on basic medical issues. We will continue to improve the way we socially interact. Thoughts and bodily signals will start to enter into the picture. Here also, we will start the conversation on the ethical use of technology, and for a few years, we will grapple with these issues and the way they will change our societies.”

An information science professional wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yes—but they will enable surveillance. Any convenience will be greatly outweighed by the privacy and security threats these devices present. Implantable/direct-neural interfaces are inevitable—though I have no idea if they will ever become commonly used. These are an even greater menace to personal privacy and independence than the Internet of Things, so I hope not.”

A communications consultant wrote, “It will be most felt in the areas of communications and health and medicine.”

A market intelligence strategist for a health-oriented company wrote, “Wearable devices will help people monitor their health, enabling doctors to do so, too. Chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and asthma will be better managed as a result. The difficulty will come from business wanting to commercialize the ‘big data’ that can come from this. This is why and where the privacy regulations will arise to protect the consumer. The wearable devices will be the norm. Parents will use [these technologies] with their children for safety, too. The Samsung watch is coming. I have wanted one for years! Google Glass [is making rise], too. The problem is that they are hyped, and the technology is not up to it—yet. But I do believe that, because there are so many commercial applications, the technology will develop, and it will be very useful to businesses for communicating, to families, and to police, to name a few. I can see the use of interfaces implementing eye movements being beneficial for disabled people, for secret agents who need stealth, and for older adults who my have difficulty with using devices because of arthritis, for example.”

An information science professional wrote, “This will evolve and become part of people’s lives, but I don’t think it will be ‘widespread’ by 2025. Poverty is a big barrier to adoption, and if we continue to see sluggishness in the job market, that will slow the spread of devices. The concept of ‘beneficial’ makes me ask: is this innovation really better than what we did before? Is sending an email really better than writing a letter? A text might be more convenient than making a phone call because the people in your meeting will not hear your voice and thoughts, but is it really more beneficial to the task you are attempting? Microwaves are quick, but my kitchen will warm up if I cook a casserole in the oven. That serves two purposes instead of one. I do think that touch and eye movement will drive the fate of wearable devices. Using thought is intriguing, but it will require a level of concentration that might be challenging for all of us multitaskers. Maybe I don’t know enough about it. Maybe you don’t need to concentrate much.”

An information science professional wrote, “New technologies in this direction seem to be the future. Google Glass will seem like not a big deal when we have chips in our bodies—that seems the most innovative way to develop.”

A high-tech marketing executive who has been in the industry since the 1970s commented, “The concept of the Cloud is interesting but not fully realized; it may be within the next decade, though. I currently use and experience Cloud mail from Microsoft, and it is slow and cumbersome, whereas downloading email from a server and then opening it locally is much faster and more convenient. Depending on who owns and operates the Cloud is akin to placing one’s faith and content with a single provider, and that has the inherent issues of trust, privacy, freedom, and security, and while the entity may be honorable, all employees may not be. Many of the major security breaches have occurred from ‘inside jobs.’ Google Glass currently does afford eye movement control. I do believe a new appliance will enable users to access both the Internet and media with a device or appliance yet to be identified. Laptop and notebook PCs, as well as tablets, are bulky, and smart phones are too small for most apps. I believe technology will create a device that will enable a holographic image to appear, and the device (projector) may be as small as a pen-like device that projects a screen and interacts with voice recognition for controls of the experience and the applications supported by it. I would give this type of technology a ‘7’ out of ‘10’ chance of becoming reality by the end of the 2025 timeline.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It’s already begun with smartphones. Pre-smartphone era: if you were having a conversation, and you reached a point of disagreement, you could spend a lot of time arguing your different points of view. Who does that now? Instead, they just reach for their good friend Google, who has the right answer. You share and go on to another point.”

A senior product manager in the healthcare industry predicted, “Some of the greatest advances will be in medicine and health—where people will be able to more readily get feedback to help them manage their health, with inclusion of their doctors, community, and caregivers in the same feedback loop. Also, in communications, we will likely see huge changes to how we communicate—and how we can communicate effectively. Some of the biggest shifts will also be in retail and advertising and the commercial access to consumers. Data will be driving how they intelligently target consumers, via their devices, communities, habits, environments, etc.”

An information science professional wrote, “It’s impossible to be lost if you are in a city. Everything tells you your location. This is already pretty awesome. (Folding paper maps used to be a pain.) You never have to find a payphone; you always have your own phone. Parents can locate lost children, and vice versa. But this also means that companies can figure out what you buy and how you use it. There is no privacy, and the Internet always knows where we are and what we do. It is almost impossible to turn things off. We will never be alone, even if we want to be. How do you have a private moment, or a private conversation, when you never know who is watching, who is texting, who is photographing you? You might not be the target, but you’re captured in someone else’s shot, and everything is preserved.”

An anonymous survey participant commented, “Yes—many more of us will wear things like the Fitbit, heart monitors, etc., and these devices will be part of routine preventive care by our doctors. This could become difficult because these devices are all hackable—you could, for example, hack into an insulin monitor and change it so a person gets the wrong does—and because the data from these devices also has to travel back to your doctor and can become compromised as a result. We won’t even think we’re interacting with the Internet—we will just do it all the time. We’ll get directions, check in at work, have meetings, post documents, share pictures and other creative pursuits, manage our health and finances, control the heat and light in our houses, manage housework, etc. This also means the digital divide will grow ever sharper. People without the Internet will be kind of like the people who live outside the Matrix or below the streets in Demolition Man. It’s certainly possible that we’ll control some of these devices with eye movements or brain waves.”

A senior manager of digital services for non-profit organizations wrote, “There is tremendous potential for the development of health-related embedded devices that will enable health care professionals to learn and know a great deal about health-risk assessment and how to manage serious diseases, i.e., cardiac diseases, diabetes, asthma, and other major chronic diseases. These devices will enable parents to have better knowledge and control of children’s whereabouts, leading to a better sense of security. I also believe there will be positive communication and entertainment advances coming from embedded devices.”

A digital communications manager commented, “[There will be widespread and beneficial effects but] also widespread and negative effects.”

A manager who advises not-for-profit agencies commented, “The major impact of embedded and wearable devices will likely be in the healthcare arena, enabling people to live healthier lives through greater self-information.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “They will be used for daily basic activities like sports, housekeeping, and health.”

An information science professional wrote, “There will be a loss of privacy, greater possibilities for spying, and tracking of personal activities. I’m imagining some sort of glut of the Cloud or a toxic electronic fallout from all this invisible stuff that is floating above our heads. Regarding the possibility of thought-based internet use, I can’t decide if this question is ridiculous or terrifying. How can people who don’t think anymore interact via their thoughts? Will another entity’s thoughts rush in to fill their vacuum?”

A publisher of technology, business, and health guides said, “I think ‘wearables’ are overhyped. As mentioned earlier, brain-computer interfaces offer some fascinating possibilities.”

The marketing manager at a major Chicago academic medical center said, “I hope more people will opt for wearable/scannable health devices. If so, a Jane Doe showing up at the emergency room would be a thing of the past. A simple scan could detect a person’s health history (i.e., diabetes, lupus). But, I could see some people being overly fearful of such things—worried that anyone could learn their medical history. I haven’t really looked into this.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The Internet of Things will be most widely felt in health and medical care, specifically in senior care. Everyday care for the wellness of the aging population will be have to be automated through the use of monitoring technologies. Mobile will become the platform of choice for most people, and younger age groups will embrace wearables.”

An academic administrator and former foundation executive with responsibility for information technology said, “[Will there be widespread, beneficial effects?] I hope so. Law may not be able to keep up with the advances and will be a constant drag. I don’t see the glasses catching on so much as, maybe, the watches, though I haven’t experienced the Google Glass. I can’t imagine a way to create personal heads-up screens without some physical aid like the glasses, but will we need this? Brain implants [will be possible]—but who needs that?”

A professor emerita in the graduate program at a research university wrote, “Dick Tracy watchband phones will be on the market shortly, I am convinced—if they are not available already. Children will soon be implanted with chips to identify them, much as their footprints have been taken (and perhaps finger prints?). I do worry about too much intrusion from government—federal IDs, DNA databases, databases on individual educational competencies (as some of my colleagues have supported), etc. The federal right to privacy is not that old and is still a ‘penumbra emanating’ from several of the amendments and can easily be redefined given the right set of legislators, judiciary, and administrative officers. Beam me up, Scotty.”

A retired college professor observed, “The new discoveries in medicine are going to make [these technologies] easier and more acceptable in the field of medicine. Also, the wearables won’t be limited to just medicine; I can envision garments that are longer lasting, more weather friendly, and safer from things like fire, floods, tornados, or sunburns but are still stylish. Thought-based and body-movement engaged computing are just the beginning. Where it will go will only be limited by our imagination.”

An entrepreneur and business leader said, “The biggest untapped potential relates to aiding the life-quality of people that are handicapped or physically challenged, as well as to mediating health problems.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Beneficial and widespread effects will include 3D printing, smart buildings, smart watches like the Samsung Gear, etc.”

An information science professional wrote, “There will be widespread effects, but I doubt they will be beneficial because there is already a breakdown in communication, as people communicate using electronic devices instead of face to face talking.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The immediate applications that come to mind for wearable, scannable, or embeddable devices that could lead to widespread adoption include: chronic medical conditions; monitoring or supervising children, family, or workers; organizing large groups; allowing (and denying) access to buildings, spaces, or geographic locations; and monitoring prison populations. When this is expanded to include transmitting video out to a network, social difficulties are bound to arise. Conflicts between people who want to record an event or interaction and those who do not want to be recorded are common, even today with phone cameras; expectations of personal privacy versus public exposure could be a point of contention for many people, especially in highly politicized environments. Over the next decade, the development and distribution of wearable devices and scannable items will be as uneven and spotty as the early development of the Internet was. The obvious frontrunners for commercial applications will be in the technology and communications field itself. Some manufactured goods will be easy targets for scannable coding (consumables like canned goods and processed foods, medications, and big-ticket items like appliances and cars), but it is unlikely that this development will be regulated; so, one company or industry will surge ahead, while others will be slow to come on board. Distributors and retailers won’t be able to take advantage of benefits, say, for inventory control, until the process becomes more or less universal among their vendors, or unless they invest heavily in ‘marking up’ every item themselves. From where we are today, it isn’t much of a stretch to envision communications aided by wearable or embeddable devices, though the early offerings may reach only a small strata of society. Devices that rely on voice commands, along with eye or hand movements, are easy to imagine being adopted—thoughts, not so readily; even if the technology is available in the next ten years, we just don’t know enough about how to control our thinking to make that a comfortable reality for most people.”

An information science professional wrote, “These technologies will have beneficial effects, as well as less-than-beneficial effects. If everything is known about an individual, everything, then there is less social control that can be exercised over that individual—so, a sort of freedom. If the flow of information is controlled—i.e., only your doctor may interpret your flow of medical/health data—then the return to the individual will be lessened. In that same line of thought, to the extent that folk realize what their doctor is not capable of knowing, and how much is yet to be known, then folk will turn to non-doctors for answers. Without standardization and quality controls, folk will have to learn to deal with misinformation. Both Google Glass and the Samsung watch will be seen as curiosities, as compared with the possibly more advanced devices in use. I am not sure if we will have a more individualistic society, or not.”

An entrepreneur and business leader wrote, “Healthcare will be one area drastically impacted by such embedded and wearable devices. Perhaps like today’s automobiles with computer monitoring of all systems, from tire pressure to oil pressure, I expect people to be at least as well monitored. Our housing, our workplaces, and our automobiles will be monitored and controlled to an almost unbelievable extent. I’m not so sure about the prospect of people interacting via their thoughts, but innovations such as Google Glass will be further refined and more common.”

A CEO commented, “Social interaction will continue to evolve from less face-time to more technology-assisted. Lack of direct human interaction will have a negative impact on the psychological health of individuals. Increased reliance on social media will increase the emotional response to current events, as opposed to thoughtful analysis. Mob-rule will be enhanced. Individual privacy will diminish, which will become an increasing threat to many people.”

An anonymous survey participant commented, “The first wearable devices were braces on children’s teeth. Then, along came heart pacemakers. Bionic limbs will replace limbs blown off in war and other accidents, which will get very close to what we saw in the Star Wars movies. I would expect that everyone by 2025 will have a some sort of portable access to the Internet. Not all will want to use it, but the toddlers of today probably will by then.”

A healthcare researcher at an academic medical center commented, “There will be better tracking and monitoring of behaviors and decision-making. Technology will allow us to better understand how and why humans behave the way we do, as well as allow us to be able to measure these things. One thing that will happen is we will question ‘who owns data,’ as these data will be gold mines (and are currently) for corporations and marketers. Will it change our society even more for a consumer, instant-gratification culture?”

An anonymous participant who leads a major political group in California commented, “They’ll spread to certain segments of the population, but they will not be available to all. Those with things will be more isolated and unable to understand those without things. Of course, porn will lead the way. Business will use it as a status symbol to assist with networking. Assisted work (such as farmers inspecting crops with enhanced info or chemists watching reactions) will increase. Gaming will begin to take further advantage of it. It won’t reach to marginalized groups.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “I can envision enormous advances in the medical field as self-diagnosing wearable and implantable gadgets are used.”

A consultant to nonprofits and to the government of the District of Columbia wrote, “The next major digital divide will take place with wearable devices, etc. The early adopters will continue to implement them and the next layer down in the social strata will use them. But as long as the digital divide remains, and connectivity is not standard, wearable technology will not be used equally across the country and world and among strata.”

The first managing editor of cbsnews.com wrote, “[The effects will be] widespread but not much beneficial—just more ways for people to distract themselves from others and themselves.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The benefits, other than to the sellers, will be minimal, though users may well come to require them.”

A PhD candidate in the social sciences wrote, “It will provide more information, and better information, for all.”

A fundraising consultant said, “Embedded or wearable devices will allow access to information instantly—anywhere and anytime. On the other hand, Retina and/or fingerprint scans will replace cash, as well as bank credit and debit cards.”

A multiscreen (mobile + PC) shopper analyst for eBay wrote, “Wearable devices will have great impact on health and may drive a big divide between the wearable ‘literate’ and ‘illiterate’ that could easily isolate the low educated, low income, and/or low health into their own group. While a human barcode for identification purposes may be considered and discarded, wearable devices will allow for combining enough unique data points to compile a human ID code—whether it’s reading pupils, thumb prints, heart rate, etc., or combining two or three of these into one ‘code.’ In 2025, we’ll look at the Google Glass the same way we look at the old hand crank telephone that was attached to the wall. We already communicate with bodily signals, so there is no reason not to believe they won’t become more tangible, recordable, etc.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The Internet of Things is a totally new way of living, and in 2014, the common person is just beginning to understand how their lives can be improved. I no loner purchase ‘printed reading materials’ or CDs or have bills sent to my home. I have not purchased a watch or Google Glass, as they are too expensive. I hope, however, that there may be, in 2025, the opportunity to have such devices, as I will be in my eighties and wonder what significant improvement they could make to my life if they were very affordable. In 2025, wearable technology will not look as it does today. Wearable devices will be learning tools that will be switched on and off as we think. Eye-movement technology will become obsolete. I am not thinking we will become robots! The technology will provide opportunities to use optimal portions of our brainpower.”

A computer training director said, “‘Find my iPhone’ is an example of this viral concept which will connect the Internet of Things. The individual will expand to include ‘possessions’ that are purely digital and have aspects to their social presence that are global.  I hope not as these are predominately unconscious. Wearables seem to be a fad looking for a problem. Embedded technology in each ‘thing’ will obviate the need for specialized devices to interact with them.”

The co-founder and principal of a business strategies firm said, “The Internet of All Things will allow ubiquitous information to be obtained at any time. What will change will be increased access from anywhere (which does not exist today). The implication of this is, with universal access to information, societies will be compelled to change in ways that will normalize human rights and dignity and will eradicate most forms of discrimination, beginning with access to education for all girls worldwide.”

A former DuPont electrical engineer responsible for electro-mechanical product safety compliance commented, “Our bodies will contain all our personal information once security means and methods can be worked out. Those security methods will involve biological interfaces (eye scans, body recognition, etc.) before they can be widely adopted. I’ll have the ability to communicate with anyone, securely, at a moment’s notice, as well as give them information about me, what I’m doing, and where I am. I’m going to answer this in, perhaps, an unexpected way. I’ve always been a Star Trek fan. To me, the way Gene Roddenberry viewed the future on Star Trek: The Next Generation is, for me, a very real view of the future. Back in the late 1960s, he had little squares for recording information that became the 3.5 floppy disk, electronic tablets, which we now have, and communications with the touch of a com-badge on the chest (close to what our cell phones are becoming). I see that show as an excellent example of how I see the answer to this question.”

A technology developer and administrator wrote, “Wearable technology will become much more common over the next ten years but in different forms than what have been presented so far. The future prospects for thought or bodily signals is exciting and will be more useful than texting or other things that still require a combination of senses that we are physically unable to do well together.”

A social science research supervisor said, “The capacity to have every movement tracked forges ahead into an almost Orwellian atmosphere: destructive.”

A retired defense systems executive said, “For better or worse, the Internet of Things has been long in coming, but it is now supported by viable technology. Benefits will be found in medicine and security; however, in the social environment, there will be nowhere to hide. Within a decade, we will be able to fact-check, price-check, and exercise enhanced memory recall in real-time without disrupting our social interaction.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The continued evolution of this area just increases Big Brother. Google Glass has excellent potential. ‘Thought’ communication, in my opinion, is somewhat far-fetched.”

An anonymous survey participant said, “This has already started and will continue to progress. Cloud devices benefit users because they allow us to be lazy, and companies use them because they make them lots of money. Google Glass is in early beta. We need to wait for several rounds of lawsuits to come about from the horrible breach of privacy that this technology will allow—not to mention the countless harms these products will do, similar to how texting and driving is working out. I nearly lost my husband in a car accident a month ago because someone was texting and driving; however, we will need to wait to see if Google is able to smooth this over with its teams of PR and legal staff and nearly infinite financial resources.”

A professor at Rutgers University said, “I’m an optimist: More information will lead to better decisions.”

An entrepreneur and business leader wrote, “We’re seeing right now what happens with Clouds in the area of Big Data—resulting in mountains of information we try to use to market better. While we will see a lot of chatter about wearables in 2014, I’m not convinced how much more connected we can be individually without a backlash. And by that, I mean a backlash in terms of humans craving human contact. My own experience testing Google Glass was less than appealing. My first reaction is that no one was looking at each other: not a good thing. Again, I am a big fan of technology, yet it means nothing without an intersection of humanity. I answered some of this above. When Apple comes out with the iWatch, I’ll reassess my thoughts on wearables, as Apple always does this stuff best. As for interacting via thoughts and eye movements—if you are in tune energetically and connected with another person—we are already capable of doing this without technology to assist.”

The technology director for a regional education council commented, “People are egoistic by nature. Just look at how we track mundane information about ourselves to a relatively small (and distracted) audience. Wearable technology will simply make lazy people better enabled to share data, in many instances with absolutely no effort.”

A consultant to nonprofits and philanthropic advisor said, “The effects will be beneficial for medical community, and the way patients are monitored will change. We could see wearable blood pressure and oxygen devices, language translation in real-time, ability to have people with disabilities able to move items with their eyes or brains, and medical dosing installed on pads or watches. Eye-movement devices and body signals will be much more common. Devices such as Google Glass and the Samsung watch will be obsolete. Devices will be more part of the body—unnoticed.”

An information science professional wrote, “This may make changes, but the digital divide will apply here. Those who are able and can afford it may take advantage of wearable devices, but I don’t think this will be widespread. I am not sure the Google Glass or the Samsung watch have much staying power. It is too early to tell whether items like this will find real traction beyond being a novelty or will become integrated into our lives.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “It will be very helpful for parents needing to track their kids after school or for medical people tracking changes in your body; however, who owns the data? Who has access to the data? Who has access to the most granular of the data? Can folks profit by selling their data? And so on.”

A university professor wrote, “Why do people want to share private information with the public? These devices will be popular and may be cheaper. Google Glass does help people who have no sense of directions to get around better. The smart watch is a toy!”

The principal for a public relations agency said, “There will be always-on, Internet-connected bracelets and video watch accessories, and chip-embedded clothing will be the norm. It will be the rare individual (the wealthy, celebrities, and criminals) who tries to avoid this connectedness to live off the grid. It will be considered socially awkward to not have connectedness, and it will amplify the poor and underserved, who will desire to be connected but will not have the money to pay for it. Only the basic level of government-required connectedness will be available to them. Not only will people communicate via body language, it will be the genesis for modified verbal communication—sort of like the rough form of English spoken by Pacific Islanders. More universally accepted by teens and twentysomethings, it will displace texting language as the most rapid and relevant form of interaction and communication by the younger generation.”

A leadership coach said, “Overall presence and sociability will be altered, as fashion will incorporate the latest wearable trends. Language will continue to be the prevalent communication method; its delivery may change, but it will still be required for clarity.”

A self-employed author and blogger said, “Yes, technology will continue to enhance our lives. At the same time (and as I already mentioned), I am worried that we will lose our sense of common humanity as we turn more and more to technology for our daily needs and interactions.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The barrier(s) will be the restraining level(s) established by the informed citizens when they arrive at the point where they realize that there are negative impacts to all of this.”

A management consultant observed, “Most devices would need to be much more complicated, expensive, and unreliable to become part of the Internet of Things. This doesn’t seem a likely path to widespread adoption, although the success of ‘iThingies’ marketing suggests that this doesn’t necessarily rule it out completely in the short term.  The use of these technologies will be virtually none for most people, unless it’s a super strong robot arm or the Ironman suit. There is, no doubt, a lot of potential for people with various disabilities.”

An information science professional wrote, “In theory, the answer is ‘yes,’ but unless we have better broadband infrastructure (unlikely in Australia in this timeframe), the Internet of Things and won’t work. The easiest applications are probably security (reduced need for passwords, keys, and other locks, as well as physical credit cards), highly tailored real-time advertising, and product placement. But accepting embedded, wearable, or scannable devices will be the end of personal privacy. The prospect is quite high, although the less technically difficult interactions that come from embedded RFID and other chips will be more easily accepted by those without the skills to master wearables.”

An anonymous respondent said, “I have seen the devices that exist now, as well as those in process, but most people just won’t use them because they just don’t need them. As astonishing and exciting as it can be to watch these devices interact, I am not convinced that the need is great enough to drive adoption beyond the innovators (to cross the chasm). To use one example I’ve seen suggested, why would I need a smart device in my baby’s diaper to tell me about the current status of elimination when I can just look? More and more juvenile products are created every year to lessen the need for a parent to touch a baby. I don’t see that as a need, though. If anything, that technology moves opposite to the need a baby has to be touched and that a parent has to touch. If the technology isn’t driven by genuine need, it won’t get past early innovators, and it will land in the junk pile once those with money, time, and interest move on to the next toy. I do imagine that there will be some embedded, wearable devices that follow need, though—perhaps medical devices. I don’t think the communication you describe is what people want, except as a temporary adventure. We are still humans under all of the technology. Evolutionary-scale adaptations stay with us; technological-scale adaptations don’t. Perhaps some will adapt, but every new generation will have to adapt all over again. I look at the people around me—not the tech-savvy people, but rather, neighbors and family members—and I know they won’t bother. They get what they need without Google Glass or Dick Tracy’s watch. I don’t see those devices crossing the chasm.”

An independent consultant wrote, “[The effects will be] widespread, yes; beneficial, for some. Used properly, the Internet of Things will benefit the aging population, allowing freedom and delivery of medical and social services. The same may be true for other populations. Education may benefit from technology-mediated individualization of instruction, although not a panacea. The Cloud may have benefits, but it also increases vulnerability to intrusions. Wearable devices may have benefits but can be accompanied by loss of privacy. Google Glass presents some interesting opportunities—i.e., a recent story on two doctors collaborating on a surgical procedure (one present and one tele-present) monitoring and commenting on the surgery in real-time. There was an associated technology in use, which allowed the remote physician to actually virtually ‘participate’ in the procedure. Google Glass can be used for remote medical interventions, which can serve as a physician/specialist multiplier, especially in remote/rural locations. There is already neural and visual control of some assistive devices. This utilization will increase as we find new ways to serve wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

An anonymous survey participant said, “The Internet of Things will be widespread, though I believe they will be beneficial in only a small percentage of an individual’s life.”

A marketing research analyst commented, “It has already started. Healthcare will greatly improve, along with working out. Think Nike Fuel on steroids. Also, the cellphone will go away, in the place of something smaller and more imbedded into clothing.

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Technology will enable us to talk and interact with it the way we do with other humans. It will be much more interactive and intuitive.”

A knowledge management professional at a large law firm wrote, “Unless we define ‘benefit’ broadly, as in economic advantage for businesses, I don’t believe the Internet of Things will be used for great benefit. I do believe health/medical devices will improve with the Internet of Things, but the intrusion into our lives will generally [cause us to] suffer.”

A university professor said, “There is still hunger in the world.”

The chief evangelist for Brazil for a global IT company said, “Medicine and education are two of the sectors that have much to gain. Imagination will be the limit, not technological restrictions. Today, it is common to use smartphones. These new devices will be used in a common way.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “As more items are networked, we gain the ability to gather widespread data quickly. Once we are able to harness that data, we can track disease, social and economic trends, etc. I imagine most household goods will be integrated and accessible online.”

A retired institutional research director said, “We need to guard against over-reliance on these devices and just use them as useful supplements.”

A digital analyst said, “People do not want to meld with AI—we won’t see widespread effects, not by 2025. People will have to evolve to control their thoughts and bodily signals on a high conscious level in order to control devices.”

A regional sales director said, “We are already seeing a few wearables, and with nanotechnology moving forward, this space will explode with networked devices to automatically unlock doors, start cars, check out at the grocery store, etc.”

A university researcher wrote, “It wouldn’t surprise me if, at some point, we are wearing an embedded device ourselves. I often wonder the price humans are willing to pay for technology. I am not sure about communicating with thoughts, but certainly, our insatiable desire for the most recent and new technology will increase the rate of devices such as Google Glass and the Samsung watch.”

The CEO for a digital and customer knowledge consultancy commented, “There will be optimization of lifestyles for optimum longevity and health activities—objects that will monitor our behaviours in terms of optimal exercise, calories, nutrients, targeted to foster better health and longevity. It will be less about glasses or other gimmicks and more about sensors and optimization software. The man/machine interface will grow in simplicity and immediacy, moving towards 3D motion, rather than flat-surface interaction. Glasses will be a failure.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Medicine and manufacturing seem to be the most ripe for profitable advancements in the use of wearables and embedded devices. By 2025, mobile will be so dominant as to make us think of laptops and desktops as ‘the early days’ of computing.”

A professional communicator who works for a US federal government agency said, “These devices can have a huge impact in helping people with limited access now—i.e., the blind, the deaf, and those with autism—to do things they currently cannot do or struggle to do.”

An education consultant at the Missouri University of Science and Technology said, “I wish I had the imagination to describe what’s coming—and it’s coming. The young will be the vanguard, while older folks will have concerns for the repercussions. It’s possible to hit a wall—especially in densely populated parts of the country—to never be ‘alone.’ I’m not sure that’s future I fully embrace, but know that many advances have brought both good and bad along.”

A researcher for an economic development agency said, “There will be some impact, but it will not necessarily be widespread.”

A leader with the Center for Advancing Health Washington, DC, commented, “Most people simply aren’t that interested in the working of their body and their health—note the obesity problem. Wearable devices are similar to having your nagging mom hard-wired to your brain. The only devices we will use are ones that we believe we can control and that bring us pleasure, not that bug us to make our damn bed and to not touch those potato chips.”

An Internet marketer wrote, “It will both benefit and take away from things in our daily lives. Yes, technology brings information to those who need it instantly; it allows communication to connect us over great distances, and it entertains all of us. The drawbacks are that constant, wearable technology also sells products to us constantly, leaves us anxious and unable to focus, and collects enormous amounts of personal data about us. I’m sure the consumer will decide which products benefit them the most and that they will vote with their dollars by buying those products. Augmented reality might be popular, but in the end, productivity, information, connectedness, and ease of use is what people want. They don’t think about privacy, but it is likely the thing they give up in exchange for this convenience. People will need these devices in order to navigate anywhere and to keep on schedule. Those are still major hurdles for most people, even with smart phones. Advertising will be the next most popular purpose. People won’t think of things they want: they will wait to be prompted by their device with an advertisement. The personalization of these ads and the use of location information will be key to their relevance and acceptance.”

The director of financial stability and workforce development for a medium-sized nonprofit predicted, “It will progress because progress itself will necessitate it, and people enamored with the technology will not look critically at the implications of these devices—i.e., people and their movements will be easily tracked and watched, their behavior will be influenced unduly by the technology, etc. I also think that this capability will appeal to those individuals in our society who are pursuing power and the ability to influence and control large numbers of people and their behaviors.”

The digital manager for a hospital and member of UPE said, “Wearables/scannables could have some significant health benefits—if these clothes include ways to scan your body for diseases, etc. From an entertainment perspective, many performers are using lights on clothes, etc. The Internet will be a daily part of lift; I don’t feel that Google Glass will stay in the same physical form it is; it may become subtler and not stand out so much. Body signals and eye movements could allow you to perform certain functions on the wearable device. Perhaps two blinks could mean saving something, one tap could mean turning the lights on, etc.”

A Web technical analyst for a major metropolitan health center observed, “Biomedical advances seems to be gaining. I would expect that, by 2025, many advances will have been made.”

A manager for one of the largest foundations in the US wrote, “People see benefits from their smart phones, exercise bands, digital watches, etc. They have become a way to stay connected.”

A researcher affiliated with a private university said, “The effects will be widespread, yes, but beneficial, no. Once again, your question is loaded and worrying to someone with a graduate degree and specialization in research methods. I definitely think that’s coming, and it scares me.”

The executive director for one of California’s largest public-funded agencies commented, “It will make decision-making more challenging, with all the options that will be available to us. People may ‘freeze’ at the sheer volume of things. Communications will also become overwhelming. I’m already feeling ‘behind,’ as I don’t use Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare—What am I missing? Probably, not a lot.”

A middle manager in the digital division of a major media company commented, “The evolution from mobile device to wristwatch or Google Glass will be small. Freeing hands from the burdens of touching devices is a big deal, as motion and voice commands replace typing. Devices that deepen, rather than distract from, experiences might become important and sought after. And, connected devices that monitor and manage personal health and home energy seem likely to succeed. It seems unlikely that people will want to ‘share’ their every emotion, reaction, and thought via devices in 2025—but [in terms of wanting] portability and miniaturization of everything? Sure!”

A digital strategist said, “Some will benefit, but not all—just those with access to the data and resources to get at personalized solutions. These will be heavily monetized, as the ease of use will have greatly improved. We will see a worsening have-have not divide. We will move from scanning to sensing, and anything with a barcode will be attached to you through something as simple as your phone.”

A communications professor at a large public university commented, “Wearables—though off to a pathetic start—will be common. We may even have embedded chips under our skin—mini computers—that allow us to control our entire personal lives. The development of applications will be most widely felt in the business world—everybody’s number-one goal is to make money. This trend will also continue to widen the gap between the haves and have-nots, based on socio-economic, not racial, lines (although they often tend to be the same thing). Wearable devices will cross a major hurdle when they are stand-alone hardware and no longer require a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone to function. Right now, they’re just novelties. I am not sure technology will launch the kind of telepathic communication you describe, but it could play a role.”

An Internet pioneer and originator said, “These types of devices are, and will be, for the time being, seen as novelties. While they may be useful in some aspects, I don’t see that they will be widespread by 2025.”

A leader for a creative services group wrote, “Sensors and the family of programmable functions that are routine will give continued life to IO.”

A pro blogger for a mental health web site, and social media suicide prevention volunteer, wrote, “Yes, there will be benefits, but only for the wealthy and middle class, increasingly creating a digital divide. People who don’t use Google Glass do not want to be around those who are using it.”

A freelance writer of op-ed columns said, “There is little benefit to wearables now. Scannables have no real value, except to increase sales.”

The technical manager for a professional and financial enhancement tool wrote, “Governance will be more challenging and open. There will not be much advancement in its adaptation.”

A technology journalist wrote, “Wearables pose privacy concerns, as well as the same concern that today’s digital devices do—an epidemic of narcissism. But the digitization of things, sensors on doors and so forth, can only help make our world safer and more automated. I’m not sure about interacting via thoughts, though definitely via eye movements and other gestures. As I said above, there’s a danger of intense narcissism in all of this, and since these devices will be available only to the wealthy, an exacerbation of the social and digital divide.”

An information science professional wrote, “It suggests a further digital divide between rich and poor, the intelligent and stupid, as well as the educated and uneducated. People will have these devices because they have the money to buy them and the education to use them. What is the future for the others? How can society empower the unskilled to get into the main stream, rather that into drugs and other crimes, to earn money? Many old people will also be left behind, even though they may have the money to purchase the devices. Public education needs to be reformed to teach skills for the coming world and how to think and protect oneself to live and work in it. I think your time horizon is too short for these devices to be in wide use; 2035–2050 is my suggestion.”

A Web designer, developer, and writer predicted, “Wearables will be handy and fun in a multitude of ways, but they will revolutionize health care. Of course, some people will be afraid of them and think they’re the ‘mark of the beast,’ or some such absurdity, but you can’t do much about such ignorance.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “There will be beneficial, widespread effects, but, only if we are able to resolve the privacy issues of consolidating personal information.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “I have to question the thought that it will be beneficial—just to whom are you referring? Look at search engines—the answers they want you to have first. It’s a basic tenet of ecology that all monocultures eventually collapse. It can be done. I guess we won’t be able to call someone a liar in the future.”

A professor at the University of Colorado said, “Children will have no idea that they should not be forced to be tracked constantly by their parents, such as on school buses. There will be a whole generation that is used to sharing multi-facets of information. These kinds of devices will be marketed as conveniences but will be used for commercial and surveillance purposes. It is unclear how the class divide will be enhanced and/or affected by these devices. There will be a class of people who can pay to avoid surveillance, and there will be those out of the loop who will ‘fly under the radar,’ but most people who want to interact in society will be inadvertently connected to the Internet.”

An education leader said, “Technology should always promote the positive welfare of society. I look at these devices helping in the medical field, such as with stroke patients and those individuals who have multiple handicaps.”

An educator wrote, “The greatest accomplishments will be for those who are disabled. Devices that can ‘fill in’ for missing physical and cognitive pieces are, perhaps, the most beneficial developments. One possible problem area is that of recognizing limitations. Such devices aren’t the be-all and end-all; rather, they are assistive tools. The range and scope of such devices isn’t recognized fully at this point. Either they are a fad, or they are something more profound.”

A lawyer specializing in technology issues specifically as they affect employers and employment law commented, “We are trending towards one device to encompass your phone, Internet, wallet—everything you need—in one place. The problem results when this is lost due to human error and/or a major cyber attack.”

An instructional system designer wrote, “Access to information and sharing will allow more people to make better informed decisions more quickly. The challenge will be in ensuring the quality and accuracy of that information. The future prospect of interaction with people and wearable devices is exciting and scary. The next logical step is connecting said devices to the human nerve endings that create biotechnology advances where the human condition becomes one of symbiotic bio-computation and bionet (Internet +bio) become the new norm.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Only wealthy people can afford that kind of technology. Most Americans aren’t wealthy, and by 2025, very few will even be middle class. So, all this technology will be unaffordable for the majority of people who will be struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table. People in survival mode don’t have money for high-tech toys.”

A communications consultant and historian commented, “While I believe the use of such devices will become widespread, I have serious doubts about the benefits of such devices. I fear such devices will serve to compromise individual privacy, as well as liberty. Furthermore, such devices will serve to lessen personal communication. I believe the use of such devices will increase; however, I do not believe this will be a good thing, as it will lessen the use of (but not the need for) oral communication.”

An information science professional said, “Based upon the current use, I can only imagine how this will expand. Currently, one can wear a device to track steps and calories and sleep patterns. There are devices which one can wear to monitor heart rates. Perhaps in the future, we will each have an embedded chip within our bodies to track our health, our locations, and even enable us to make payments for transactions. It will be more difficult to hang ‘under the grid’ and live. All will be known and followed.  We already connect with eye movements. This is true for paraplegics who cannot move. As to interacting via our thoughts, that is a possible future. People have attempted to do so for generations. But perhaps, in the future, we will no longer depend upon wearable devices but, instead, have expanded our own brains to do so.”

A Web developer observed, “This is happening now, and it will increase. Check out the Horizon Reporthttp://www.nmc.org/horizon-project.”

A Web manager based in Australia said, “Wearable devices will make it easier to track people, pay without cash or cards, and upload memories as they are created. This means that a person’s entire existence can be documented online, leading to more identity theft, with privacy breaches by individuals (i.e., in family violence situations), corporations (for data mining), and governments (for national security and political dissidence). People will start going ‘off-grid’ when they are aware that their actions might have consequences. They might have a separate, less expensive device for going out to bars in case it is stolen, or, perhaps, even a device with a different identity for anonymity. Cash will become less common. This is great for businesses that don’t want the security risks of cash handling, but it is not so great for small businesses whose viability is partly dependent on trading in cash off the books. It also means that those who hold cash become more attractive targets for theft, and house break-ins may become more common as those on the fringes of the economy become more desperate to get by. This could increase the inequality gap. By 2025, most people will interact with the Internet via their phone or a wearable device. Tablets will have replaced laptops for home and most work computing, and desktops will be used only by a niche group of power users who require a device with very high specs and in a job where there is no hot-desking or travel (i.e., programmers, data analysts). I doubt that interaction via body signals or thoughts will be mainstream by 2025, as there is too much variation in how humans communicate via body language, as well as too much possibility of giving the device a command without intention. But, I do think we will interact via voice more than keyboard in future, and this will impact on the diversity of languages around the world as English (probably with a US accent) becomes the standard, due to being best supported by voice interaction technology.”

An information science professional located in Europe wrote, “Intelligent clothing will be very needed as climate change is going on, and 3D printing will be a part of everybody’s life.”

A research and program evaluation lead wrote, “Yes, there will be benefits, as assistive technologies will continue to evolve to enable capacity for enhanced cognition, communication, movement, manipulation, and design. The challenge will be in learning how to socially adapt. For digital natives, it will be seamless, but older generations may have more adaptive challenges.”

A government cultural technology research analyst observed, “We’re already seeing scannables (credit cards with NFC chips), and wearables have started with Google Glass, watches, and even rings that are wearable technology. I see this increasing, and I would imagine that, with the aging population, some devices that can assist seniors would be developed. An example that comes to mind is some sort of Internet-connected device (a pill bottle, I think) that reminds seniors (or anyone with memory issues) when to take their pills, when to renew pills, etc. I love technology, but I also shudder at the privacy implications here. People wearing Google Glass can take photos (Google is working on ‘wink and shoot’) and probably use image recognition (Facebook already has it) and find out everything about a person.”

An administrative assistant who works for a major US foundation commented, “The evolution of embedded and wearable devices will mostly be felt in shopping. Many people already do the majority of their shopping online, and that trend will only grow. Thinks like home videos and pictures will be uploaded and shared even faster when items like Google Glass become more widespread. I expect there will be pushback from the private and public sectors in the beginning, but as more people start using embedded and wearable devices, and they become more commonplace, there will be less and less arguments against them. I don’t really see any limits on what people will be able to do with wearable technology in the future. People always want the next big, shiny thing. There may be some grumbling about privacy and potential for hacking at first, but if someone develops ‘the next big thing,’ someone will buy it.”

A leader for a state environmental agency wrote, “I expect energy efficiency to be substantially affected by the Internet of Things.”

A senior Web designer for the State of Oregon said, “I hope so: By making the world more connected globally, we may begin to understand other people and cultures better. I would like to believe this makes us more tolerant, accepting, and less able to harm people who aren’t ‘like us.’ Our shared humanity should make us feel like a global community and responsible for one another. We should be able to respond better to disasters and needs around the world and be able to predict problems before they arise. By lifting more people out of poverty and providing education, everyone should benefit.”

A development consultant for a major religious organization said. “We will be able to communicate more quickly and easily via wearable technology. This will help workers of all kinds, including helping police, military, and public workers reduce the incidence of a variety of threats. It may help in the fight against growing criminal activity. It could allow children to be educated in places other than a traditional school building.  Embedded technology may be invented that will help addicts, dieters, smokers, the mentally ill, etc., control their harmful impulses. We will begin to interact with technology in a more personal way. The desktop has already gone the way of the Model T, and the laptop isn’t far behind. As phones and smart devices get more powerful and smaller, human dependence on technology will grow. For some, a smart device will act as an ‘auxiliary brain,’ and is the only way they can process the increasing amount of stimuli. This need will drive innovation towards creating smaller and more invasive applications, such as implants.”

An education technology researcher said, “The use of these devices since their appearance in the 1990s continues to be an awkward interference with social interactions. It is human nature not to want to talk to someone when you are being recorded and documented by even family members. These ‘Google Glass-like’ devices will still be a novelty, but mobile handheld devices will still be main technology. They will find their way into niche fields and markets and be very useful there, but not for everyday consumer use.”

A managing director commented, “Price and utility will drive adoption. A segment of the population will transfer routine tasks to these new technologies. The vast majority will wait and see, unless some entity (think iPod or iPad) captures the imagination of the public. Speed and convenience will be the principle selling points. The technology is more hyped than real at this point, and manufacturers are demonstrating what they can do, rather than what people need.”

The director of a program at a major public research university wrote, “There will be effects, yes. Will they be beneficial? I’m not sure.”

A freelance writer, author and journalist, and website creator wrote, “The Internet of Things is just a marketing tool, as was ‘Web 2.0.’ As more and more technology is used in application such as cars, people will begin to see the faults in the systems. The barrier, I believe, is that corporations seem to think that just because something can be done, it must be done. Also, they seem to think there is no end to what they can do technologically, but there actually is. I really don’t see much of a future for Google Glass and watches. Discussions currently show that most people are not really interested in these types of gadgets. They are more for a small group of people. As for interacting via thoughts, etc., I personally don’t believe that technology will ever exist, even though people talk as if it will. People are having a hard enough time with the NSA invading their telephone calls. I am quite sure they will not appreciate, nor allow, the same ‘freedom’ with their thoughts. As for ‘body signals,’ they have been there all along, but people have no idea how to use them, nor will they learn; it’s just too much work for them.”

A former advertising executive, now a university teacher and data scientist, said, “We already see this happening now. It is a ‘blessing’ in healthcare, especially for people with chronic illnesss and post-acute care follow-up. The latter will enable people to have short hospital stays. [I have] no opinion yet.”

An online news professional wrote, “My only fear is this could be a real chance for an elite, i.e., a selected (through easier access to higher education) population in the richer countries.”

An educational technologist at a regional university in North America said, “Personal security will spend upon wearable devices and ubiquitous Wi-Fi. Wearables will control body comfort in extreme climates. Brain-wave communication will be ubiquitous, and everyone will wear head sensors.”

An information science professional wrote, “I find it a creepy prospect, but perhaps I’m just naturally conservative. I prefer to think that my thoughts (and my children’s thoughts) and bodily signals remain something private and not ‘shared.’ There are so many other—and effective—ways to share things, information, and emotions, if we want!”

A professor of information systems at the University of Poitiers, France, commented, “Future effects include small payments, identification and personalization of the environment, home assistance, and medical devices. There are two barriers: security and, mainly, privacy. A part the hype, Google Glass is not socially acceptable. Therefore, the main problem is the ability of the human eye, which constrains the displays. For the input, there will be cases where voice and movement can be useful: I began to use IBM ViaVoice when my right shoulder was plastered. But, for normal use, these alternative forms of interaction are noisy, imprecise, can disturb other people and can even create trauma (think of a tactile screen on a desktop PC).”

An independent research consultant said, “I’m not sure these will be beneficial effects—widespread, probably. This phenomenon will benefit corporations, data brokers, and insurance companies, more than individuals. Individuals may be lured in by colorful new gadgets, but I suspect that we will gain little personally from the ‘Internet of Things,’ except, for example, discounts on our health insurance if we agree to embeddable personal health tracking devices, or to discounts on merchandise from retailers if we agree to let them analyze our every move. We can expect to see more and more devices like Google Glass and smart watches. There could be a lot of positive effects for people with severe disabilities, who may not be able to communicate without advanced technology. We may see a widening gap in lifestyle between those who can afford such technology and those who can’t.”

A strategy and business intelligence manager wrote, “As someone who actively is not connected 24/7, I find these devices intrusive; however, I don’t think the rest of the world feels that way. I believe the convenience factor will outweigh many other considerations. As like-minded people become more connected, many current social and political boundaries will become more diffused and blurred: nationality may be not be as important fifty years from now. Body language rules.”

An information science professional wrote, “Call it Orwellian; an Internet of Things would be hardly beneficial to the masses, especially those who are poor or who otherwise do not occupy a position of power in the ruling elite of a given country. It may still happen, by 2025 or later, but I don’t think it will ultimately be beneficial.”

A market researcher for a major technology company said, “The main areas where the Internet of Things will impact society will be in the areas of fitness, first, and health, later. These devices will be niche items appealing to certain people at first, but that the healthcare industry will adopt to help people improve their health.”

An information science professional wrote, “Human beings like gadgets and like being stimulated. Already, with the Google Glass, there is an appeal to the general public for enhancing sensations that go past the natural senses. These devices will be commonplace because they will be affordable to the majority of people by 2025, and they will be conveniently added to the individual. While we all laugh at Star Trek and the devices they were using, they were only forerunners of our current technology. The Samsung watch, the device that can tell your different levels of body whatever, and the Google Glass—all of these are just the beginning for what can be done in the future. Devices like this will be traceable, as well as convenient for the person wearing them. Anything that will deliver pleasure to the individual will be embraced.”

A communications professor at a school in the Minnesota university system wrote, “Take, for example, the ‘Fitbit-type’ of wearables: most of those devices are purchased by people who are already fit and like to monitor their bodies. Others buy the devices to experiment with them. Many wearables will be invented and sold (for profit), but few will truly change individuals’ lives; however, some wearable or implanted medical devices will improve diagnostics and treatment. I believe we’ll each eventually have custom chips implanted to accomplish functions more complex than those Google Glass accomplishes. The chips will deliver media, provide or release memory, and even record photos or videos for the individual. The prospect brings up great ethical questions and could have profound effects on the aging process.”

A healthcare businessperson wrote, “Just as not everyone has a smart phone, I don’t believe that wearable technologies will be as ubiquitous, until they are part of utilities, such as electricity, cable, and Internet.”

A former network administrator with the US Commerce Department, now retired, wrote, “Devices for individual health and medicine will be the most acceptable devices, with some critical of personal liberties, just like now. But these devices offer real life-saving monitoring and real cost-savings, especially in emerging nations, where health care is nonresistant. I haven’t thought about it.”

An information science professional wrote, “Will the effects be widespread? Yes. Beneficial? It has always seemed as if the conversation about the Internet of Things has emphasized never running out of milk as its core example. I suppose, technically, that’s beneficial.”

A media and digital services professional commented, “While people will continue to have concerns about security and over-sharing, the hype over Google Glass has shown the interest people have in this technology. I expect that interest will only grow. The greatest advances here will be in devices used to aid the handicapped. We’ve already seen advances that allow paraplegics to control motorized wheelchairs, stroke victims to talk with their eyes, and Down syndrome patients to type without their hands. I expect innovations will be made in these areas first.”

A managing director in the consulting division at Aquent observed, “I definitely believe that wearable and scannable devices will become more widespread. This is something we are just experiencing now with devices like Fitbit and mobile applications that are like a mobile wallet (passbook, etc.). I believe this area will continue to evolve and become more advanced and that the devices will become less and less noticeable while wearing them. This could be anything from imbedding the technology into make-up to into clothing. Wearable, connected devices will continue to evolve and rise in popularity. One thing that companies who manufacture these devices (like Google Glass) will have to keep in mind is that the design is critical. As you start to cross over into the fashion space, people become more and more particular about what they wear and how it looks.”

A technology support professional commented, “There will be widespread effects, yes; however, it may have implications on the ability to ‘reinvent’ oneself. Also, there may be a gendered effect: wearable devices may be seen as harmful more by women than men, as woman find themselves a target of such devices. Already, women find themselves the more frequent subject of unwanted photography and video taping in private and public situations (intimate encounters, dressing rooms, public restrooms, locker rooms, etc.). With wearable devices, women may feel more of personal effect of a surveillance society than men will. Social norms may put pressure on those who use wearable devices to limit their use. The possibility that people may interact via thought and body signals may hold a lot of promise for increased engagement in public life, for those with specific disabilities, or for the elderly.”

A US government researcher said, “I’d really answer this as a ‘maybe.’ I’m not sure that the ‘Cloud’ will not have been superseded by other storage and retrieval technologies by then—storage and retrieval have gone through enormous change in the past decade. It may take a while for the Internet of Things to really become available for most common people, as opposed to the wealthy, who have the money and infrastructure to support them. Wearables and scannables are more likely to have an impact. Privacy and freedom from constant advertising are likely to continue to be issues. The current wearable devices are crude and are early prototypes of what is to come. They will very much improve over the next decade. How widespread they will become in that time, is difficult to say.”

A researcher at Harvard’s Kennedy School wrote, “Yes, there will be widespread, beneficial effects but I would distinguish between wearable and embedded: the wearable trend will go in fits and starts, as the invasion of the human body will prompt more serious ethical considerations than, say, the adoption of mobile devices once did. We draw a very sharp line with our bodies (food and medicine are examples); however, the Internet of Things will transform how we use and control all products and machines in our households and work environments.”

The senior director for digital media at a healthcare nonprofit said, “Without a doubt, [there will be widespread, beneficial effects]. Pills we swallow will tell us how effective they are; our plants will tell us when they need to be watered—and do it themselves; our clothing will adjust to weather and body temperatures and let us know when we need to think about re-soling our shoes; shampoo will give us feedback on lessening hair or dandruff, or even when it’s time for a haircut! In short, everything we touch will come alive. It is the future. We will recall Google Glass nostalgically in 2025 but go so far beyond it in execution that it will take a historian to remind us how primitive it was. People will make objects move with their thoughts.”

An editor focused on how technology affects policy and society commented, “The Internet of Things’ true potential lies in increasing efficiency of city services: using sensors to reduce traffic, shift resources to areas that need it most, etc. It can also offer personal efficiency to consumers by allowing them to better track and manage their own use of resources, from electricity to food. Of course, privacy will be a major obstacle: in many ways, this is not different from carrying a cellphone in your pocket—but on a much greater scale. It would allow far more entities to track each individual person. Interacting with wearables via bodily signals could be an impediment to adaptation. The blinks, twitches, and eyeball movements go against current social practices; Google Glass, as many have said, could be like a Bluetooth headset–used by a sizable number of people who are mocked by the rest. If they do reach widespread adoption, we’ll see a world like in Her, in which people together in public spaces are even more psychologically disconnected from one another.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “All of this interconnectedness will be generally unhealthy for humans. On the surface, it may be neat to have the Internet of Things, but the damage it causes to privacy and human relationships aren’t worth it.”

An anonymous respondent said, “People will demand electronic simplicity in everything, from fitness devices to making purchases to finding a spot for dinner. But, since much of this technology is here—just not mainstream—the next decade will see widespread acceptance and fine-tuning of what exists today. Right now, it is just a novelty to see someone wearing Google Glass or smartphone watches. But people also don’t like to look foolish—which is why you don’t see Bluetooth earpieces much anymore. These wearable devices need to be subtle and not stand out like a sore thumb. I really don’t think, in the next decade, we will link our thoughts to technology, but physical movements will be much more integrated with technology.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Ease and simplicity of use seems a significant barrier to the widespread, beneficial effect on the Internet of things. The existing manual efforts currently associated with such devices (set-up, tracking, using) renders them novelty devices and fancier versions of unconnected things we already have; however it’s fairly easy to see how these devices can, and likely will, become much ‘smarter,’ and therefore, more useful and ubiquitous. The Internet of Things can impact the divide between the haves and the have-nots, either for better, or for worse: Will the haves be better able to manage their health and wellness because only they will be able afford devices to assist them? Or, will a nutrition tracker be given to all receipts of food aid and healthy foods be supplied as needed? As a society, we will need to decide how we best use and distribute technology to improve society as a whole.”

A project manager at Microsoft Corp. observed, “Embedded devices will most prominently monitor both the user’s body for possible health issues (even their face for potential stress indicators) and their environment for possible threats, from pollution to criminals. Sensors will be in most clothes and shoes. Watches will not become widespread; glasses, however, will, giving people an augmented view of their environment. Voice and hand movements will be the predominant input mechanisms; thoughts will only be used for a few commands.”

A support leader in the ICT entrepreneurship ecosystem in Europe wrote, “It will come smoothly, as people will start to learn how to use them. Glass, watches, etc.—it will all be welcome.”

A PhD candidate in educational technology wrote, “We’re, essentially, already there. Smartphones could easily be reduced in size (but not in capabilities) in the next few years and put on a watch or other wearable. I also think that this size reduction can be paired with capabilities for screen sharing/Bluetooth connection with larger displays or even projecting images on walls or into the air. Voice recognition/commands will also improve, reducing the need for gestures. Overall, the already growing concern that people are immersing in the digital world and reducing contact with the ‘real’ world will continue to be a hot topic.”

A professor and associate dean of the college of communication and information at Florida State University commented, “Specific devices and applications are hard to identify, but the close relationship with smartphones and a range of apps demonstrate that people like these services. Some may choose to opt out of some services for privacy reasons or set up special zones where certain devices and services should not be used.”

A government program specialist said, “I answered ‘no’ because I don’t think the evolution of embedded or wearable devices is beneficial to humans or to society. I believe, however, that the practice will be widespread—scary! The watch will fail because there’s already a trend away from wearing wristwatches (due to the widespread use of cell phones). Why would somebody want to go back to wearing one, especially when it’s so clunky? Google Glass probably has more legs; but all of these devices take away from our ability to interact as humans. All you have to do is sit at an airport gate to see how little human interaction is going on. Everyone is engrossed with their smartphones, laptops, tablets, iPods, etc., to the detriment of interacting with the people sitting right next to them.”

A marketing and trend consultant wrote, “Wearables can easily answer the age-old issue of, ‘I’m too hot or too cold.’ Why change room temperature when the garment can change body temperature? More control of the individual may lead to more pressure not to affect the whole—as in, if you’ve got a problem, fix it yourself, and leave the rest of us alone. Thoughts as control are inevitable; however, this seems more likely in 2050.”

A former policy advisor in Congress who worked in the Clinton Administration on technology, Internet, and society, who’s currently working for a Fortune 20 communications company, observed, “Although security and cyber will be factors, the growth of wearables will be there. Look at where investment dollars are flowing.”

A university student said, “For most of its history, the development of the Internet has been driven by profit (or potential profit), rather than by value. So, the ‘Internet of Things’ will almost certainly benefit its owners; however, I don’t see much benefit being accrued to its users, or to driving humanity forward.”

An online marketing professional for a medical publisher wrote, “This freaks me out, and it’s really stupid. I don’t need to look through a glass to be told that there’s a person standing in front of me, although I suppose if I were blind, I would appreciate the assistive technology. And it would be wonderful if such technology could help those who are paralyzed or otherwise disabled to be given back their mobility. But other uses feel frivolous and avoidant to me—blech! As I said above, this would be a wonderful thing for folks with impaired mobility—to be able to issue commands, communicate, etc., with eye movements—but for other uses? I foresee masses of people falling off of subway platforms while looking at their wearables for information about where they are.”

An information science professional wrote, “There may be widespread use of wearable devices and artifacts, but they may not necessarily have a beneficial effect. We are already seeing a fracturing of deep thinking and attention span now. It is unclear if this trend is simply midway in process for our brains to adapt, or if we are becoming a nation with ADD.”

An information science professional wrote, “There will definitely be an increase of wearables. Networking these wearables will leave the consumer wanting more interaction with their fellow humans. Community centers and physical buildings offering community experiences will offset the individuality of these devices.”

An information science professional wrote, “We will get beyond this type of hardware, and things will be as small as microchips, to be imbedded in our clothing.”

An information science professional wrote, “The impact will be great, but will the effects be very beneficial? That is yet to be seen. I fear the effects will be highly commercialized and add very little to peoples’ quality of life.”

An anonymous respondent said, “I don’t know that people want this, but it’ll exist.”

An information science professional wrote, “I’m grumpy about the Cloud because of the lack of privacy. I don’t believe this is beneficial. But yes, it will be widespread. I read Science Fiction, yet I have a hard time believing that this will happen widely by 2025.”

An information science professional wrote, “Widespread and beneficial are not synonymous and should have not been connected by ‘and.’ Some of the devices will be beneficial in the area of individual healthcare monitoring. Some will be harmful in limiting free choice. A device to track smokers would be an example of a device that would fall into both beneficial and harmful.”

An anonymous respondent observes, “Pandora’s Box can’t ever be closed once it’s opened. For good or for ill, ‘wearables’ already exist and will continue to expand upon/encroach into daily life. The social difficulty links back to the privacy question. If I have an Internet camera in my eyeglasses, for example, I can photograph you and transmit your image (or that of your private documents or implements) to the world. This sort of theft already occurs with cell phone cameras, so just imagine! Of course, we won’t be using plastic bankcards by then, but crooks always find a way to adapt technology for evil purposes. I expect we will have the same types of privacy and criminal concerns as we do now: they will just be framed differently.”

An anonymous respondent said, “People will use the Internet of Things to make their lives easier. Already, I crave more places where I can use my smart phone or scan one single item to pay for products. I see that coming. I don’t believe Google Glass as it is today has a strong future, but I believe the prototyping of this device will spawn technologies that are less socially and personally invasive.”

An information science professional wrote, “I’m optimistic that embedded and wearable devices will help improve the public’s quality of life and overall sense of well-being/health. I think about my elderly parents and how an imbedded device could assist them in their everyday lives. The only barrier to the use of these devices is the technical know-how of the user. Will they be simple enough for anyone to operate? My parents do not have computers at all. If the items combine with an AI interface that seems natural, I can see this happening.”

An information science professional wrote, “It’s already happening! The impact of Internet of Things will be most commonly and vividly felt in the normal, day-to-day activities—like heating/cooling your home, cooking, cleaning, sustainable practices, etc. The sort of situations that there is payoff (economical, environmental, academic?) for Internet of Things technology and little change has to be done on the part of the owner/user. [I think] that initial offerings like Google Glass and the Samsung watch will be regarded as novelties by 2025 (like calculator watches now). I’m not sure how widely things will be accepted, unless there is a practical (not just a ‘flash’) factor.”

The director of a library wrote, “It’s hard to imagine this not becoming mainstream, as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been working on this for quite a while. It seems to me that a major area of concern with wearables and embedded devices will be privacy implications.”

A writer, website operator, and technical consultant for local and wide area networking responded, “At this moment, that whole idea appears more like a fashion statement than anything more significant than the late, unlamented, Bone-Fone.”

An educator wrote, “I don’t see this as ‘beneficial.’ I hope that embedded devices will only be tempered with the public’s actual medical- or mobility-need for them.”

A librarian wrote, “There will be too much time wasted on introverted, social media-type updating and less face-to-face interaction.”

An information science professional wrote, “There can be surveillance of monitoring of everything, from pulse, blood pressure, and caloric intake to paces, spending, GPS whereabouts, and with whom we communicate and what we think and say. There will be more invasion of privacy and basically no privacy. There will be implanted devices.”

An attorney responded, “Wow—this is a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answer. I would not want anything embedded in me that would mean you could find me anywhere, like a microchip in a pet. That level of ‘reach’ by the government is terrifying, even though I am a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide. And yet, if I have my iPhone on me, you certainly can locate me. For all things, there is a balance needed between privacy and safety. It is what we are struggling with post-9/11 and that we will continue to struggle with in the digital age. I see too much technology integration with our bodies as a bad thing. There are those who have and will argue that technology facilitates communication. And yet, watching a room of teens glued to their iDevice, instead of interacting and having a common experience, is disheartening. The fact that YouTube is either the number-one or -two search engine shows how important visual and imagery has become over the written word in our age. And, while imagery can convey complex ideas concisely, it fails to convey precisely the way that writing can. So, I see Google Glass being a failure as it crosses the line between our innate need to interact with others without filters and our need for information. A ‘Dick Tracy’ watch, however, seems like a likely thing.”

An information science professional wrote, “I would love an Internet of Things taking care of daily tasks for me! It’s creepy, but it’s coming.”

An information science professional wrote, “I surely hope that wearables will be more prevalent. People are going to want to rely less and less on a bulky phone to get the information they’ll want, and they’ll be more likely to want devices that are embedded into their lives.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “You will be able to access your files from any location, which is huge. There will be fewer dead trees and no more brief cases.”

An information science professional wrote, “Of course, innovation will continue in this area. As now and always in the past, some devices are welcomed, used, and improved, while others fall by the wayside. If people find them useful and they become marketable, they will continue to be produced and improved. If not marketable, they will discontinue, and innovation will adjust. Do people currently rather wear contact lenses, have Lasik surgery, or wear eyeglasses? Google Glass, although a fun concept, will not survive in its current iteration. Generally, people do not want to wear devices around their eyes, due to weight, discomfort, interference with other activities, etc. The Samsung watch is large and clumsy to use. But these are beta devices. The innovators will take what they learn as they observe them in use, watch the sales and market, and then adjust and continue to innovate. Body signals to interact with our world is in the future, but only if [those corresponding devices are] easy to use.”

An information science professional wrote, “One effect will be monitoring one’s household—we see some of that becoming available now. (And, if it gets away from the darn cable TV monopoly system, that might get even bigger.) Shopping could be hugely impacted. Google Glass? It’s interesting but not essential, and the fact that some people find it intrusive doesn’t help. People already communicate via bodily signals. I’m not sure that digitizing that is anything I look forward to.”

A retired information technology professional commented, “Google glasses are already being used for surgery help. Artificial body parts will take advantage of embedded devices—i.e., heart monitors.”

An information science professional wrote, “This should have a ‘maybe’ answer choice. This sounds like a George-Jetson’s-briefcase-car-kind of idea. Personal information will increasingly become less personal. Perhaps the TSA can drop the big, expensive, dubiously-effective body scanners and just scan the chips in our devices/clothing/napes of our necks to make sure everything matches as we pass through airports. Google Glass is a neat idea, and eventually, computing devices and tools need to be much less hands-oriented and more integrated as natural extensions of our senses/body. I hope that computing devices continue to evolve in this way. The ‘iWatch’ or Samsung watch seems like a fad to me and not in the same line of thinking as Google Glass. The watch is yet another gadget to keep charged. Unless it could do more than a Bluetooth cell phone ear bud, it seems like a $300 toy.”

An information science professional wrote, “The Internet of Things will certainly grow by 2025 but, based on convenience, not a true benefit to society. People will be adverse to the idea of giving too much control to technology, but the convenience of having something close-by and easy to navigate will win society over. There would have to be major breakthroughs in the way the Internet of Things is setup, though.”

An attorney working on digital issues for the federal government predicted, “The Internet of Things will be widespread; I’m a little less sanguine about its benefits. I also think that the digital divide issues must be addressed. ‘People,’ again, raises the issue of the digital divide, and for which people. This will depend on the cost of the devices. The wealthy and first world folks will have the latest toys. I don’t think that telepathy—even AI-enhanced—will be in place by 2025. Eye movement and other bodily signals will, however, be a key source of interaction and communication—both voluntary and involuntary.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Health fields will benefit the most. Embedded devices could foretell changes in human physiology and alert or even repair. Both the Google Glass and the Samsung watch are expensive novelties. They will be displaced by smaller, less bulky devices, which will be connected by bodily signals. Won’t that be amazing for people who are handicapped?”

A development leader and webmaster wrote, “I love using the Cloud; so, I would assume it will only become more mainstream as time goes by. If medical issues can be fixed with wearable devices, then that would be a possibility—possibly an embedded chip, as opposed to Lasik or a different type of pacemaker that can be monitored remotely over the Internet. We are already seeing chips used in artificial limbs, so why not in other body functions, which physicians can monitor? There will be people who are afraid of such technology, but the younger people are so much more comfortable. I would assume the biggest barrier to widespread use would be financial ability to pay.  We already see eye movements used with quadriplegics to communicate, so I assume we will only enhance those abilities and expand to able-bodied people for different uses. If the money is there to do research and to get products to the global market, innovation will grow.”

An information science professional wrote, “The Internet of Things will be widespread, but I am leery about the supposed benefits to the public. Frankly, I picture us turning into the people in the movie Wall E. The less we have to do, the dumber and lazier we will become.”

An information science professional wrote, “Many people will embrace any innovations that make life easier and/or more fun. If ‘wearables’ look good, then people will enjoy them. Privacy is always an issue. People tend to forget that they are broadcasting their personal information when they hook up to the Cloud, despite whatever security may be in place. The result will depend upon (again) how well educated the general population is, as well as how well they are able to think through the choices that they make. So far, technology has yet to allow for less work hours and more time to spend with family. I don’t believe our educational system can be up to the task of helping people to learn everything if families don’t have time to spend with each other and set appropriate boundaries, examples of appropriate behavior, etc. I embrace all new technology, but I want everyone to be able to make intelligent choices. Everyone will have a mobile, regardless of income—just as pretty much everyone had a landline before mobile phones became so prevalent. If Wi-Fi is everywhere, and if wearables catch on, people will walk around connected all the time. They may be both more and less alone at the same time.”

An information science professional wrote, “The idea of personal security (preventing bodily harm) will be realized with wearables. Please refer to the book, Earth, by David Brin. After reading this, the idea of embedded technology seems very likely to me. People’s relationships with groups will also be more vividly realized, and the ‘wisdom of the masses’ will help to create a class of DIY-makers. This change will impact politics, journalism, and entertainment.”

An emerging technologies librarian wrote, “[Effects will be seen in] biometric banking; purchasing; medical/fitness uses; and advertising tracking. Pitfalls [include] continued erosion of privacy and identity theft issues. Google Glass and the Samsung watch are just temporary, until thought reading is better harnessed. Eye movement/thought energy transfer will be the direction that actually works. Google Glass is just a steppingstone to that.”

A public policy consultant said, “Sure, why not? We all already love our smartphones, and they keep us on time, stop us from getting lost, etc. There will probably be more health uses for networked devices (keeping track of blood pressure, glucose levels, etc.). Healthcare is one of the most rapidly growing segments of our economy, so I’m sure that there will be a market for this. The social and political difficulties will likely be privacy and equity. I feel like the Google Glass thing is weird, but that could just be me. I don’t know about the Samsung watch. [I think] that pocket-sized Internet devices will likely just get more efficient so that they’re faster and easier to use.”

An information science professional and writer commented, “Yes, [the effects will be beneficial and widespread], in the sense that the advertisement industry will be dramatically changed. When entering a store, individuals wearing their phones on their wrists will connect to a store’s product placement database, what they’ve recently viewed will be analyzed, and targeted ads will appear. Many young adult books have this element already in them, and it’s not very far off with what is already happening today. I can see advancements in technology where a wristwatch will be your phone, credit card, and security card, and that it requires your unique body temperature and thumbprint to be used. As it is, devices have limited security features, requiring passcodes that can be broken.”

An information science professional wrote, “I appreciate the ‘Cloud in my own personal use but realize that I leave myself open to security breaches while using it. I imagine that will only increase in a bigger way. I see the potential in improving opportunities to communicate, especially for people with disorders/conditions that limit speech—i.e., autism, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig disease.”

A director of operations at MetaFilter.com said, “Google Glass is already happening and advancing faster than legislation can make people’s use of it hews to societal norms. This question basically looks like marketing for Samsung.”

An information science professional wrote, “I can see how that could help with medical devices. I worry, though, about tracking and privacy. Speech-to-text will become more precise. I don’t think the devices will be able to read our minds, though.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Yes, [I think] that these devices will enhance information sharing, especially for those with the money to buy and use them. This brings up the issue of the variance in ability of those who can afford these devices and those who cannot. It would be great if the developers of these new technologies would take a portion of their profits to allow sharing of these technologies with those with specific disabilities, with teachers to use in classrooms, and the like. This certainly is something that is possible with new technology, but having robotic/android-like devices will impact the social fiber of America in many ways, i.e., employment opportunities, replaceable bionic parts, what laws cover the rights of humans versus android devices, etc.”

An information science professional wrote, “Decreasing reliance on other people will ensue. All this will eventually happen.”

An information science professional wrote, “I’m not sure how much evolution there will be, but I certainly hope it’s beneficial. My medical device is computerized, so I’m wearing a computer. There are computer chips in a lot of things that didn’t have them before so that they can do things to help us. We come back to privacy again if everything is networked or in the Cloud (meaning on someone else’s computer). Who has access to all this information, some of which is personal? If someone has physical trouble with speaking or communicating, then using thoughts and eye movements is a good idea. As long as I can talk and type and write, I would rather keep my thoughts private. I can’t do a lot about my body language, but I would want my thoughts shared, only if I had consciously consented to that.”

An adjunct professor at a small private college wrote, “I can foresee greater use and usefulness of embedded medical technology; for instance, blood sugar monitors or oximeters that stay in/on the body and send a stream of information to a smartphone app, which can be shared with one’s medical professionals. I can also see more usage of things like Google Glass to stream individualized video to students in school settings, especially for asynchronous learning; however, much like the bandwidth issue, I can see this becoming a two- or three-tiered economic class issue, insofar as many will not be able to afford these technologies. Especially with the medical items, I can imagine insurance companies being slow to cover such products. I suspect items like the Google Glass and Samsung watch will continue to be adopted by some technophiles; however, there are so many customers who still have trouble dealing with the complexity of a smartphone, much less ‘wearable technology.’ Those who are willing to allow devices to access their thoughts or eye movements will certainly adopt those devices as they become available and hit a certain price point. But, I suspect a lot of customers will not want that degree of intrusiveness.”

An information science professional wrote, “Again, privacy will be reduced as people can be tracked and as information about them can be collected. Sometimes, this is good (i.e., medical information), and sometimes it’s unfortunate (i.e., a reformed criminal). This will create a new class system, with those people ‘in the know’ for using these devices regularly in managing their lives elevating to higher status. Where will the point of diminishing return be? As I get older, at what point will I say, ‘Enough: I know what I know, and I’m okay with letting go of the newest, latest trend?’”

An anonymous participant wrote, “This is the next big thing. My concern is that the development of power sources, as well as new and more powerful batteries, is not keeping pace with the technology.”

An information science professional wrote, “The most beneficial effect wearable technology will have is in the medical field. This will help not only to effectively assist someone needing immediate medical help, but also in evaluating others and knowing more about the human biological system. My hope is that, through this technology, humans will help eliminate cancers in most forms, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Granted, the actual elimination will most likely come from the pharmaceutical sector, but it will happen due to the monitoring done from the wearable technology.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The relative early failure of devices such as Google Glass indicate many consumers have concerns about how the level of data about them is gathered and shared with such gadgets.”

A digital information specialist for a nonprofit organization commented, “More of our data will be compacted and will travel with us. I don’t think we’ll have surgical implants by 2025, but there might be first-generation stuff in the pipeline. Gadgets will get more intuitive, responding to our input quicker and with less overt direction on our part. I am not quite sure what they will progress to be. One school of thought is they will become smaller as technology advances. But, there are always the tech-fashion mavens, who will want their stuff flashier and more obvious, just because they can.”

An information science professional predicted, “While the Internet of Things will likely have widespread effects, I cannot agree that these effects will also be beneficial in most instances. [I think it’s a] total nightmare.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The watch is much more likely to be a common device than Google Glass; although, if Glass evolves more into a headset than it is presently, it may overtake the watch.”

An information science professional wrote, “Often, technology advances faster than laws, rules, or ethics can be articulated. Anything is possible—nothing would shock me.”

An anonymous survey participant commented, “The absolute dominance of the smartphone shows that people will quickly adapt to wearable, connected devices. The phone will slowly give way to more convenient ways of communicating, and soon, holding a device in your hand will be considered prehistoric. There will be strong resistance to thought monitoring, however. Certainly, 2025 is too early to expect that people will be ready for that.”

An information science professional wrote, “I’m saying ‘yes,’ but I am not really sure. We envision many things in the future, but as a child of the sixties, I was sure we would all be in flying cars by now. I also have a little difficulty reconciling AI, robots, wearables, etc., with the reality that so much of the world still barely survives in abject poverty. It creeps me out completely. We don’t do a great job using all five senses now. But, perhaps [there will be] some applications for those who are disabled.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “I’d say ‘yes’ to widespread—which is happening now—and ‘no’ to ‘beneficial effects…everyday lives.’ Whether such consequences will be beneficial is very dependent on the observer and the user. I am sure there will be Luddites and early adopters, as always. People won’t interact with the Internet, but rather in the Internet—it will be like the atmosphere—everywhere and invisible: a logical extension of what it is today. People will wear stuff, but in ten-plus years, it is perhaps more likely that stuff will wear us, via implants or, perhaps, something yet to be invented, such as a wireless brain-to-device link. While this is sounding like science fiction, I have not been a science fiction reader since my teens.”

An information science professional wrote, “Only the more wealthy will be able to afford many of the new devices, and that the Internet will change its raison d’etre significantly. There may be too much a difference between the haves and the have-nots for equality. Already having very specifically used medical devices that connect bodily signals to muscles means that this area still has a long and complicated development to be worked on by not just the medical community, but also others. If items become more affordable and actually usable, and not just entertaining, then I see more community acceptance. The power of entertainment is still strong, though, but not enough to base such devices.”

A strategic intelligence analyst on digital, technology, and telecom issues for a large advertising and marketing company predicted, “This is leading to a Big Brother society. It may have benefits but not, generally, to the wearer/user. It can be used by employers, insurance companies, and schools, as well as by law enforcement, to increase monitoring and control of ordinary people. I’m not sure that smart watches are going to be that useful, especially if they need to link to another device. Also, it is frequently overlooked that anyone over 40 or 50 has enough trouble seeing and typing on a large smartphone, let alone a smaller device. Will people who get sick from 3D glasses want to wear Google Glass over their eyeglasses? Yes, gesture is coming in, but it probably needs a lot more work to be successful and useful.”

An information science administrator responded, “I do not believe that the Internet/Cloud of Things is beneficial to anyone except those with malevolent intent. I believe biotechnologies like retinal or face scans will be common in 2025. Hurray for no more boarding passes! I feel that handheld devices will be the way most people interact with the Internet for common tasks.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It would be so much simpler to have a phone that you wear—we all have them, and I’m always losing or dropping mine. It would be wonderful to have a small phone on a chain, a watch, etc., that I didn’t always have to keep track of. I don’t think the Google Glass will be successful. I do think that other wearable items will be very successful—simply due to the need to make our communication with each other easier and more seamless.”

An educator wrote, “Access to technology is the greatest barrier. The Internet of Things is completely useless to many people in impoverished nations (especially countries in Africa). I don’t think we will have found a way to get running water and electricity to everyone in Africa by 2025. That’s a far bigger problem than access to the Internet. Even though Google Glass and Samsung watches are cutting edge now, they will be relics by 2025. Some people will embrace technology that uses body movement, and others will think that combining humans and technology in such an intimate way is crossing a line.”

An information science professional wrote, “These will be the ‘in’ things as business applications which exploit individual productivity. Personal privacy will be further degraded, as applications will be developed for use in stores, salespeople, and merchandising kiosks to ‘read’ people’s expressions and levels of interest in various products. They will use facial recognition to recognize your use and shopping habits in stores. Interaction via thoughts and other bodily signals will continue to advance for those with debilitating diseases and disabilities. They will be affordable for some with insurance coverage. The devices will not yet be common throughout society.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There will be many breakthroughs, including some wonderful new monitoring and self-medication devices for people with asthma, diabetes, etc. Those with medical conditions will have options that were unthinkable just yesterday. I was in a restaurant the other day and had the distinct impression that someone had taken my picture without asking permission. This will become commonplace and will contribute to some social discomfort, wariness, and changes in social behavior. This is especially true for those born before the Internet was commonplace.”

An information science professional wrote, “Microchips, wrist bands, etc., will have increased capacity to measure, report, and act. Again, privacy and the ability to corrupt electronic transmissions through viruses and malicious code pose a threat to the seamless success of such devices. Also, the lack of trust in what data is being collected will prevent certain users from jumping on board, even when the real benefit can be proven.”

An information science director wrote, “The Internet of Things will most commonly and vividly be felt in the 12-to-30-year-old range. Due to the age of early adopters, political difficulties will come from the conservative, older politicians and those who use any cause as a way to get their name in front of people. Parents may raise some concerns depending on their religious and political leanings. By 2025, access will be either voice-activated or thought-activated depending on how fast brain interaction with electronics can progress by then. Some techies will choose the Borg-style integration and have the devices implanted into their bodies so they are always on and not missing anything; others will choose to have removable devices that can be attached and removed at will; and others will continue to use the same style of devices currently used.”

An academic librarian commented, “I do not believe that Google Glass or iWatches will necessarily take off, but there is no doubt that wearable peripherals that connect to handheld and tablet computers will be mainstays, such as those that record biological information about the wearer. Google Glass and iWatches are going to fail miserably. Sensors like Microsoft’s Kinect, however, will dynamically change how we interact with the electronic world.”

An anonymous respondent who was deeply involved in participating in and administering Internet conferencing in the 1990s wrote, “Since development of technology seems to be aimed primarily at removing the consumer from his or her money, I don’t see any major change to ‘beneficial’ effects.”

An information science manager wrote, “As much as I find this idea repulsive, yes, [there will be effects].”

The manager of special projects for Library Journal said, “I am not convinced that the benefits will outweigh the good here. How will this impact privacy? Will there be any way to opt out of the relentless consumerism of the Internet? Will all aspects of our lives be ripe for monitization? How can we advance society while still allowing for a low-tech life? I was distressed to see no discussion in the survey questions about how we will pay for or provide power for these tools? I hope that the Google Glass is just a flash in the pan. I have been in a few settings where they are in use but fail to see how they enhance person-to-person interactions in real-time and in the same location. If we are always on the Web, then how will we be present for those we physically live, travel, shop, commute, or work with? Will this truly enhance community?”

A post-doc researcher in mechanical engineering said, “I think [there will be many effects], especially with the aging of the Baby Boomers. By having so many devices networked-in, it will be much easier for family, friends, and society to monitor how well the elderly are doing and be able to intervene if there is a problem in a much more timely manner. Oh, Lord—I hope these are just a passing fad. I can just imagine the statistics on how many traffic accidents happen because people are wearing their Google Glass while driving. Perhaps the watch will be more long-term, although I find it hard to do anything worthwhile on a watch screen without it being bulky. The human eye can only absorb so much ‘little’ of stuff.”

An information science professional wrote, “This is still a little bit of hype. My boyfriend’s TV can interact with the PSP, Wii, and Blu-ray, but you need at least three remotes to do it. What if your TV, refrigerator, and Microwave were from competing companies? Note the format battles with e-books. I can see people interacting with bodily signals to open doors or windows or to turn on the stereo. I could see using your watch to lock your house or open your car. Google Glass is still a little unpopular because it’s noticeable, and people are worried about being ‘spied on or recorded.’ There are security cameras everywhere. If there was a more discreet looking Google Glass, it might be more popular—out of sight, out of mind.”

The CEO of a technology company commented, “Commercial and social applications will be most commonly and vividly felt in our mobile devices, transportation, homes, and offices. Privacy issues and access to personal data will create many political difficulties and social issues. Our clothing and biology will just begin to be integrated with technologies that allow for common interaction in 2025, but only for an elite population.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The privacy and security thing needs to be worked out before this happens. I answered ‘No,’ but that’s more hopeful than what I actually believe, I think. There’s already a movement among tech savvy folks to somewhat limit their use of devices. They’re all so novel when they are released, but I feel like the pendulum is swinging back toward limiting technology use after work, or making an effort to get outside more, and to communicate with people in person.”

An information science professional wrote, “It will happen, but it won’t be beneficial. It will reduce people’s ability to think and do for themselves. I see a future where everyone has a barcode and has to use that to do virtually everything. All of our actions are monitored, and the data about them is sold. [There] may be conflict from anti-technologists. Based on how the government has been willing to require online use for services without making sure the populace has access to computers—I don’t think people will be allowed to opt out and still get government services. If there is money to be made, it will happen, unless the government can stop it through regulation. Bodily signals seem easier to develop first—I don’t think thought control will make it be 2025.”

A higher education administrator wrote, “Scannables might grow. Wearables and ‘embeddables’ might move faster. I don’t see us all in Google Glass. It’s too weird—too gimmick-over-function. And QR codes seem rather primitive—links to websites. But ‘scan-to-do’ technologies—you scan something and something happens, i.e., a door opens somewhere else, you vote, buy something—sure. Wearables are limited by fashion. Although, medical wearables (preventing diseases from spreading) might get a foothold if things like Bird Flu get worse. It sounds exhausting. I wouldn’t say [we will use them] all the time, but if we ‘wired’ ourselves for certain situations—while we’re at work in order to perform certain tasks (imagine operators at a customer service center just letting their eyes find the information they need and make certain actions happen). We have to be careful not to imagine we’ll want all technologies all of the time. Things may find niche uses—i.e., watches or bracelets prompting us to burn some calories, stretch our legs, eat (not eat), watching our blood sugar, circulation, blood pressure, heart rate. I can easily imagine those things. Thoughts? I don’t see it: certainly not by 2025.”

An information science professional wrote, “I am in agreement with ‘widespread’ effects and hope that they will be beneficial, as well. The potential is there for large health benefits, as individuals can monitor, track, and adjust indicators. Safety considerations, especially through transportation, may also have a beneficial effect. Will these devices mean we’re any more content or happier or living in a more just society? Can we take the information we gain and turn it to knowledge? That will be the challenge.”

A professional who works at the New York University School of Medicine wrote, “I hope they are beneficial, but who knows, really? [They may be beneficial for] keeping calendars and music; but, even if pictures are preserved, there is always the matter of keeping them private. The wearable devices scare me. People already pay little attention to the world around them.”

An information science professional wrote, “The biggest untapped potential is in the area of public and preventive health—we’ll see wearable devices making a significant impact on preventive health monitoring.”

A quality analyst for Google observed, “The benefits for diabetics and heart patients are too great to ignore. In the next five years, wearable devices will be the rage for fitness advocates. Both Google Glass and the Samsung watch will be considered blundering first-generation attempts within ten years. Watch the Jack-in-the-Box ad in which the social media intern comments on the ‘clock bracelet’ that Jack wears: who needs a watch when every item around you is tracking time and location.”

An online services librarian commented, “While convenient, I am not sure how this will be beneficial. Convenience is not always beneficial or efficient. Unfortunately, these things will certainly have negative implications on the way people interact.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Most of the problems will become from the control of rights, information, and public versus private stuff. From the social point of view, differences between rich people and low-income ones, or between rich and poor countries, will be noticed in the amount and distribution of information, as well. Regulation and empowerment will be main problems for the information. Definitely, people will use interfaces to connect—f or two main reasons: protection (not to be exposed emotionally, naked, to others, is a symbol of self protection) and exaltation of senses.”

An information science professional wrote, “People love ‘toys,’ convenience, and cutting edge technology. Security issues will doubtlessly be cited as one reason for ‘wearables,’ though experience has shown that nothing is really secure, and everything can be hacked.”

An anonymous respondent said, “I say ‘yes’ by only the very tiniest margin. I don’t think it will change too much. Yes, things will be incorporated into the workday, but they won’t fundamentally change most jobs.”

A recently retired principal law librarian for the New York Court System wrote, “There is the distinct possibility that everyone will be micro-chipped at birth. This could replace things such as social security numbers and other current paper forms of identification. Medical records could be tied to them or to other implants.”

An information science professional wrote, “Human beings cannot live depending on intangible technologies. As a species, there is a point of no return if we just make our lives depending on this technology. This can be a nightmare-come-true. And it’s happening.”

A consultant wrote, “The purpose is not benefit. Security, economics, finances [are all issues]. Current directions say that some of this is being tested today—i.e., paraplegics’ prosthetic devices.”

A self-employed information consultant and developer commented, “The Internet of Things will be so ubiquitous by 2015 that, by 2025, it won’t even have a moniker—it will just be life as we know it. I hadn’t considered before the idea that people could communicate via signals and eye movements due to ubiquitous connections, but it does seem plausible. I don’t think it will be very common, even by 2025.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I see most benefits from these types of devices in the medical field—personal monitors for all sorts of diseases/conditions, ease of portability of medical information, etc. The social applications are already very apparent and will continue to increase. The future will be very interesting, indeed.”

An information science professional wrote, “If it is anything like some of the sci-fi books I have read, then commercialism will grow to uncontrollable heights if it isn’t regulated. Everywhere you look—i.e., advertising—not an area is left untouched. I would hope that this country would get over this, but that is not to be. Few pristine surfaces are left. Now, the ads can be in your ear, your car, etc. It’s not something I look forward to. Will people resort to no contact, except through devices? I would hope not. But, I can see where many people don’t know how to relate to one another in person. People are losing the ability to relate to others: that leads to major social breakdown. Scary! First, [I predict] everyone will Skype—or the method of the day—and we will be able to see/speak with each other through many different devices. Second, everything that people are doing on a home PC will now be mobile. Third, glasses with Internet access should be outlawed. I see a lot more fatalities on the road as the technology becomes more widespread. You really can’t do two things at the same time—one of those tasks will not have the attention that it needs, and that means disaster. Many people will love it, while others will hate it and avoid usage. I prefer face-to-face association, and I make time for my friends—not through devices. It will be useful in the work place: I would love a wearable device to keep me connected with other staff where I work, so I could move freely throughout the building. Teens will be the big users, as always, wanting the latest and greatest in technology. I find the technology fascinating but scary.”

A self-employed editor wrote, “It will be widespread—yes—but not beneficial. [There will be] implants into the skull that interface directly with the brain.”

An information science professional wrote, “Can you imagine seeing a piece of awesome art jewelry on someone, wishing you knew where they bought it, and being able to scan it and be taken to the artist’s website? It would rock. The Samsung Watch [means that] Dick Tracy’s future has arrived (it’s a terrible idea, made real by people who grew up pining for Tracy’s ‘two-way wrist communicator’). I do expect to see the ‘Google Glass’ idea expanded upon, so more people can have hands-free surfing.”

A database configuration specialist and risk assessment analyst observed, “It may enable people single-thread access to routine daily needs—medical records; grocery lists; insurance; libraries. This would be a benefit (instead of a dozen cards, IDs, separate processes to access routine activities and needs, transactions). There is a significant risk of decreasing direct personal interaction—unless society reaches the point where it is not socially acceptable or expected that people will sit around a dinner table, each plugged into its’ own device. It also creates a sense of a lack of personal importance to the person you are face-to-face with. Having someone jump routinely to their phone or scan their Facebook likes when you are in-person with them leaves the feeling that personal contact is less important than e-contact. I would hope that we would return to communication in close range by actual speech, touch, and body language. Remote communication instantly is wonderful but not at the cost of personal touch. I do not think wearable devices will make a difference in the change to communication that electronics itself has caused.”

An information science professional wrote, “Grocery stores will be able to scan your wearable device for your selected diet and recommend products that fit or supplement its criteria. Presidential debates will feature an entertaining but useless real-time tracker of where focus groups look during each candidate’s spiel.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Wearable computing devices will be ubiquitous, but I don’t believe they will be largely beneficial, outside of specific-use cases, as in medicine, engineering, etc. By and large, they will keep a distracted population further distracted and walled into proprietary platforms a la Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and others to come. These additional aspects of personal data fields will be used primarily to target and tailor advertising.”

An information science professional wrote, “[There will be] too many distractions—people are already using phones while driving, texting constantly, etc. I see many more dangers than benefits, unless there are restrictions in place.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Please go read M.T. Anderson’s novel, Feed, and then ask this question again. Wearable connected devices [are just] more toys for the wealthy. Let the rest of us eat cake!”

A librarian wrote, “As the digital divide closes in terms of access, it will grow in terms of connectivity accessories. We will see major differences in how different social classes are able to interact with the concrete world, as well as the Internet of Things, due to differences in the connectivity technology they are able to afford. Connectivity devices will become more and more integrated into a single device, rather than several networked devices. Just as today those of us who have the means use their phones for almost everything, there will be single devices that allow us to seamlessly integrate banking, shopping, communicating, working, and playing into our everyday lives. These devices will also become very good at sensing our body signals, and I’m sure we’ll all soon be twitching around in ridiculous ways. It will be interesting to see how the proliferation of wireless signals and infrared sensors affect those whose health is sensitive to such things.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “It will be difficult for the human mind to cope with the bombardment of information and advertising through these devices; however those that who adapt will be vastly more efficient at accomplishing work. Most people will not adapt very well, but those who do will be highly compensated.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “They will be widespread, and they may appear to be beneficial, but I doubt it. Anything is possible. These developments could be wonderful for people with physical disabilities. They also seem scary.”

An information science professional wrote, “The biggest question will be how do we not lose ourselves. There is already a feeling of being overwhelmed and being pressured to be involved while not really understanding what it really means, the sort of proverbial talking a lot but not saying anything. Regarding thought-based interaction, the chances for it are quite low. There is still an instinctual aversion to this. It just freaks people out.”

A library vendor commented, “Wearables don’t seem to be popular yet, but I can see these becoming more popular, especially for medical use. As they become slimmer and more fashionable, more people will wear them, especially if the security of the data they collect can be guaranteed. They can be of great benefit for monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, exercise, etc., and for sharing this info with one’s doctor.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Scannables, etc., will be used more in brick and mortar stores, in educational settings, and at access points. One of the biggest problems will be that others know where you are, or aren’t, at any specific time.  [We will have] something on our arm that expands when needed. [I’d say] ‘yes’ to using thoughts and bodily signals [in future technology].”

An information science professional wrote, “I never would have thought of the Kindle or an iPad. I have no idea what’s next. There is probably some concern about how patient laws work and how that can inhibit innovation, but I’m not really an expert in that field.  People will baulk at some of the wearable devices. But people baulked at the automobile. Anything that makes life easier is going to be adopted.”

A professor wrote, “I hope wearable and scannable devices will be used in medical treatment. They would also benefit people with dangerous jobs by monitoring individuals and their environment—such as military personnel. I suppose that social media will grow. There are possibilities for thought-based interactions and interactions based on eye movements. It sounds scary. All of this applies to those who can afford the technology.”

An information science professional wrote, “To control costs, wearables will be required to access healthcare. There will be a digital Internet of Things divide.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The devices will become implants that we control with gestures or even thoughts. The social and political difficulties will be dealing with a society where everything is recorded and archived. That will change how people interact, including how corporations and nations operate. We will, of course, begin to doubt recordings, as they can be manipulated. Truth will be harder to determine, as evidence will need to be redefined. I look forward to it. I need my smartphone, but I hate to have to carry it and watch over it (in case harm comes to it). I would rather it just became part of me.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “So far, I’m seeing a lot of entertainment, but not social and political value.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Each of these embedded and wearable devices will reduce privacy. Some will begin to sit out. We need to understand the psychology of the individual more in order for this to make sense.”

An information science professional wrote, “That is definitely a clear next step: many people are used to their phone being connected and sharing information, as well as athletic devices that automatically share and update information with social networks. Add to that a portion of the population that uses these devices without understanding the information that they are sharing. A good example of this is someone sharing digital photos without realizing that they might include location information of where the photo was taken. It will be easier to track people and know what they are doing all the time. There are big applications for this in all aspects of life. Stores will know how you shop, police will not need to ask you where you were, and the government will know who is friends with who. [I think] that in the future, they will seem as silly and clunky as the briefcase phone in comparison to what we will have. Some ideas, like the Samsung watch are more of a nod to what people thought the future would bring than what we will really use. People still want flying cars and jet packs for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that they will become part of our everyday lives.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It will become much easier to shop for value once you can scan an item and search for all examples on your handheld device. Also, wearable health aids will hopefully make people more aware of their habits. More information than ever should be available and accessible. Privacy is, of course, a big issue, since we will all be scannable, too! My husband has Google Glass, and he has been fielding many questions. Most people find it weird and see no future for it right now, but there are many applications that haven’t been thought of yet. Sensors and wearable Internet devices are going to be everywhere once useful apps are developed and once people are comfortable with them. Instant access to information is the most obvious benefit. Television and landlines are dying, and people will be well on their way to getting all their information, entertainment, and communication, wherever they are at the moment. Social interactions will suffer and change accordingly, and there will be lots of fodder for psychology PhD theses.”

An information science professional wrote, “The Internet of Things will take longer to become widely accepted, as people need to deal first with privacy issues. Google Glass and Samsung watches are fleeting introductions and won’t catch on right away.”

A nonprofit hospital manager said, “It’s cool to have such technology at our disposal, so people will likely continue to develop and seek it. Social and political difficulties may be big, based on how many differences of opinion and how controversial they can be.”

An anonymous respondent said, “This is beyond me.”

An information science professional wrote, “Yes, the next step in technology is wearable devices. These will be felt mainly in everyday life, where people interact with each other same as smartphones affect mainly social sides of life, with some impact on work. The biggest impact will be inability to disconnect from this. Today, we can still turn ‘off’ our phones and have a quiet moment, but that will end when technology becomes part of our bodies. I believe we will still connect via voice and typing. We don’t know enough about the brain to connect via thoughts.”

An assistant professor at the University of Missouri wrote, “Sure! We’ll be able to recognize who people are before we talk to them, and we’ll know what they do, which will influence social interactions. Hopefully, we won’t know about their buying habits, though—although which bands they’re listening to is already known, like Pandora, and probably anything else that they put up on Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’m thinking about Etsy, and what about your Kahn Academy scores?”

An information science professional wrote, “Benefits of wireless medical devices [will be seen], as they will be able to send information to medical providers and receive software updates and programming changes. Advertisers will be able to send better targeted information based on GPS info and the interests of the users to wearable devices to direct consumers to stores, restaurants, cinemas, etc.”

An information science professional wrote, “We can already see positive effects with some new devices—i.e. Google Glass—and, as the tech improves both in look and function, that more people will use it, and more applications will be developed. I can see a place for helping the physically challenged with these devices, and I expect that there will be significant developments in this area over the next decade. The Samsung watch is a fun, throwback type of device, but it will have to be far more sophisticated to be practical in the long term. I do think Google Glass will eventually morph into some other kind of visual guide that can help you do a wide range of things without sitting at a computer and will have more sophisticated controls that require minimal movement or body signals.”

A former executive at major technology company, who is now a social entrepreneur involved in furthering the positive uses of the Internet, wrote, “Wearables and the Internet of Things are overlapping but are not the same thing. Wearables will help increase the ubiquity of computing technologies, which will be fun and convenient, at the very least. The Internet of Things—i.e., elaborate physical sensors and machine-to-machine communications with human intervention—will create many policy and management challenges. Obviously, people will not interact with the Internet at keyboards connected to computers or even smart phones. With the Internet everywhere, there will be a variety of ways to interact—with wearables, with the walls, and more.”

An information science professional wrote, “I don’t think most people will want to wear this stuff. The level of practicality is not there. I honestly don’t want to wear technology. I feel my smartphone is enough for most of us.”

An information science professional wrote, “They will become fashion. Fashions come and go. There will be significant research into biotechnology applications that can overcome the body wall. Devices will be attached to nerve endings.”

A self-employed digital consultant predicted, “The Internet of Things will continue—glasses, watches, TVs, cars—it will seriously change all aspects of our life—business, education, raising of children, relationships, manufacturing. I expect thoughts, eye signals, and gestures, will all be ways people will be interacting with the Internet.”

An information science professional wrote, “I see health issues as being the most beneficial area, and I also see the importance of being able to opt out of any or all device use. That trend is going to grow—or there will be zones of no use: even in whole towns or communities, where being connected electronically is less important that connecting face-to-face. Being too connected eliminates the human factor. I don’t think we want to go there, and people will realize this.”

An information science professional wrote, “On one hand, wearables, etc. have lots of potential. I have a Fitbit myself (well, until I mislaid it). What I worry about is that the data will be used and manipulated by larger interests—insurance, etc. I’d love to have my refrigerator text me when I was low on something, but if I had a car accident, would my beer consumption (fridge stats, grocery loyalty cards) be used against me? (You’d be surprised if you knew me to hear me be as negative and nervous about corporate Big Brothers and nanny states as I am being in this survey, but I worry about the arc of the Internet’s future.) Google Glass will be common, but will be smaller and have an understood etiquette. Everyone will have connected watches—or, maybe, they will be actually subcutaneous.”

An associate professor wrote, “There will be a widespread impact but not necessarily a beneficial one. Wearable artifacts will help keep track of missing and wandering children, as well as adults with cognitive disabilities. As a normal, healthy human, I don’t see a benefit to me wearing location technology. People still want to be in physical contact with other people. There will still need to be public squares—libraries, shopping malls, etc.—where people can stand and be together.”

An information science professional wrote, “There are beneficial devices that enrich lives of people with a variety of disabilities—from hearing and vision to mobility (exoskeleton devices) and ways to improve lives via medical devices. Then, there will be the trendy ‘must-have’ and slightly useless things that will keep us busy to avoid boredom in our lives. Finally, everything else that can be marketed (or not) will consume a significant amount of our time trying to discern what we do or do not need for our personal lives—as an enrichment or a distraction.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “People will be even more always-on, always-connected. We will have to take time-outs and tech-free vacations. I like the idea of my devices talking to each other. Why can’t my calendar online synch to the one that hangs on my wall?”

An information science professional wrote, “Anonymity and privacy on the Internet will be gone. In exchange, people will be able to pay for things with an eye scan and get their Google Glass to give them up-to-the-minute personalized information on just about anything. Once the cost of Glass comes down, it will see competitors. Google is already trying to weed out anonymity in its services. Once they’ve accomplished this, people will trade themselves as the ultimate products in exchange for a myriad of conveniences. That’s an interesting and leading question! I do think that people are pretty insecure about talking to their wearable computers. If there are other methods of communicating without verbal cues, they will most likely be quickly adopted. That’s actually a pretty terrifying thought! If there were Michael Kors editions of Google Glass running around, and looking up made it take a picture, you’d be terrified of every stranger around you looking at a bird in the sky!”

A director of finance wrote, “One example of a wearable device could be for health monitoring. If someone has a health event, the wearable device could notify EMS or simply the person wearing the device. The device could also alert individuals not to drive if they have been drinking.”

An information science professional commented “Perhaps the benefits will be beneficial and widespread, depending on the demand from the masses. For example, in the case of smartphones and tablets, it was the high demand from people that generated its success and evolution. I don’t know at this point, but it can happen. I never thought we would share so much personal stuff online, but look how we have begun to share our most personal and private moments with the world.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It is too depressing to contemplate. It horrifies and depresses me. I feel powerless.”

An information science professional wrote, “There’s the problem of sharing: I don’t know if there can be sharing without guile or consequence. The thought of the 1984 ‘Big Brother’ mentality might prevent this from going forward. Will this prevent countries from spying, or enable them to do more of it? This assumes the loss of privacy. I don’t know if we can go that far. I do think it would be useful if one has lost the physical ability to do things, as Stephen Hawking has, and shown us the greatness of his thoughts.”

A former business manager wrote, “[We will see these effects] if the privacy issues in the first question have been addressed. Most likely, it will take another twenty-five years beyond 2025: that will impact us more by 2050—not likely by 2025.”

An information science professional located in the UK wrote, “Personal customisation of all data everywhere 365/24/7—much like the movie Minority Report—i.e., walking into a store and having your smartphone remember what you’ve purchased last time, what colours, and choices. The primacy of vision is too strong. We need to rebalance to the other senses—aurality and olfactory, as well as tactile. Just as philosophical investigations began with sight and moved through the other senses, so, too, should the technological interactions (a la Michel Serres).”

A project coordinator for an environmental consulting firm wrote, “They will become more widespread; I am not sure if it will be beneficial.”

An information science professional wrote, “Medical technology will be a godsend to help people manage conditions. Tracking of one’s lifestyle and buying habits will be more pervasive than it is today.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Not everyone can afford the ‘gadgets’ now, or ever. The gadgets will be bought by people who can afford them—and stolen by the people that cant. Some of these ideas have been already seen in science fiction stories. [It’s like] Good versus Evil. I remember calculator watches—they didn’t last long—too hard to use. Smartphones are successful because they allow more space for the fingers to fly on the screen. The Bluetooth will prevail more, I think—it leaves your hands free to move. People don’t wear watches as much anymore; they have their phones to tell time [and/or] talking apps to tell them. As far as body movements and eye signals—I think [the potential] for the people who need these to communicate because of disabilities is great: but, for the normal population—why?”

An information science professional wrote, “This terrifies me. Once there are no archives (personal or otherwise) in physical format, our personal histories may be lost forever. When, of how much, we have learned from the physical remnants of communication in the past in the form of letters, diaries, and more, and of the explosion now of Cloud-based communication, it is clear to me is that much will be lost for future historians. When Snapchat and other instant-communication forms become the norm, where will the record be of human interaction? In addition, the embedded and wearable devices further isolate people from real communication. It means that there will be very little real communication—it will be mostly virtual, and that seems, to me, to be a huge loss for us all. I already see so much in society that relates to lack of empathy, most likely due to feeling disconnected from the reality of the experience. It is only going to get worse.”

The digital editor for a very large media organization wrote, “Google Glass already has changed a lot of things. Hands-free technology that doesn’t take up a lot of space is definitely welcome. I see devices like Glass going even further—smaller, more manageable, and able to perform a lot more functions. Rather than having many devices for individual tasks, one device serving multiple tasks will become more prevalent (as in smartphones—Internet, phone, photo, video, mapping, etc.). I see that on the rise significantly. We are all being tasked to work harder, longer, and more, so things that allow us to do that, as well as perform other functions at the same time, is helpful.”

A senior manager at a media and marketing company wrote, “There will be enough people interested in the latest technology-whatever that Things will only become more popular. But, I also think we’ll see some backlash—people disconnecting, limiting use of things—at least, I hope so.”

An information science professional wrote, “For people with life-threatening illnesses, monitors will be embedded in clothing or accessories. I would imagine that voice-activated smartphone technology will be a regular part of things like sunglasses or watches much sooner than 2025. But, the digital divide will be even wider than it is at present. And, the public library will not be lending smart glasses or smart watches.”

A freelance marketing and communications professional commented, “As with smartphones, embedded and wearable devices will gradually appear and become accepted. Personally, I would prefer my family and myself to have wearable, removable devices, compared to something embedded. I’ve read enough dystopian sci-fi to know where that can lead. I don’t think there will ever be a computer or device that can replace human body language. Think of how a simple email or social media post can be misunderstood—the body language is missing, so we miss the context.”

An information science professional wrote, “For the foreseeable future, the difficulty in protecting such devices from intrusion and malware will prevent them from being accepted and deployed much beyond the extent to which they are used today. As indicated above, technology will evolve to allow Internet devices to permeate virtually every aspect of our social, intellectual, and leisure lives. But the threat of intrusion, manipulation, identity theft, etc., will restrict the use of such technologies. Until people have complete confidence in the security of ubiquitous Internet technology, they will not use that technology to the extent they could, out of fear of risking themselves, their families, and their assets.”

A member of the clergy with an interest in the political and social implications of technology wrote, “The rapid pace of change, the poor quality and durability of many initial devices, and the complexity of how devices interact with one another and with other mobile and traditional computing platforms will make this area one for the technical elite alone, for more than ten years. The combinatorial explosion of troubleshooting and integrating such devices, combined with the flaws of early-adopter hardware, may prove a very high barrier to acceptance. A minority will use them, but [I think] that the social awkwardness and divided attention these gestures demand will be a major barrier to acceptance.”

An information science professional wrote, “I can see benefits in the health industry—[you could] transmit data, say, on your blood pressure, to a doctor. [There will be] privacy concerns as this data floats through the air!”

A professional writer commented, “The effects will be ‘widespread,’ yes. [In terms of] ‘beneficial,’ well, that depends on our definition of ‘beneficial.’ Too often, we latch onto technology for technology’s sake, and the benefits to humanity are questionable.”

An information science professional wrote, “Wearable devices have been around for the last twenty years (i.e., Life Alert). Progress in technology will only make devices lighter and less expensive. [I think] that advances in using bodily signals to control devices will be used to help the disabled and then will move more into the mainstream.”

A communications director wrote, “I believe technology has been delivering this for a long time—making many simple things very quick, such as checkout at the grocery, remote banking, text versus email versus snail mail versus faxes, etc. With wearable technology that projects many/any human thoughts, feelings, etc., I see two potentials to pay attention to: first, [the potential to] read my mind (‘Oh, didn’t mean for you to know that xyz?’), and second, if you can’t read my physical reaction, then you might be sort of clueless (such as in: if I smile, that may mean I am amused or pleased). And so, having a machine tell you that seems as if it actually would slow down the natural human communication process.”

An information science professional said, “Embedded or wearable devices will revolutionize how people with disabilities can work, contribute to, and interact with the world.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The increasing connectedness of devices will have widespread impacts, but I have significant doubts as to whether we will, in aggregate, benefit from that connectivity. People are already distracted, and they show difficulty concentrating and engaging in activities that require extended periods of attention.  New devices will be much better at determining what we’re looking at, what we’re saying, and what we might be interested in. Combined with AI, the result will be much more proactive interfaces and systems.”

An information science professional wrote, “If what I have learned is correct, there would be many beneficial effects on everyday lives of people in the future with these Smart Technologies. It could also save energy and report when someone or some company is polluting too much. It could help with parking spaces and traffic. It could even help predict flooding and save lives. I don’t know enough about it to understand what social and political difficulties could come along with these technologies. Some people I know think Google Glass would be great and interesting. [I think] it is creepy and invasive.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “This question feels like a Jetsons-kind of over-optimism. In the 1960s, we were so sure we’d all be living in outer space, have rocket cars, etc. It is easy to get excited by the possibilities that arise with these technologies, but there are still millions of people who cannot, or do not want to, get online, much less to the nearest maker-faire. If these devices truly make life easier and more entertaining, I would be surprised. They feel more like steppingstones to something bigger. Implants and biological technologies are definitely ahead of us, but not within my lifetime.”

An information science professional wrote, “If nothing else, the potential for creating your own electricity to charge devices through clothing will be a huge benefit. But, I imagine that people will start creating things that can be used in all sorts of situations.  There will be a contact lens that allows you to connect to the phone in your pocket and projects a screen in front of your field of vision.”

A law school professor teaching in the areas of research and analysis commented, “The answer depends on the definition of ‘beneficial.’ Health might improve if everyone wears the appropriate monitors. Crime might go down if everyone knows they will be caught. But, the idea of ‘mine is better’ will continue.”

An information science professional wrote, “There is a lot of potential good in items that help people to make improvements to their lives. For example, the devices that track daily activity can be very positive for those trying to live a healthier lifestyle by exercising more. On the downside, will my self-esteem take an even greater hit when my online friends see that I just sat on the couch today? Perhaps. Email misunderstandings are a good example of the importance of context and physical cues in communication. For these items to be truly useful, they need to provide context and cues, as well as be comfortable.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “I’m not sure that there will be widespread, beneficial effects due to the spread of the Internet of things. I believe some things (like monitoring patients in a hospital or monitoring your own health) will become easier with the advance of wearables. But, I have no doubt there will be many frivolous uses, as well.”

An information science professional wrote, “Too bad there is no ‘maybe’ button on this. I fear the loss of privacy, already seen with smartphones that track where your photos are taken and RFID tags in passports, for example. The technology is a great idea, but it has unforeseen consequences. I wonder how wearable devices will be used by law enforcement, insurance companies, and companies looking to gather information about people. I’m sure it would be a boon for those who cannot communicate easily in other ways, but it seems to be even more of a distraction than the devices we have now. And, what happens if you sneeze at the wrong time?”

An anonymous respondent said, “Humankind is not moving as quickly as technology. There are people who still rely heavily on the PC. This heavily embedded technology is not going to move that quickly. Possibly, singular companies or insular communities will communicate this way, but I believe widespread connectivity is still in the distant future.”

An information science professional wrote, “We will have more knowledge at our fingertips. We will have better wearables than now. I am not sure of what will be in the future.”

A media strategist commented, “Internet access will not be limited to a device, so people will be connected wherever they are.”

An information science professional wrote, “I see them becoming increasingly beneficial in the workplace—especially for hospitals, places where there is tighter security, checkpoints, etc. I don’t see them becoming overly used as a social or fashion component. I don’t actually think this fad will last. It will have certain useful applications where it will be acceptable to use, but like with Glass, there will be a small backlash, where it become unacceptable to use in most social settings.”

An interactive communications specialist for a religious news organization said, “I’m not sure it will be much different than issues we’re facing now—privacy rights, security—with both physical and cyber—boundaries. It will start with entertainment and then work efficiently, but eventually, the Internet of Things will change our ways of thinking and viewing the world. I’m not sure if it will be able to read our thoughts, but certainly, bodily signals—hand, eye movements—will transport.”

An information science professional wrote, “Technology (used in the appropriate manner) can be extremely beneficial. These will be as commonplace in 2025 as smartphones are today. I cannot guess their benefit and uses at this time. I simply know that they will be everywhere. Refer to answer above.”

A student at the University of Washington predicted, “This will probably have the biggest impact with social networking (as all new technology seems to). Instead of sharing what you are doing, you will be able to share your experiences.”

An information specialist at a scientific communications company said, “We are on the cusp of wearables taking off. Just this week, I heard a story on NPR on this topic, and those in the industry are predicting sales in the billions for this year. I am skeptical on that because the items they discussed sounded to narrow (shoes that are linked to Twitter, for example), but we are moving toward this. It’s totally possible. In 2010, I was blown away by Pattie Maes’ SixthSense TED talk that demonstrated a wearable computer: that is going to happen.”

An anonymous survey participant predicted, “We will be able to read thoughts.”

An information science professional wrote, “It will be widespread and beneficial, but it will not become pervasive until the cost of connecting goes down. It will look at eye movement tracking, which is already the norm for some individuals with disabilities.”

A digital content advisor wrote, “I can imagine some really handy wearables: i.e., clothing that senses your skin temperature and warms up or cools down parts of your body—very handy at freezing football games. I believe people will gravitate to phones/computers that leave their hands free—like Google Glass.”

An information science professional said, “The Internet of Things certainly appeals to the technology junkies of the world, and if we are truthful, all of us have to, at some extent, become technology junkies in this century. Who knew twenty-five years ago that everyday I would rely on my cell phone for my daily schedule, my appointment reminders, and just plain old communication—or that a wrist watch could connect to my cell phone and keep me on time and aware. Yet, these are norms today that will evolve and grow as we continue to advance, and I see our children expecting advancement and the next best, greatest [thing]: if we have ideas and they can grow into better ones, why not? One of the biggest difficulties will be security: it already is. With the advent of ‘Cloud’ computing, the challenge will be how to keep what we create secure and yet appealing to the masses; anyone who does not recognize this challenge is blind to current reality—how sad. I hope it does not come to that. We all still crave, and will continue to crave, human touch, contact, and communication: it’s what we were created for. I certainly hope the technology that we are so keen on advancing does not take over the day-to-day face-time we need with our fellow human beings!”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “People who are aged and/or have special needs could benefit from the wearable technology applications.”

An anonymous survey participant said, “People will interact in easier ways, such as through their thoughts and body signals.”

An information science professional wrote, “Yes, and no: The Internet of Things will be widespread but not necessarily beneficial. I would not be surprised if everyone and everything had an embedded barcode, like your social security number, which will stay with you. This may just be the ability of some scanner to access the unique DNA of an individual, which may eliminate the need for something embedded. This will be most prominent on a government level, and you will be identified for paying taxes, transportation fees, eligibility for schools, healthcare, military service, and location. This is the 1984 scenario where the citizen and consumer become the consumed. The ability of individuals to connect to the Internet of Things will increase also. There will be 24/7, individual access to the Internet, but the question that should always remain on your radar is, where is the substance of the Internet coming from? The greatest challenge is to keep the Internet as the rich resource it should be. As I teach beginning computer classes to senior adults in my work, I always remind them they need to sort the junk mail from the important mail—i.e., who created the website? Do you know and trust the information there? The electronics of the brain will soon be mapped, and people’s thoughts will no longer be private. I also picture a three-inch by three-inch thin, flexible plastic-like screen on the back or the palm of your hand as personal Internet access. Who wants to wear glasses or a watch if you don’t have to?”

A human factors professional and member of ACM SIGCHI commented, “Embedded devices/wearables/scannables are already available technologies, for the most part. It seems likely to me that these will be most easily adopted into consumer products. What is of concern to me is the extended use of the data gathered by such devices outside the ‘contract of use’ that many people assume when they adopt such technologies. The challenge for wearable devices is to integrate that device into ordinary behavior without negative effects due to the limits of human information processing. We are only at the beginning of this process, and there is much work that needs to be done before these devices are well integrated into ongoing behavior.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There is no stopping technology now. Even if made illegal, there is always the nerd in the basement. Already, I have grandchildren who don’t accept phone calls and will only respond to texts (and are not taught cursive writing in school). They almost speak a different language, so what will their children be like in 2025? I would suppose embedded chips with thought communication could be possible, but I wonder if only the government would have access to that. They certainly are listening now, in 2014, to our phone calls and reading our texts and emails, so reading our thoughts and body gestures, including eye movements, would be the next logical step.”

A partner in a private law firm predicted, “The impact will be widespread, yes. The extent to which it will be beneficial will depend. These will be most used for infotainment, monitoring our own health (i.e., embedded Fitbit), and communication.  By 2025, we will be on the road to embedded devises outnumbering wearables. Some will undoubtedly function by eye or other body movements, but it will be longer before they are incorporated with the mind (as opposed to brain).”

An information science professional wrote, “There is a certain portion of our population that like the newest everything and can afford it. Putting this segment together with all the geeks will push the popularity of wearables and scannables. The ease and instant access to information will attract the other parts of our population. It’s just a matter of time!”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “More technology will become able to learn about our lives and act on our behalf without having to be told. It will learn patterns and assist in all aspects, much as it is starting to branch out now.”

An information science professional wrote, “Actually, it will be both a benefit and a detriment to have wearable technology. I am sure there will be breakthroughs in medicine that allow better monitoring of individuals with various syndromes and illnesses, as well as way to administer medicines and regulate body systems as needed (diabetic insulin and pacemakers are areas that this seems ideal, as well as epilepsy). There will also be fashion and personal diary things that will be experimented on and possibly fade away, since some technology will not really be more than a gimmick. It all depends on what the technology is, does, and how it is promoted. While I understand some people are excited, I wonder how annoying some of these devices will be. Some of these new devices honestly sound more novel than useful.”

An information science professional wrote, “This arena is appealing, has wide commercial applicability, and is bound to expand rapidly. Although, I am convinced the clunky wearables phase will be brief and move directly into embedded options. Soon, pets will not be the only chipped citizens out there. This methodology will come rapidly. I am fascinated by the medical applications inherent in this. Imagine a victim of Locked-in syndrome who has this type of communication option.”

A metadata librarian wrote, “Applications will continue to multiply that are based on scannable and RFID commodities. I particularly see great scope for this in the field of medicine. The social difficulties that will ensue are related, again, to privacy and the ease of data mining everything that can be digitized. In terms of politics, that ease will lead to unprecedented ability to calculate and monitor individual data; the only restraint will be individual conscience and, possibly, the justice system. Well, individuals who have experienced traumatic injury already communicate by eye movements, and there is research underway to create prosthetics that respond to commands from the nervous system; so, I doubt direct thought can be too far behind.”

An information science professional wrote, “The use of these and other devices not yet imagined (by me anyway) will become more and more commonplace. There will be the ability of instant feedback in many areas. While there can, and I’m sure, will, be many good uses for this technology, I also imagine the possibility for great corruption, as well. I also think that, while this technology will in a way bring us all closer together, in the real one-on-one, live-person world, I fear it will actually drive us more a part. I see this area expanding. You can already look at your smartphone or wave your hand over it to get it to do a number of things. There is already technology to use eye movement to perform functions. Using eye movements, talking, hand movements, and more, will all continue to grow and expand.”

An information science professional wrote, “The effect may not be positive. These embedded devices will all have a tracking number or device, and we will always be findable. Big Brother Watching has become a reality. People who don’t go along with the prevailing thoughts could be targeted, and this connectivity makes them available.  Every movement and every action will be known by others.”

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

To read credited responses to the report, please click here.