Elon University

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

This page contains only the credited 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 for-credit 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.

Credited 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 anonymous responses to the report, please click here.

Following is a large sample including a majority of the responses from survey participants who took credit for 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 (anonymous 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.”

Patrick Tucker, author of The Naked Future: What Happens In a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? wrote, “Here are the easy facts: In 2008, the number of Internet-connected devices first outnumbered the human population, and they have been growing far faster than have we. There were 13 billion Internet-connected devices in 2013, according to Cisco, and there will be 50 billion 2020. These will include phones, chips, sensors, implants, and devices of which we have not yet conceived. One positive effect of ‘ubiquitous computing,’ as it used to be called, will be much faster, more convenient, and lower-cost medical diagnostics. This will be essential if we are to meet the health care needs of a rapidly aging Baby Boomer generation. The Internet of Things will also improve safety in cities, as cars, networked to one another and their environment, will better avoid collisions, coordinate speed, etc. We will all be able to bring much more situational intelligence to bear on the act of planning our day, avoiding delays (or unfortunate encounters), and meeting our personal goals. We are entering the telemetric age—an age where we create information in everything that we do. As computation continues to grow less costly, we will incorporate more data-collecting devices into our lives. Already, a number of EEG devices, such as the Emotiv EPOC neuro-headset, allow users to play games and interact with different services using electromagnetic signals originating from the brain. Today, these systems are fairly crude because EEG signaling is rather noisy. But by 2025, researchers could overcome this noisiness through advanced modeling.”

David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, observed, “Everything is a sensor for everything else.”

Paul Saffo, managing director of Discern Analytics and consulting professor at Stanford University, responded, “We will all carry enough electronics on our person to be nervous in lightning storms. The big shift is that most of our devices will be communicating on our behalf—they will be interacting with the physical and virtual worlds more than interacting with us. The devices are going to disappear into what we wear and/or carry. For example, the glasses interface will shrink to near-invisibility in conventional glasses. The devices will also become robustly inter-networked (remember the first conversations about body networks of a decade ago?). The biggest shift is a strong move away from a single do-everything device to multiple devices with overlapping functions and, above all, an inter-relationship with our other devices.”

Miguel Alcaine, International Telecommunication Union area representative for Central America, responded, “The Internet of Things will add to the comfort of people living in developed countries by 2025. It will also have a measurable impact in utilities markets like energy and water. Unfortunately, it might not help people in developing countries with developmental issues, mainly because of the tendency in many developing countries to focus on the short term and not on the long term. People with disabilities could be the most favored by such devices. Also, micro-devices using biometrics for identification may be accepted by populations worried with deteriorating security conditions.”

Bob Frankston, Internet pioneer and technology innovator, responded, “Actually, the Internet of Things is a joke, as I explained here. Wearables are a very old idea, and many of the stories are like the talking toasters in the future circa 1960. WTF do you think the Internet is? This is old, old news.”

Hal Varian, chief economist for Google, wrote, “We will expect things to respond to vocal commands. We will be able to say ‘TV, pause’, ‘lights, on’, ‘temperature, up’, and so on. We will able to control our home systems remotely, particularly from our car. This technology will be so cheap that it will naturally be incorporated into most appliances and devices. The biggest social issue I see will be ‘digital divide’ issues and privacy fears. However, these will be overcome. We will eventually be able to interact via thoughts, but it won’t be common by 2025. However, verbal interaction will be commonplace. We will talk to devices in essentially the same way we talk to other people. Yes, you will be permanently connected to the network via wearable devices. You will interact with these devices mostly by voice, as you would interact with another person. Centuries ago, rich people had servants, and in the future, we will all have cyberservants. The major social/regulatory challenges will involve privacy and some pushback about the digital divide, which will soon disappear as devices become cheaper. Voice is the easiest and most natural communication mechanism, though it may be sub-vocalization. By 2025, medial care for Baby Boomers is going to be a big policy issue. Remote medical monitoring, robotic surgery, and related technologies are going to play a big role in addressing these issues.”

Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, wrote, “The biggest impact from the Internet of Things will probably be in healthcare, where more data can enable better diagnostics and treatment. This will likely lead to better health care services that allow individuals to manage their own care, often with less direct intervention by doctors. Predictive analytics will help provide users the right information at the right time. This will involve interpreting lots of data including body movements, location, and voice commands.”

Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, responded, “The benefit is that these appliances will be coordinated to improve our daily lives. The risk is that inimical forces may gain control and create serious problems. Wearables will monitor health and also draw computers into the context of our daily lives, conversations, and activities. A big opportunity for AI awaits. Privacy will be hard to come by. Barriers to the Internet of Things include failure to achieve sufficient standardization and security. Interaction modes will have expanded beyond mouse/keyboard to include voice conversations and gestures. Automatic scene analysis will allow computers to recognize objects in a field of view, identify buildings and other elements of the environment. With Google Glass, the computer sees what you see and hears what you hear, opening up serious AI opportunities. Continuous monitoring is likely to be a powerful element in our lives: health monitoring, environment and security controls, traffic management, flow of materials. Also, note that 3D printing will bring transformation for many products: ship raw materials and designs versus assembled products. Google Glass and similar devices will draw computing power into context of your interactions with other people and the environment. This gives a new foothold for artificial intelligence. The machine becomes part of the conversation!”

Howard Rheingold, a pioneering Internet sociologist and self-employed writer, consultant, and educator, responded, “Google Glass is going to be released to the public in 2014. Who can doubt that Apple and Samsung are already preparing competing devices? We know that technologies evolve rapidly in power and form factor. Look at the Apple II, and look at the iPhone. We will witness social collisions between technology and privacy. Until the smartphone, nobody with a camera went into a bar because bars contain people who don’t want to be seen in bars. That norm has dissolved—how many people are taking pictures with their phones in bars at this moment? The 1992 novel Snowcrash described a world of ubiquitous wearables, where it became possible to auction, eBay style, captured images of any specified time and place. In regard to increasingly semi-sentient objects in the environment, I warned in my 2002 book Smart Mobs that a new kind of animism (first voiced by Mark Pesce) might arise: what child will be able to know that a doorknob that recognizes their face doesn’t also know many other things? We will live in a world where many things won’t work, and nobody will know how to fix them.”

Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, wrote, “We are just beginning to imagine the possibilities of ubiquitous, inexpensive connectivity and the proliferation of sensors in the physical environment. I can imagine profound impacts on maintaining efficient supply chains of inventory; on sensing the need for repair in machines and avoiding breakdown and loss; on finding ‘lost’ people; on tagging physical locations with information; on gathering new kinds of data from the many sensors people already carry with them; and on giving new feedback loops to people and organizations. But that’s just the beginning. Google Glass is to the future of Internet interaction as Newton was to the iPhone: a bare glimmer of possibility. Sliced apart, Glass enables three kinds of interaction: instruction (i.e., directions); alerts (i.e., you have a message); and recording (and optionally sharing what you see and hear). Each is valuable and will likely breed new devices and new capabilities of the devices we carry or interact with. I think voice may have more impact on interaction than new and wearable devices, for voice can operate through many devices (like the phone I carry or the room I’m in), and—even more important—voice devalues the page as a unit of information and interaction. Apple’s Siri and Google’s ‘OK, Google’ let us ask a question and then hear an answer without seeing a page. But media still use the page as their atomic unit. And media depend on the page to carry their brand identity and ownership, as well as revenue. Just as the Web disintermediated physical media products, voice disintermediates the page. What will media do then? More important than the device I carry or wear will be how I establish, project, and protect my identity, so that when I do shout, ‘OK, Google,’ it can act on my behalf.  Note also that Google’s notion of utopia is finding the way to intuit our intent—to know what we want before we know it and give it to us (without creeping us out). Thus, wowy interfaces will depend less on eye movements or jerking one’s head up and down, as required by Glass, but instead on our signals given to an algorithm and its ability to analyze them and return information, suggestions, and actions that make us say, ‘Thanks, how’d you know?’  This is one reason why I have been arguing that media must stop seeing themselves as manufacturers of content and should instead begin to build relationship businesses. Because I use Google’s maps and its newly acquired traffic app, Waze, to navigate every day, Google has intuited (accurately) where I live and where I work, allowing it to serve more relevant content and advertising and commerce with less noise and waste. My own local newspaper doesn’t know any of that. So, my newspaper continues to give me the same 300 pieces of content it gives everyone else, treating me still as a mass. Google treats me as an individual because it knows me as an individual. Therein lie the most important factors in new user interactions with machines and the companies behind them: identity and signals.”

David Cohn, director of news for Circa, responded, “This represents virgin territory. There is no telling just what will come of this. Our 3D-printed technology and wearable devices look primitive now. But so did the Model T. It will be accepted. It will not replace desktop, tablet, or mobile. But certain actions we do on those will now be taken care of through new devices. I can imagine a world where a ‘Glass’-type device would be the last computer someone would need (when they are retired and the main function of computing is social).”

Christopher Wilkinson, a retired European Union official, board member for EURid.eu, and Internet Society leader, said, “There is not a yes/no response to such confusion. The Internet of Things will be—and should be—essentially, an industrial application. In any event, unless IPv6 is implemented, the Internet of Things will be stillborn. People already interact through body language and eye movements. What’s new? The general quality of interaction by mobile and ‘smart’ devices is deteriorating, mainly because of the difficulty of expressing oneself. I am not interested in an Internet interface where I cannot touch-type several pages of text.”

Marti Hearst, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley wrote, “This question conflates several items, so I actually want to say ‘yes’ to part of it and ‘no’ to part of it. Having connectivity of many devices on the Internet will have widespread impact. Monitoring aspects of your home, office, pet, etc., remotely will be useful and widespread. However, I do not think wearable computing will take off in the sense implied here. Google Glass is problematic, both for the ‘dork’ factor and for privacy reasons. People will use tools like this for specialized tasks, such as surgery, marching bands, skiing, and so on, but socially, it will fail. We will, however, be assaulted by hidden cameras and microphones, unless and until laws make their surreptitious use illegal, and until then, we will have a lot of social problems. Interactive control with eye movements can be very useful for disabled people or for people working who need their hands free or have carpel tunnel issues. For other users, eye movements are more aptly used for reading and looking, rather than for controlling the computer. A watch-type device is more socially acceptable than something that covers your eye.”

Arto Lanamaki, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oulu, Finland, responded, “It will have a significant impact. I’m not sure how long the term ‘Internet of Things’ will last.”

John Anderson, director of broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College, wrote, “The Internet of Things is, in many ways, already here. The intersection of things with people is at the heart of this question. There are some constitutive norms regarding the use of this sort of technology that society still hasn’t settled on yet. From a purely consumptive standpoint, the technologies that permit mobile payment and subscriptions will advance to make that process more frictionless, but I have a hard time coming to grips with the idea of always-on monitoring checking Facebook on my sleeve. We’re approaching a threshold in cybernetics that might allow us to shorten the era of wearables. In addition to its most obvious medical applications, cybernetics will include devices for information access/retrieval and augmented realities. How we’ll grapple with that as a society is beyond me, though I think the gradual de-emphasis on 20th century notions of privacy will have significant implications here.”

Mike Roberts, Internet pioneer and longtime leader with ICANN and the Internet Society, responded, “There is a long list of areas where public and private welfare will be enhanced by instant, two-way access via the Net. Health applications are legion and beginning to attract attention. Progress will be greatly aided by subcutaneous sensors capable of doing ‘vital signs’ and transmitting that information to medical professionals. It could impact almost everything to do with transportation—think of millions of hours of commute waiting that can be improved. The currently stalled ‘automatic train control’ system based on Internet GPS access, among other things, will measurably improve safety, reliability, on-time performance, etc. I could go on and on. Consider the millions of almost nanoscale micro lenses we already have in digital cameras. Manufacturing will be brought to astounding levels of precision and performance for pennies. I had a dream the other night that my electronic avatar was telling me his tactile skin fabric was ‘itchy.’ Consider also the high level of scholarly inquiry and research into the nature of what we call self-awareness or consciousness. This is clearly an electronic construct within our maze of neurons. In other words, most of what it is to be a carbon life form called homo sapiens will be disclosed within living human lifetimes, and non-carbon based electronic analogs will not be far behind.”

Brad Templeton, a leader with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Singularity University, responded, “There will be many effects, though they won’t be huge—not on the scale of what the Internet brought to society. Rather, they will be improvements in convenience and efficiency. Software and devices will work better, more smoothly.  In some cases, that will make a big shift, as sometimes it takes making things easy to use before there is wide adoption. I am more skeptical on glasses, and as an older person, more fond of watches or wrist-cuffs. Thought interaction and eye movements are not seeing much progress by 2025.”

Tim Bray, an active participant in the IETF and technology industry veteran, wrote, “Just intuition at work here, but I really don’t sense that many really life-changing benefits from putting what we now think of as dumb devices online. The central unsolved problem is input. At the moment, nothing is remotely competitive with a nice modern keyboard for pouring your words into the networked continuum. Since I tend to agree with Chomsky that human intelligence is language-based, it’s the words that matter. I have no urge to start talking to computers, and the notion of interacting based on anything other than language seems wrong-headed.”

Lee McKnight, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the iSchool at Syracuse University, wrote, “The Internet of Things is already here—billions and billions of things make up the Internet, including a growing number of smartphones worldwide. Extending from the Cloud to the Things is a work in progress, but it will largely be a solved problem by 2025. The smartphone may be better thought of as an aggregation of a sensor thing and a viewing thing and a networking thing, while the Cloud of Things is digital information—about the things, and their inter-communication and sense-making patterns. Smart social machines are what people will find all around them in 2025; and they will be in and on them. Embedded RFID chips and robotic milking machines already permit cows to, essentially, milk themselves. By 2025, that kind of capability will be familiar for many in their daily life, as the machines in and on them interact with other neighboring devices—hopefully for the objectives of the user. As to which area of the economy will be most affected, while there are more glamorous applications, eldercare of all the (remaining) aging Boomers will be a task only a robot (and a business) could love. Beyond those devices, which we all already wear, new wearables will be refined for an array of social and professional use contexts. As to political and social difficulties, new issues on rights to privacy will need to be rethought for a social machine-rich environment. We will want, and need, the machines to talk behind our backs in 2025. But maybe there are some social and ethical limits that will need to be in place in order for the public to become comfortable socializing, while knowing the machines are listening, watching, and analyzing our every move. Google Glass and the Samsung watch are just first nearly-commercially acceptable and new things. Neither will be quite the mass success some may have hoped for, but both will find uses. More common in 2025 will be embedded (literally) devices/sensors/things tracking, or improving, our health. With regard to use of eye movements and thoughts for user-experience purposes, both will be added to the array of tools already in widespread use. There is a reason fighter pilots use heads-up displays; others will have reasons to interact with the digital world while keeping their heads up, while not keeping their thoughts to themselves.”

David Hughes, an Internet pioneer, who from 1972 worked in individual to/from digital telecommunications, responded, “Yes—though there will have to be a ‘parallel’ to the current ‘communications’ Net—an Internet to link up all the devices people will buy to make their lives better for ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.’ Privacy will be threatened. An endless need for improvement in connectivity, reliability, and power will spawn a huge industry.”

Kalev Leetaru, a Yahoo Fellow at Georgetown University, wrote, “We’ll start to see the data exhaust of all of these devices used to measure society in new ways from detecting disasters to conflict early warning. We will increasingly move beyond the keyboard to more intuitive and direct forms of communication. Huge privacy issues will need to be resolved, as the act of capturing others becomes less obvious and more a part of daily life.”

Mícheál Ó Foghlú, CTO of FeedHenry, wrote, “The Internet of Things is more likely to impact where the devices talk to each other, rather than to people—in the automation of construction, in smart buildings, and so on, where sensors communicate in a network and only alert people when needed—i.e., earthquake alerts.”

Bob Briscoe, chief researcher in networking and infrastructure for British Telecom, wrote, “The vision of the disappearing computer is unlikely to have been realised by 2025 because we will still be in the early, clunky days, when interaction with the Internet of Things will still be unnatural and stilted. The most likely areas where the Internet of Things will be realised will be in supply chain logistics and automating workforce administration—i.e., dispensing healthcare, logging materials used in fitting and service of goods, vehicles, etc., as well as the administration of cleaning, catering, and hospitality tasks. Industrial and commercial applications are much more likely to have taken hold than these attention-grabbing consumer widgets, which have only superficial economic effect. Regarding interaction via thoughts and bodily signals, see my earlier answer about killer apps, which said that linked intelligence (based on the blurring of the division between local and remote senses) could have developed by 2025.”

Alex Halavais, an associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at Arizona State University, predicted, “More than any other change to our information environment in the next ten years, the increase in embedded and worn technologies will mean vast increases in information about our daily lives is made available. Harnessing that data will be a greater challenge. At a personal level, this will vastly change how we tackle problems and remember things. Just as today we no longer remember telephone numbers, in the coming years, we will find it harder to place other sorts of information that are more easily stored and transmitted via sensor networks. At the social level, this means new kinds of predictive analytics in a range of institutions, from consumer behavior to health. Over the next decade, we will see substantial innovations in the ways in which we interact with digital systems, beyond the screen/mouse/keyboard we are now familiar with. Yes, this may include things like the grail-like brain-machine interface, but I suspect that this will be one of a number of ways we communicate, rather than something that replaces the rest. Text will still exist, as will keyboards. Glance, position, hand signal, voice, near-field identification devices, and other forms of sensors will make our interactions with machines both context-aware and appropriate to our task.”

danah boyd, a research scientist for Microsoft, responded, “We will not just be turning to the computers in our pocket (aka phones). Instead, computing will be all around us. I’m not sure that these technologies will be seamless by 2025, but I hope so. (Google Glass is, after all, popularizing technology that was first created in the 1990s and first imagined in the 1960s.) I think we’re a long way from thought-control, but there may be a prototype for basic things by 2025. And hopefully, there will be technology for paraplegics.”

Adrian Schofield, manager of applied research for the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering, wrote, “Convenience is the name of the game. Connected ‘Things’ will be monitored, will initiate repair or replenishment, and will balance loads. People will ‘wear’ devices that enable access to information, capturing and transmitting data, and executing transactions. Headgear will provide the audiovisual experience, probably combining eyewear—i.e., prescription lenses and light protection. A watch or pendant would contain the processor. Communication by thoughts—no. Eye movements—yes.”

Alf Rehn, chair of management and organization at Åbo Akademi University, Finland, wrote, “Some Google Glass-like product will be ubiquitous, making social life even more annoying than it is today. On the plus side, things will be ever easier to find. The killer app will be the global UmbrellaNet. It always knows where your umbrella is. At some point, user interfaces become too neat and friction-free. There is still much to be said for old-school controllers and keyboards. The future looks more like an Xbox controller than Minority Report.”

Avery Holton, an assistant profession and researcher at the University of Utah, wrote, “Imagine a watch that can calculate your location (GPS), tell you how far you’ve run, at what pace, how many calories you’ve burned, what your sleep cycle is, how hydrated you are, etc. Oh wait, we already have those. Now integrate that with text capabilities and phone capabilities. We already have that, too. Now add in tailored information and wearable devices that can sense harm, such as threatening weather, criminals in the area, or even health issues…that’s the future of these devices. They have to become more seamless as wearable items, meaning they don’t stick out quite as much. They must also find a way to address security and privacy issues, which continue to plague their adoption.”

François-Dominique Armingaud, a retired computer engineer from IBM, now teaching security at universities, wrote, “Recording all audio and video around you for hundreds of hours at a time, while transmitting it at the same time in a safe place, would be a definite improvement to personal, urban, and countries’ security. This could occur without violating any privacy, since you stay the owner of what you have experienced and of what it’s recording. We are all Zapruders now! Continuous health monitoring is an interesting idea, and it already exists for blood pressure, as well as for monitoring exercise. It could be enhanced in a modular way with plugins that allow you to scan bar codes of what you eat, or even buy, giving everybody his/her personal health and weight coach.”

Aziz Douai, a professor of new media at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada, responded, “These innovations will continue to pose significant issues/questions about privacy, as well as further blur and erode the public and private realms.”

Isaac Mao, chief architect of Sharism Lab, wrote, “No doubt, there are more problems to be solved first before wearable things are to be adopted. The conflicts between devices, function redundancy, safety, health, etc., would be very relevant.”

Jeremy Epstein, a senior computer scientist at SRI International, responded, “The benefits will be all the things now being discussed—medical monitoring, perhaps crime-fighting, maybe things like eliminating cashiers in stores. Go in a store and try on a shirt; if you wear it out of the store it gets automatically detected and charged to your account, having been implicitly purchased. Of course, there will be fraud, as some people will figure out how to get out of a store without the detection, but this will be wrapped into the cost, just as theft is today—thieves will have to go upscale in how they attack detection systems. There will be some pushback for privacy reasons, but eventually, consumers will give in, since it will drive costs down.”

Celia Pearce, an associate professor of digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote, “Ubiquitous and wearable computing is already happening, and it will continue to expand. Research in this area has been going on for decades, but the technology is only now starting to catch up in terms of scale. As computers get smaller (which they will continue to do), they will become more wearable. The greatest promise in this area that I see is in medical applications, and I think this will mostly go towards applications for senior citizens, to improve longevity and quality of life.”

Mark Nall, a program manager for NASA, responded, “General Electric is already using the Internet of Things as a predictive tool for its aircraft engines. Business applications will increase over the coming decade for the same purpose, as well as to know how their products are being used in order to create greater market shares. Social and political difficulties will result from decreased privacy and increased surveillance capability. There is already pushback on use of Google Glass due to privacy. Primitive thought-based interaction is possible now. This will increase in capability by 2025 but probably won’t yet be at the stage where it would rival voice or keyboard. Gestures, including facial expression, will start becoming significant over the next decade. Voice will be much more context-capable and natural; however, keyboards and mice won’t be gone.”

Joe Touch, director of the USC/ISI Postel Center, responded, “The Internet will continue to be more deeply integrated into our daily lives, but we will increasingly expect to be able to control that integration. Right now, many ‘Internet of Things’ devices derive their connectivity through commercial servers that both track and create security vulnerabilities; unless Internet of Things evolves to a true ‘Internet’ of things—rather than a set of walled gardens, each requiring logins—I am skeptical it will continue to evolve.  We’re just seeing the beginning of the backlash towards Google Glass. It might be interesting to tinker with, but we’re just starting to see how people feel about having others around them record their life. The Samsung watch represents another walled garden—working not just only with Android, but only Samsung Android devices. I expect it to be DOA; at best, Pebble has a hope of persisting more than a few years. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if our smartphones evolved into watches, I doubt most people want a wrist-mounted device, as long as it needs to be paired to something larger, smarter, and already with them.”

John Markoff, senior writer for the Science section of the New York Times, wrote, “The concept of the Star Trek Borg comes to mind. The blurring of the line between humans and their machines is well underway. That said, 2025 will look more like today than it will look like either Neuromancer, Snowcrash, or The Diamond Age—or Accelerando, for that matter. As Paul Saffo has noted—‘Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.’  I personally think that Google Glass is a hideous fashion statement that will come back to haunt its wearers in a cyberpunk world, where the streets remain dystopian. Speech synthesis and voice recognition will trump glasses. We will talk to our machines, and they will speak to us.”

Laurel Papworth, social media educator, wrote, “Basically, every part of our life will be quantifiable, and eternal, and we will answer to the community for our decisions. For example, skipping the gym will have your gym shoes auto tweet (equivalent) to the peer-to-peer health insurance network that will decide to degrade your premiums. There is already a machine that can read brain activity, including desire, in front of advertising by near/proximity. I have no doubt that will be placed into the Big Data databases when evaluating hand gestures, body language, and pace for presenting social objects for discussion/purchase/voting.”

Glenn Edens, research scientist at PARC and IETF area chair in networking, distributed systems and security, wrote, “This is the most exciting development space in the entire Internet ecosystem. Devices are becoming powerful on their own, or able to use Cloud-based services to add computing power. There is now enough computing power to provide better and more responsive user interfaces. This will happen faster than progress in AI and robots. Google Glass will likely be a failure for a long time to come: look how long tablets took to evolve. The watch space is in even worse shape—repurposing an old, and now irrelevant, device (the watch) is plain silly. New and unimaginable interaction models will evolve, but by 2025, it’s not clear by how much. Body signals will become a key interface element.”

Tiffany Shlain, creator of the AOL series, The Future Starts Here, and founder of The Webby Awards, responded, “’Can we talk?’ will have new meaning. Finally, the refrigerator will talk to my smartphone to tell it I need to order milk before I am out. Finally, my toothbrush will tell my dentist if it detects something that needs fixing. There will be ‘blinking’ instead of ‘clicking,’ of course. But what will not change is focused attention on the people that you love. I personally unplug one day a week with my family for what we call our ‘technology Shabbats.’ These will become much more essential as there are less boundaries for when people are “on.”

Mary Joyce, Internet researcher and digital activism consultant, predicted, “Wearable devices will be commonplace, but in thoroughly trivial ways. Your parka will be able to calculate your external-to-internal temperature ratio, and your plastic fork will tell you the calories of the food you eat. Less trivially, wearable health devices will also be more common but only in the rich West. Trivial wearable tech will be pervasive but will merely facilitate navel-gazing and consumption.”

Rui Correa, director of Netday Namibia, wrote, “The Internet of Things is already happening—the extent to which such technologies become ubiquitous will be dictated by commodity adoption—personal mobile phones are a good example of this. From plain to feature to smart to smart-wearable is simply a matter of economy and scale. With the advent of personal 3D printers and diversification of material choice, I imagine a world where wearable, connected devices will be more personalised than ever before—the choice to make one’s own device may move many of us away from buying branded product—look at the rapid diversification of the uses of Raspberry Pi, for example—why should I buy Samsung if I could make my own?”

Fernando Botelho, a social entrepreneur working to enhance the lives of people with disabilities wrote, “No, there will not be widespread and beneficial effects. For most people, omnipresent tracking of persons and things will bring more evil than good. These technologies are being implemented in a way that centralizes information and, thereby, power. For this reason, they will become predominantly negative in their social impact.”

Nicole Ellison, an associate professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, predicted, “As wearable data collection devices become cheaper, smaller, and more sophisticated, they will be used increasingly to provide micro-feedback to users about the health, economic, and environmental implications of their actions. The information will be used to decide between everyday behavior choices, for which the consequences are now obfuscated. For instance, should I turn my car off while I do a quick errand, or let it run? Which of these two brands of coffee treats its workers better? Which of these two lunch options is best for my specific health profile? With more ‘just in time’ information, consumers will be able to make more informed ethical, economic, and health-related decisions.”

Olivier Crepin-Leblond, managing director of Global Information Highway Ltd. in London, UK, predicted, “Wearable devices will have the largest impact on our lives, more than any other technology: always on, always ready. The largest problems with such devices will be powering them, networking them using low power radio networks (and what will be the impacts on health?), interfacing them with our body (do we really all want to wear those silly looking glasses?), and having a stable quality network to make sure those devices run smoothly. Always-on video that’s instantaneously shareable or stream-able will be a big thing of the future. Geo location services, including increased environmental awareness, will help everyone. The research for interfacing with our bodies will continue. It is likely that the use of any interfacing, such as thoughts and eye movements, might at some point emerge to interfacing using invasive technologies such as electrode implant. That said, the biggest barrier to invasive interfaces will be social acceptance, and I do not see this happening in the next ten years.”

David P. Collier-Brown, a system programmer and author, said, “Yes, by 2025 there will be slightly enhanced communications limited by the physical interface like tiny screens and touch and the need to not walk into the street while nerding and be killed by a streetcar. I’d love a thought link, but if it was too easy and immersive, traffic accidents would depopulate the planet!”

Fred Hapgood, a self-employed science and technology writer, responded “’Widespread?’ In 13 years? Maybe. The Internet of Things will, in time, be huge, but working out the interfaces and then standardizing them is a huge job. Institutions, especially educational institutions, would love to have central control over all the door locks in their structures, and there are companies that perform that service, but I have never run into an actual installation. I have no idea. What does ‘future prospect’ mean? Like a million years?”

Stephan Adelson, president of a technology consulting company, predicted, “Google Glass, wearable phones (watches, rings, orbs, etc.), and exploration of others and ‘secrets’ through hidden video/audio equipment will be much more common, and distribution will be widespread through sharing tools (YouTube, etc.). Privacy concerns (personal and corporate), personal and societal safety concerns, and polices to address these will be part of the challenges associated with these new devices. Google Glass—or some version of it—will be incorporated into other wearables. Samsung watch will evolve and expand as well, with some features becoming common, while others evaporate. Eye movements—and other body signals—will be used for predictive technology, possibly replacing or supplementing the ‘mouse.’ Or, it could be used in gaming, but the use will be limited in 2025.”

Oscar Gandy, an emeritus professor at the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania, wrote, “I fully expect to see a great expansion in the area of personal health monitoring. No doubt, ‘incentives’ incorporated into ‘insurance’ packages for all sorts of valuables, and relationships, will push individuals toward consent. Local governments, in order to comply with state and federal regulations, will acquire, or contract for, a great variety of environmental sensors—i.e., pollution, traffic, and noise—to assess/report compliance. Certainly, concerns will be expressed about privacy, consent for scanning, and the impact on inequality that results from increased granularity in the ability of actors to differentiate between, and discriminate among, persons, places, and things on the basis of those assessments.  What is the degree or level of agency implied in reference to ‘will interact?’ It is one thing to say that their interactions/opportunities/requirements will be shaped in response to the information being exchanged and/or captured through these devices; it is quite something else to say they will be consciously and actively choosing how their behavioral and bodily cues will influence their options. I have no doubt that options will be altered. I’m not so sure about how much control or influence the wearers will actually have.”

Henning Schulzrinne, a technology developer and professor at Columbia University, observed, “The likely impact may well be pervasive—and small. Many of the applications will be behind the scenes—i.e., a towel dispenser or trashcan that alerts maintenance personnel that it needs attention, or a way to track public transit arrivals, or replacements for ‘dumb’ temperature and air quality sensors in commercial buildings.”

Chris Uwaje, president of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, wrote, “Facebook is now recognised as the third largest ‘company country’ after China and India! The political, economic, and resource applications of the Internet in the future remain unpredictable. The simple fact and nature of present-day connectivity will create a new order on the Internet, but the greatest battlefield of the 21st century will remain the global ICT policy/strategy platform. We should be thinking of future devises to protect personal privacy and buy back lost lives! Innovations on security must expand positively.”

Paul M.A. Baker, associate director, Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, predicted, “Adoption of embedded devices, pervasive computing, and expanded wireless information flow will no doubt continue but will most likely be evolutionary and patchy by sector and use. The ‘quantified self’ movement gives indications of what might be possible, but it faces a potential backlash due to social exhaustion with perpetual feedback, as well as stimulation due to always-available computing. Benefits will continue to expand, but the uptake will also vary significantly as a factor of economic situation, availability of wireless bandwidth to support ever more dense information flow, and changes in the expectations people have about privacy in public places.”

Justin Reich, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said, “It will have widespread beneficial effects, along with widespread negative effects. There will be conveniences and privacy violations. There will be new ways for people to connect, as well as new pathways towards isolation, misanthropy, and depression. I’m not sure that moving computers from people’s pockets (smartphones) to people’s hands or face will have the same level of impact that the smartphone has had, but things will trend in the similar direction. Everything that you love and hate about smartphones will be more so.”

Sonigitu Asibong Ekpe, a consultant with the AgeCare Foundation, a non-profit organization, wrote, “Wearable technology has come a long way since the invention of the light-up Christmas Tree sweater. Commercial and social applications of the Internet of Things will be most commonly and vividly felt in developed economies. Allowing current and potential customers to view the story of how the item came to creation, from sketches to runway edits, is a smart move for social and political tracking of various transactions. Personalization of the Internet shows no sign of stopping, alongside social sharing. With drivers to share ‘cool’ products across Facebook and Twitter, the platform looks to be on track for success by filling our need for continued interaction. Sure, people will interact via thoughts and eye movements.”

K.G. Schneider, a university librarian, wrote, “Right now, Google Glass follows the pattern of other technology adoptions, where what I see are a handful of first-world white men touting their shiny new toys. Put this in context with someone struggling to get by on a daily basis—in the US or in other countries: what these devices primarily signify is a growing gulf between the tech haves and have-nots. That said, I’m not boycotting these devices—I see them as interesting and important. But just as students today are burdened if they don’t have home Internet—and at the university where I work, that is true of some of our commuter students, much as people might find that hard to believe—there will be an expectation that successful living as a human will require being equipped with pricey accoutrements. I wouldn’t lay good money that Google or Samsung will be preeminent. The recent history of technology is littered with giants who were felled because they represented technology of a moment. Google may be different in that it feels more like the heyday of Xerox PARC, plus they have, well, Google, but all that is subject to change. That said, to the larger question of wearable computing: yes, again, as long as we understand that how we define ‘people’ is strongly influenced by assumptions about access to technology. In fact, reflecting on this makes me concerned that as the digital divide widens, people left behind will be increasingly invisible and increasingly seen as less than full humans.”

Mike Cushman, an independent researcher, wrote, “I’m confident they will be widespread but much less confident they will be beneficial. They will create new must-haves and forms of life more distant from direct external experience.”

Linda Rogers, the founder of Music Island in Second Life and grant writer for Arts for Children and Youth in Toronto, wrote, “Despite some downsides, the Internet is enormously democratizing. Governments are discovering this and are really fighting for a greater ability to control and be able to shut down the flow of information, but I think it will be unsuccessful. There are now too many layers of connectivity, and this will only increase, making it more difficult for tyrannies to thrive. We found it amazing when we first saw a touch screen. Just as we ‘teach’ computer applications to translate our voice into written words or computer action, we will be able to teach robotics to interpret eye commands and thought commands. This will begin as work to help the disabled, but also likely have regrettable military applications.”

Andrew Bridges, a partner and Internet law litigator and policy analyst at Fenwick & West LLP, wrote, “We are already there, with medical devices that communicate, fitness bugs that record and transmit data, and utility smart meters. All sectors of society and the economy will feel the development. The principal social and political difficulties will have to do with ownership of information, privacy/security, and surveillance. I predict that Google Glass will have limited success in its current incarnation but will lead to a variety of other successful products. It is simply too dorky for normal people to wear; its wearers are incredibly affected, like Jawbone Bluetooth earphone/microphone wearers, who go through the day with the earpiece protruding from one ear, no matter what the circumstances. They both look distracted from their personal physical space. I think intention will always be a critical part of normal interaction of persons—they will still send texts or make phone calls and not just passively stream their experiences to others. The Samsung watch may have better prospects, but again, it will probably lead to better devices, even if it fails. Given the massive amount of data that all persons will generate, both the most precious commodity and the most dangerous threat will be attention: what do people pay attention to? How do they rank the object of their attention compared to rival objects of attention? What attention is welcome, and what attention is unwelcome (surveillance)? Some interactions may be so low-risk and benign that default settings may always be to communicate the data, but others will be more sensitive, and persons will want to make deliberate choices about them.”

Rebecca Lieb, an industry analyst for the Altimeter Group and author, responded, “Healthcare is one of the most obvious areas that will benefit enormously from widespread adoption of connected devices, providing health care providers with better, timelier, and more accurate information about patients, as well as individuals with better options for care, monitoring, independence, and security. Consumers will benefit from easier shopping, with richer layers of data and information about products and services. All this comes, of course, with privacy and security concerns, as well as questions around what happens when these systems falter and/or fail once we’ve come to rely upon them.”

Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, responded, “The biggest impact will not be wearables, but rather, things in the physical world connected to the Internet. As the world becomes intelligent, things like transportation, infrastructure, logistics, health care, etc., will all improve. I don’t believe that there will be any social difficulties. There may be political ones, as neo-Luddites resist such technologies. It will be a long time before we communicate with body signals.”

Wafa Ben Hassine, an Internet law student and human rights advocate, wrote, “Embedded and wearable devices still only impact a selected niche of people—such technologies are not well marketed, at least today, to the general public. Google may change the game altogether, however, with the eventual and gradual release of Google Glass to the public. Conscious thoughts are more difficult to program AI-wise; however, I do see the prospect of having devices that detect our unconscious thoughts via, for example, our body temperatures and heart rates.”

Ian Peter, pioneer Internet activist and Internet rights advocate, wrote, “They will be widespread, yes, but beneficial, perhaps not.”

Bill Woodcock, executive director for the Packet Clearing House, responded, “We’re just now beginning to see practical wearables in the form of embedded computing in shoes, watches, glasses, and so forth. The ‘personal area network’ is coming into being in the form of low-power Bluetooth. These solutions will find a problem eventually, though I’m not sure it’ll be the augmented reality that science fiction authors are so fond of. The obvious extrapolation is just more ubiquitous user interface for the same things that people use their personal devices for right now: finding lunch, finding their way to a new location, and seeing what other people think about something before making a decision. Typing is becoming less of a hurdle than it was in the era when executives didn’t type their own letters. On the other hand, typing, per se, still isn’t a very efficient means of input. Voice recognition is finally arriving; handwriting recognition not so much yet, and legible handwriting for interpersonal use seems to be going away faster than typing. Voice recognition doesn’t work so well in public because it’s not private. Something like chorded typing on wrist or thigh pads? Subvocalization on throat microphones? Both seem very intrusive. I also have great difficulty imagining that brain-wave user interfaces will be working in eleven years.”

Gary Kreps, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University, wrote, “The integration of information systems into our lives through wearable and embedded devices will enable broader use of information technologies and simplify access to information and services. Many activities of everyday life will be automated, similar to the way highway tolls are now paid automatically with the use of devices like the EZ-Pass. We will be able to open doors, purchase items, enter buildings, etc., automatically with similar devices that announce our presence and initiate responses. This will also improve recordkeeping that tracks our purchases, health behaviors, and other activities. Eventually, we will become less dependent on computer hardware and will use biotechnology that integrates our brains and bodies with computer software. Perhaps this will be accomplished with implantable computer chips or some other technology that augments our existing physical information and communication capacities with the use of advanced technologies.”

Niels Ole Finnemann, a professor and director of Netlab, DigHumLab Denmark, wrote, “The Internet of Things is not one particular phenomenon, but rather an IT-campaign term. We have seen digital processors build into a huge array of things and instruments since the 1980s. It is rather trivial. It will, of course, continue, and new forms will evolve. It is a very gradual and slow process. The term has circulated since the late 1990s, and it is still mostly used for a future to come, but many instances are already here. Again, the main question will be whether it is useful in an area, not whether it is a significant breakthrough. I believe there will be room for Google Glass, but I don’t think it will be an ‘everyday device.’ I see three forms of interaction: some based on bodily signals, be they emotional or cognitive, some based on coded bodily signals (push buttons, etc.), and some based on speech. Eye movements will be very difficult to use regularly, as we use our eyes both spontaneously and consciously, and both under our own control and beyond our control. You hear something and turn your eyes.”

Sakari Taipale, a social policy and new technologies researcher in Finland, wrote, “What we have been anticipating in our research work is a ‘bridging strategy’ that seeks to connect the print with the digital (i.e., through printed 2D other codes) but keep them physically separated. We consider a ‘bonding’ strategy less likely, as it aims to combine the digital and material objects, which ruins their ecological virtues and recycleability. Socially, consequences might be enormous, and this kind of technological development is also, politically, rather acceptable. It is most likely that scaleable screens for tablets and computers will become more popular before e-glasses and e-watches. It is likely that people don’t want to carry several separate devices, but instead want them to be integrated into one. The most crucial issue to the development of wearable devices is, like in case of robotics, how to improve the batteries, so that they become smaller and more durable at the same time.”

Jonathan Sterne, a professor at McGill University, responded, “They will be widespread, yes, but beneficial in terms of culture and society, no. Few innovations in consumerism over the last 50 years have greatly improved people’s lives in terms of happiness, security, comfort, or life expectancy (there are a few exceptions). The fact that my fridge can tell me it’s out of milk will not transform humanity. If instead, you asked what would improve people’s lives around the world, I don’t think gadgets would be the first answer from a concerned person’s lips.”

Bright Simons, president of mPedigree, wrote, “It is yes and no, really. In many ways, more powerful peripheral devices, superior bandwidth capacity, and massively powerful Cloud-based applications should all work together to enhance the holographic elements of personal artefacts, to the point where wearable computing looks increasingly outdated as a way of harnessing the new forms of computing power. What we will see more of is ‘seamless services’ that enable people to move digital into the unobtrusive background, not accentuate our seeming dependence on devices. The wearable computing focus is misguided. People will find it more and more uncool to flaunt commodities, which is how these devices increasingly come across. Greater personalisation and emphasis on style should shift the augmentation of personal and home computing to the background, with a greater emphasis on seamless services, such as nutrition, hygiene, and lifestyle, rather than on the features of devices.”

Bill St. Arnaud, a self-employed green Internet consultant, wrote, “The Internet of Things has been in the red zone of the hypometer for over a decade now. Yes, there will be many niche applications, but it will not be the next big thing, as many pundits predict. If the Internet of Things had any true validity, you would think you would start to see evidence of its presence on early adopter Internet networks, such as R&E networks, universities, research labs, etc. The Internet of Things is headed to the dustbin, along with Semantic Web, virtual spaces, etc. Google Glass and the Samsung watch are gimmicks, and in the case of Google Glass, are likely to be banned for safety reasons. Interacting with thoughts or eye movements will be worse than voice interaction. Remember all the hype a decade ago that we would all be talking to our computers or tablets? We are still waiting for that technology to work—never mind hand gestures and/or thoughts. Complete silliness.”

Agustin Rossi, a PhD candidate at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy, wrote, “It is impossible to know the effects. Uncontrolled Internet of Things might increase our sensation of constant surveillance and lack of privacy. But beneficial effects are also imaginable. It is completely plausible. But again, nothing ages faster than yesterday’s dreams of the future.”

Andrew Chen, associate professor of computer science at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MN), responded, “This will help with medical applications most substantially, with dieticians, nutritionists, and other preventative healthcare professionals benefiting the most in the work that they do. The danger will be in loss of privacy and the reduction of people into numbers: the dark side of ‘the quantified self.’ The ability to communicate will increase. A subtle vibration in a cell phone in a pocket, to a person unfamiliar with the technology, appears to be the cell phone telepathically telling the owner to answer it. Regardless of whether or not real telepathy gets developed, that is the direction that things will progress, but only with the right amount of monetization along the way. ‘Subliminal advertising’ will take on a whole new meaning when it can invade your thoughts through what you wear. This is the real danger, one that suggests technologies like these be avoided until a good framework can be developed to compensate for these sorts of dangers.”

Rashid Bashshur, senior advisor for eHealth for the University of Michigan Health System, observed, “Embedded devices will become much smaller, less expensive, and less intrusive as a result of miniaturization and digitalization. These devices will have immense benefits in early and precise diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, as well as monitoring health status indicators of various kinds. Devices will be able to communicate with each other, and they will be capable of processing enormous amounts of information with a highly individualized focus. The forms, shapes, and functions of these devices cannot be predicated with any precision, however, these changes are inevitable. Various sensors will be developed to detect chemical, biological, and behavioral indicators of various kinds. These sensors will be much smaller, more versatile, and less expensive.”

Homero Gil de Zuniga, director of the Digital Media Research Program at the University of Texas-Austin, responded, “Yes and no: Yes, we will enjoy a much more smooth integration of communication tools and information/entertainment consumption; however, the Cloud has a cost. There’s no such thing as a Cloud above us, but instead, rather costly, an anti-environmentalist infrastructure of servers that will also pose threat and challenges to our society.”

Jim Warren, longtime online freedom and privacy advocate and editor publisher of microcomputer periodicals, noted, “Embedded and wearable devices will also cause more than a little widespread harm. Just look at how many vehicular accidents and deaths have already been caused by even the most primitive cell-phones. There will also be a continuing and growing gap between those—usually younger folks—who have and know how to use such gadgets and tools, versus those who don’t have them or know little or nothing about how to use them—usually older folks. But that’s as it has always been. Children don’t know ‘how hard’ it is to learn something new, so they just go ahead and learn them.”

Jon Lebkowsky, Web developer at Consumer’s Union, responded, “We used to say ‘IP on everything,’ but it’s not practical for all ‘things’ to be addressable—you don’t need IP on a toothbrush or a package of chewing gum. It makes sense to make things that could be controlled remotely addressable and to also have some way to track items of value that could be lost or stolen. One significant application will be for energy control and efficiency, and there will items in homes or businesses that can, and will, be controlled via networked systems. The ‘Internet of Things’ will be so commonplace as to be boring; nobody will think twice about it in 2025. We’re in a transitional period wherein we’re transforming standard, known, formal objects into smart devices: phones, watches, glasses. I suspect we’ll evolve newer forms that evolve practically from these devices that will be less related to the traditional forms.”

Internet researcher Kate Carruthers wrote, “The Internet of Things is already here. We are already wearing, using, and connecting devices. The issues that arise are around privacy and security. Social acceptance will continue, and politicians will seek to control this arena. The attempts at control are likely to fail, due to the decentralised nature of the technology and utility it provides to users. It is highly probable that new interfaces will evolve and that wearable connected devices will eventually morph into embedded devices.”

Linda Neuhauser, clinical professor at the School of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley, responded, “People will be most interested in what these ‘wearables’ will deliver in terms of their own lives. For some people, this will be the first time they have been able to manage an important health condition. They will aggressively seek these applications. If people find these applications useful, I don’t foresee major social and political difficulties. ‘Yes’ to wearable devices (already popular). ‘Yes’ to Google Glass and other similar devices. The ‘thought-device’ connection will be much stronger by 2018—far before 2025.”

Katie Derthick, a PhD candidate in human-centered design and engineering at the University of Washington, responded, “Ubiquitous computing will help relieve the burden created by the current app-centric form of technological innovation and solution on our ability to manage our time, health, relationships, social skills, spirituality, presence, attention, and cultural and class divides. A social backlash is coming; it’s already building. The most powerful effect embedded/wearable devices and the Internet of Things will have is to free us from technology, while allowing us to continue to benefit from it to the same, and an even greater, degree. Ubiquitous computing will allow us to return our attention to the present moment, the environment, and ourselves—to the material and tangible aspects of living that are earth and company, rather than devices and form factors, and the intangible aspects that are spirit and relationship, rather than records and profiles. Boom boxes on shoulders were the future iPods with ear buds; laptops balanced on one arm were the future Charlie Brown-glance at the smartphone. Google Glass is the future virtual retinal display contact lens—for the privileged, of course. I think system interaction via thoughts at a fluid and workable state is more than 22 years off. But maybe it isn’t; 22 years is a long time in technology. A different paradigm for interaction will be a long time coming—automatic washing machines aren’t very different from wash basins, after all—but, yes, one day it will be more than waving your hands in the empty air; it will be smarter about who you are, where you are, and what you’re doing or trying to do, without you having to tell it.”

Author David Brin wrote, “This is best illustrated in the books Rainbow’s End and Existence.”

Jerry Michalski, founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition, wrote, “The Internet of Things (IoT) is too complex. It will break, over and over. Given my reply to the cyberwarfare question, most of the devices exposed on the Internet will be vulnerable. They will also be prone to unintended consequences: they will do things nobody designed for beforehand, most of which will be undesirable. We aren’t evolved enough as a species or society to create apps and services that are useful to humanity in the Internet of Things. We’ll try to create efficiencies but be thwarted by Nature’s complexity. False positives from contextual movements will break people’s willingness to have devices track their expressions and thoughts. Try using speech recognition in a crowded room. Now, imagine that it is your thoughts being tracked, not merely speech. Google Glass has already attracted backlash, before a thousand people are in the world using it. Our surveillance society feels oppressive, not liberating. No comfortable truce will be found between the privacy advocates and the ‘screen everything’ crowd.”

Ousmane Musatesa, an academic and self-described citizen of the world, wrote, “Just think about a universal world, where the culture and habits of everyone can be taken into account!”

Pamela Rutledge, PhD and director of the Media Psychology Research Center, responded, “Wearables and scanables have wide potential in entertainment applications. They also offer social benefit in access to meaningful educational experiences and improved well-being, such as healthcare monitoring and behavior change. More broadly, they raise the specter of Big Brother and will further the debate over commercial manipulation and national safety versus individual privacy and rights. Wearable devices will succeed where they facilitate routine processes that further fundamental human goals, such as social connection and other ‘survival’ skills. Equally important is that the barrier to access and use is low enough for widespread adoption and social acceptance.”

Larry Press, a writer, consultant, blogger and part-time professor, said, “I am restricting my answer to a special case of wearables. There will be a decentralization in health care—tools for monitoring health and medical diagnosis will increasingly be in the hands of consumers, and there will be online services for them to report and analyze data. Today, we typically have a thermometer, scale, and, perhaps, a blood-pressure cuff at home. I expect a lot of movement in that direction. We will see online services for storing and analysing the data coming from these devices, and our routine doctor visits will often be done online. Google Glass-like devices will be used in all sorts of specific situations—like watching a surgeon or a skydiver at work—but I do not expect to see us walking around with them all day. I think interaction via thoughts and bodily signals will be too slow and low-resolution for use by the general public in general-purpose applications, but they will be used by handicapped people.”

John E. Savage, chair in computer science at Brown University and a fellow of the IEEE, and the ACM, wrote, “The relationship between humans and their environments has not changed as much as one would expect, given the ubiquity of computers and networks. The Internet of Things will have an impact on daily life, but it will not be a revolutionary one. Some services will be expedited and delivered in new ways, but the need to work, eat, sleep, and exercise will be the same and only marginally affected by the Internet of Things or the Cloud. Google Glass will continue to be a novelty. Technology of this kind has been in the experimental stage for at least 10 years without creating a compelling market for it. The Samsung watch will have a role to play, but it will not be a revolutionary one. Both the Google Glass and the Samsung watch will be in widespread use, but they will not revolutionize work or play because their screens are too small. Cursors on the Glass will be difficult to position and activate, and to operate the watch, one hand has to be disabled to read the screen.”

Dominic Pinto wrote, “The Internet of Things will rise and develop, but it is likely the negative effects will outweigh the positive. More and more people just have to have the latest gizmos, especially if they seem to ease your life and/or give pleasure: linking with your PlayStation, etc., pornographic entertainments—pretty well the degeneracy and excess commercialism and consumerism of lives will be significantly enhanced and tying in with any physiological reactions will be almost de rigeur.”

Jim Hendler, a professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, wrote, “Health apps will be the most significant change. Things such as the Fitbit will evolve to allow passive monitoring of blood sugar, caloric intake, etc., as well as to be specialized for specific ailments in individuals—these will allow those who want to improve their heath to do so. Household objects online will have ways of being part of a broadcast network that can allow owners to be informed in case of recalls, problems, etc. Over time, there will be more direct inputs to the digital world. Technologies that can improve health monitoring will also allow a certain amount of signaling to computers—implanted chips for control will be just coming along in the 2025 timeframe (evolving in part from better prosthetic controllers), so I expect wearables, more than implantables, to be part of life by 2025.”

Paul Jones, a professor at the University of North Carolina and founder of ibiblio.org, responded, “As we age, we are more thankful for embeddables and wearables. About 10 years back, I did a talk to UNC alumni and tried to get a discussion going about ‘body invasion’ by embedded advices. Everyone was fine by that. They wanted more and smaller and smarter. They were the class of 1950, and most living improved lives just with the kludgy devices from the turn of this century. The population curve, in the United States, at least, will cause much of the monitoring and assistance by intelligent devices to be welcomed and extended. This is what we had in mind all along—augmented life extension. Young people, you can thank us later. We look like kung fu fighters with no visible opponents now, but soon, the personalized interface issues will settle on a combination of gestures and voice. Thought-driven? Not by 2025, but not yet out of the question for a further future. Glass and watch interfaces are a start at this combination of strokes, acceleration, voice, and even shaking and touching device-to-device. The key will be separating random human actions from intentional ones, then translating those into machine commands—search, call, direct, etc.”

Liam Pomfret, a PhD student in online consumer privacy at the University of Queensland, Australia, responded, “I expect that as these devices drop in cost, they will have a similar impact on the average consumer to what was observed with the first introduction of mobile phones, and that they will make a wide variety of tasks more convenient than they were previously. I am concerned, however, for the security and privacy implications of the Internet of Things, particularly in terms of collection of metadata (such as what’s already happened with the LG Smart TV snooping), and of the vulnerability of these devices to being hacked. While I believe we’ll eventually see more widespread use of devices, which allow for interaction with devices through thoughts, eye movements, etc., I do not see these being widely used by 2025, outside of highly-specialized circumstances, where they’re used to assist the disabled. By 2025, I expect wearable, connected devices to be widespread, though I feel that heads-up-display-like devices, such as Google Glass, may take a little longer to catch on, if only because I think it may take some time for the legal issues with it (such as the potential for surveillance) to be resolved.”

Jane Vincent responded, “I have written about ‘electronic emotion’—the emotions that we live, re-live, and are created as a result of interacting with machines. We hold our smartphones and our tablets, and we think about loved ones or about problems at work. Our feelings can be managed and stimulated by these machines in ways we may not like, or want, to feel as well as positive feelings. There is, I believe, no need to have wearables and scanables to do this, but I can imagine that it won’t be long before more than just niche products emerge that leverage our electronic emotions. (See Vincent and Fortunati, 2009, Electronic emotion; the mediation of emotion via information and communication technology). If Google Glass and equivalent products could become the new varifocals, then I can see many more people having and using them. The watch will always be limited to the people who wear things on their wrists, which isn’t the majority. Google Glass will be limited by the same kind of restrictions as imposed on driving and using and mobile phone, rather than the unlimited use of satnav mapping against which it is positioning itself.”

Mattia Crespi, president of Qbit Technologies LLC, responded, “The sharing of information across dimensions (planetary, smart-cities, people, micro) will enable new forms of prevention, cure of diseases, and social issues. All disciplines will benefit from a new level of availability of information on a new scale. Policy makers will be faced with great challenges and will have to come to define not only new policies, but also a truly new and functional scheme for high and quick adaptation of policies and of the policies system itself, to new discoveries. This is due to the speed to which availability of data and the ability to process it, will convert into new procedures for social interaction. One of the immediate challenges of policy makers is how to enable a full transition to digital and to the network for all people to benefit from the Internet of Things. We will eventually reach a point, likely around 2025, when we will be able to bypass our body and connect directly to our brain: when bits and atoms will have the same form. By this time, connection will happen at the DNA level, with no more devices, but the possibility for a full immersive connection, temporary or full time, in parallel environments.”

Stephen Abram, a self-employed consultant with Lighthouse Consulting Inc. and CEO of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries, wrote, “The real benefit of the Internet of Things is already with us in a ‘lite’ fashion. It’s being scoped in the medical space with embedded apps and medical tattoos, and it will move into the mainstream by 2025. Whether the motivation is health, convenience, social pressure, economic, or entertainment—it’s likely that it will be some combination of these. We’re already seeing so much progress in the disability communities, and that stuff always finds its way into the mainstream—first in the military, toys and games, and then into the rest of the neighborhood as the costs get reduced. The obviousness of these devices will diminish as they get smaller.”

Fred Baker, Internet pioneer, longtime leader in the IETF and Cisco Systems Fellow, responded, “In my view, the Internet of Things is both very real and the subject of an incredible degree of hype. For example, I can replace the control system for lighting and air conditioning in a building with communicating devices, and in coming years, will likely do so. However, that does not mean that I will open my home or office to unauthorized use of the capability, but instead, I will very likely put it in the hands of a local controller that an authorized party might access remotely, if at all. So, yes, there will be billions of communicating devices, but no, they will not be communicating amongst themselves in an uncontrolled fashion. The place in which we can expect to see social issues—and are starting to see them now with Google Glass—relates to trust, and my previous comments on privacy. If engines such as those being developed by Face++ can use crowdsourcing to impose continuous, pervasive surveillance as a social reality, expect people to push back on obvious sources of information useful to crowd-sourced data mining. Thoughts? By 2025, no, although that might come at some point further out. I’m reminded of the scene in the 1986 movie Star Trek IV, in which Scotty attempts to communicate with a computer by speaking to it, and the fact that, in 2013, I speak to my iPhone to achieve limited functions. I suspect that we will speak to our computers, and (as shown in the movie Paycheck and at least one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation), we will, in some sense, create user interfaces that look like holographic images.”

Jerome McDonough, an associate professor at the University of Illinois, responded, “I would say yes to both widespread effects and beneficial effects by 2025, although I will note that any given effect doesn’t have to be both. I expect wearable/consumable/implantable sensor devices will be making a significant difference in medical treatment by 2025. The problems with self-reporting of behavior are well known in the social sciences, and allowing sensors to report on patient activities/states will probably be seen by many in the medical community as a boon to collecting accurate and complete data on patients. But these effects will probably only be seen by a limited number of patients by 2025. Widespread effects are already occurring as companies start aggregating data from a variety of sensors and POS systems to improve targeting of advertising. Whether that is ‘beneficial’ probably depends on who you talk to. People like to feel that they are in control of their devices, and critical to any feeling of control of ICT is the ability to disattend the communication technology when you want to. The impact of Google Glass and related technologies is to make it difficult for you to disattend, and it is practically impossible for anyone you’re interacting with to disattend. This is not to say people won’t wear them, but I suspect you’re going to see technologies, such as Google Glass, worn more by people in lower wage jobs, who have to wear them as part of their employment, and much less so by people in upper management positions who get the privilege of not having to be connected all the time.”

Jim Kennedy, senior vice president for strategy for the Associated Press, responded, “The ability to send and receive a constant flow of information, even without human intervention, will be the hallmark of future devices. As long as users can remain ‘in charge’ of that data flow, their experience of critical interactions with family, friends, and service providers of all kinds should be enhanced. The healthcare field alone should see a huge impact. In general, the mechanics of the Internet should fade into the background. We won’t think about how things connect as much as we do today; we’ll just expect it. We won’t have to launch things or ‘log on.’ Connectivity will be more like electricity. We won’t think about it until it’s time to recharge something.”

Greg Lastowka, a professor of law at Rutgers University, observed, “I do imagine we will see some social benefits from the Internet of Things, but at the moment, I can see the downsides of ubiquitous networks much more clearly than I can the upsides. If current popular uses of network technologies are any guide, wearable computing technologies will serve those offering the devices and controlling their algorithms just as much as they serve the wearers.”

Robert Cannon, Internet law and policy expert, wrote, “Will it have beneficial effects? Certainly. Will it be beneficial on balance when weighing the negatives—that’s another question. But what we already see in the Internet of Things is an empowerment of humans who wish to do something to get that something done. Humans seeking exercise are now greeted by a plethora of devices that can help monitor their progress, mark their achievements, and show their improvements. This technology can build on these goals, placing the humans in communities of like-minded individuals seeking the same goals, reinforcing the culture. It makes technology ubiquitous, so that the advantages of technology are in the field and not just on the desktop. Sensor nets can be used to measure progress for social policy goals (is this road moving traffic efficiently; are these lights working; where is the storm causing problems?). Cars will be able to interact, sharing information on traffic conditions, reducing traffic problems and fuel consumption.”

Stewart Baker, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, a Washington law firm, wrote, “There will probably be benefits, though exactly what benefits we’ll achieve remains a bit of a mystery. Wearables will become less kludgey and offer more value than Glass or the Samsung device. But eye and thought and tongue controls will still be mostly for the disabled.”

Raymond Plzak, former CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, and current member of the Board of Directors of ICANN, wrote, “The answer is ‘no’ [to widespread and beneficial effects by 2025] if there continues to exist manner and means to exploit data stored in the Cloud and to invade privacy, no matter how much of it is voluntarily surrendered in the social media world. Wearable, connected devices can be a boon but also can pose a threat if persons are not trained to use them. Just as a person needs to be trained to operate a car, a person needs, even in today’s world, to be trained regarding the proper time, place, and use of connected devices. By making these devices less intrusive to the individual, it makes the training that much more critical.”

David Clark, a senior research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, noted, “The ability to put a scan tag on ‘anything’ will create a much more fluid and interwoven linkage between things in the ‘real world’ and their cyber-counterparts. This ability will provide many conveniences and benefits. By analogy, GPS has created a world in which people no longer ‘get lost.’ A scannable world will be one in which people are always able to get information about essentially anything they encounter. The question of ‘wearables’ is less clear. Devices like Google Glass may become popular, or may fail to prove their worth. But in more than 10 years, I suspect some sort of device that gives a cyber-overlay on the real world will be in use. I am ambivalent about this future. Ten years ago, I would not have predicted that ‘everyone’ would walk around with ear buds, listening to their own world. Today, we see people walking around, looking at the display on their mobile devices. If some sort of projection display like Google Glass can be made to work, it is possible that the mobile device will become modularized, with a head-mounted display, separated from the processor and wireless interface and from the input device. But the heads-up display still has to prove its utility, and the successor to the touch screen needs to emerge.”

Ian O’Byrne, an assistant professor at the University of New Haven, wrote, “Wearable devices will continue to expand. At this point, we have no idea what they will look like. At this point we’re at the same point as we were right before the iPhone. We’ll see a series of products, ideas, and motifs arise and vanish. At some point, someone will come up with the best concept and show the world what this is supposed to look like. After that, it will make tons of sense to everyone why this is needed. The future of wearables is in the awkward adolescent stage. I have a feeling we’ll be here for awhile. At some point, a product will come out that ‘just makes sense,’ and people will flock to have and use it. Until then, we’re all busy carrying around our Palm Treo… I mean Google Glass.”

Jari Arkko, Internet expert for Ericsson and chair for the IETF, said, “Of course it will have an impact. Wearable connected devices are already today’s world. Embedding IP technology in everyday objects, buildings, and infrastructure is a far bigger change.”

Mike Liebhold, senior researcher and distinguished fellow with the Institute for the Future, predicted, “Adaptive ensembles of wearable and embedded devices will be commonly applied by 2025 for fashion, entertainment, communications, health, fitness, productivity, facilities, and the environment. Both Google Glass and Samsung watches are very early, crude prototypes for much more interesting and useful devices that will be widely used by 2025.”

Susan Etlinger, a technology industry analyst for the Altimeter Group, wrote, “We need to think broadly about what we mean when we talk about embedded and wearable devices. This is not a new idea; the research underlying the invention of the pacemaker, for example, dates to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. At the same time, we are now seeing a period of intense interest in the idea of machines we can wear, that can track information and suggest action, that can learn from external signals, and that can communicate with other such devices to present an aggregate view of an ecosystem, whether they are medical devices, communication devices, a home appliance, or a fleet of vehicles. The term Internet of Things is temporarily useful to characterize this phenomenon because it speaks to the ability of discrete devices to communicate independently with each other. But it doesn’t get at the heart of the real innovation that we need to be able to put these devices to productive and ethical use. The challenge, as usual, is less in the collection, processing, and interpretation of the data these devices produce, and more in the conclusions that we make—and the actions that we take—based upon it. The real challenges are essentially human: understanding and behavior. We’re already seeing the ethical and commercial implications of these choices in industries such as finance, health care, and retail. So, the challenge continues to be: what will we learn? And how will we act for the benefit, both of shareholders and of society as a whole? For this, we need to put as much effort into understanding privacy and ethics as we do into building better algorithms. More than anything, Google Glass is a proof of concept for the idea that we can wear a device that chronicles our actions and communicates with others. There’s no real limit to how we can imagine embedding that technology into human bodies and devices. But collecting and automating communication is a far cry from understanding human behavior. It’s time for technologists to collaborate with neuroscientists, social scientists, bioethicists, and others, to promote understanding—to the extent we can ever crack that code. And it’s also time for a healthy dose of humility when it comes to understanding human behavior; we need to keep asking questions, as scientists do. But we won’t always have all the answers.”

Rajnesh Singh, regional director in the Asia-Pacific region for the Internet Society, wrote, “This is largely a matter of how society evolves over time. We will embrace new technology, and we will embed it in our everyday lives with the intention of doing what we need to do better, faster, and cheaper. By the time that future becomes common reality, I expect I either won’t be around, or it won’t have my sanity intact—either way, here’s to a mind-meld future!”

Luis Hestres, a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant at American University School of Communication, responded, “This is a qualified ‘yes’. Wearables definitely have the potential to be very useful in certain areas, such as preventive medicine and the treatment of chronic disease. But inevitably, there will also be a race to deploy this technology to further eliminate any friction from our daily lives—a trend that is not necessarily healthy for society.”

Stowe Boyd, lead researcher for GigaOM Research, said, “All sensors will talk in 2025, and some will converse. The obvious—getting your door to open when you approach the porch—will yield to the more sophisticated. A sociometric algorithm will monitor how people interact in the office, based on ID cards, and will suggest to some individuals that they are spending too much time with others and need to spend some alone time on long-format work, while coaxing others to head over to the cafe to chat with a group of engineers and marketing folks, right now. Because it is working to optimize the conditions for innovation and effectiveness, especially for the top performers, (based on work of Sandy Pentland at MIT), goggles—like Google Glass—will replace flat screens, so we can rethink the form factor of our ‘computication’ devices. Desktop computers will be in museums, although a certain cadre will not give up their keyboards and will resist learning how to subvocalize or sign. People who talk to their goggles are considered infantile, since most people give up on that technique before starting school. Most people have wrist or finger devices that talk with their goggles, even when the goggles are off (in bed, exercising, in the shower, etc.), giving notifications, and allowing a subset of computication capability.”

Dara Barlin, founder of A Big Project, responded, “There are many potential social benefits. The biggest to me is the use of technology to help us change our own personal behaviors, to literally change the neural pathways in our brains to become the people we’ve always wanted to be, instead of the people that we’ve gotten used to being. This social good can help us develop the courage, wisdom, and persistence to do the things that are tough but that we know will make our lives better and make us happier. For example, apps to help us eat healthier, exercise more, take our medications better, stay in school, leave bad relationships, schedule time with friends, enjoy time with our kids, smile more, and follow our dreams…wherever they lead.”

Tony Siesfeld, director of the Monitor Institute wrote, “Yes and no: I expect the Internet of Things will first be a channel for information and entertainment. It will permit like-minded, like-interested people to join together, further Balkanizing geographic communities rather than encouraging interactions among people of diverse backgrounds, interests, and beliefs. Moreover, it will further divide those with the means to buy gizmos from those who do not have the means. I am also sure there will be some good—i.e., disrupting epidemics, allowing a new kind of problem solving, or collaborating at a distance, providing new medium for artistic expression—that will arise.”

Evan Michelson wrote, “The ‘quantified self’ will be expanded greatly. Computers attached onto or into the skin will take real-time respiratory, body temperature, and other measurements that could help to identify potential pain points or bodily breakdowns before they happen. People will use real-time measurements for all services (heat/AC, refrigeration, etc.) to greatly reduce energy consumption. Micro-solar panels on cars, backpacks, and phones will help to power up devices more readily. Google Glass will become Google Contacts, with digital displays interwoven into contacts and other rather invisible devices. This will be linked to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (and their successor services) to allow for immediate geolocation and interpersonal interaction. Privacy will take on a new concept all together.”

Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, commented, “It’s a mistake to assume that ‘wearables’ and ‘scannables’ are how it’s going to come out, but something will come along that improves people’s lives a lot. People aren’t going to interact with the Internet. We talk about that now because it’s new. People will just interact, with the Internet just happening to be the medium they use.”

Andrew K. Przybylski, University of Oxford Internet Institute research fellow, wrote, “Insofar as this advances the ‘smart grid’ idea, it will be positive. Insofar as it opens up new vulnerabilities for reliable technologies to be exploited (i.e., cars and implantable biotech), it will have profound negative effects. Technologies that succeed in capitalising on our proprioceptive sense will become part of the new ways we use Internet technology. Those that require new learning or violate social norms (without offering compelling advantages that change the norms) will fall by the wayside and be considered silly.”

Jefsey Morfin wrote, “’Internet of Things’ is a buzzword, only a natural consequence of the digital renormalization… The digisphere, of which the Internet is a currently leading element is about digitalized exchanges within an anthropobotic society. This society is only a continuation of the human society as per Socrates/Plato/Aristotle. Socrates was opposed to new technologies because writing (the new technology of the time) thoughts impeached them to stay alive with their author. Plato answered that he did not write thought but ideas (i.e., a ‘photo’ of thought at a given time). Aristotle concluded that once an idea has been published, it starts living its own life. Things are just passive ideas. The novelty is that now we can record bots, i.e., active ideas. We have created artificial life. These questions are rooted in an obsolete paradigm that has been subject to the digital renormalization. A renormalization is a mathematical trick that is permitted to avoid considering something infinite. Up to now, we thought that between two points, there was an infinity of points. Now, we know that between two pixels there is nothing. It works, and our brain computes that way and imagines the continuity. Now, the brain has seven senses, including talking and listening to other brains. These empathic capabilities are limited: communications facilitation is about aiding them. This semiotic facilitation is my area of interest: the target is the ‘intersem,’ i.e., the semiotic network, that first needs the Internet+ to be implemented (i.e., BUG removed and Intelligent Use interfaces integrated at the user’s side of the fringe). The devices you quote are just IUI peripherals. Without the 1972/74 BUG or the 1980–1984 pro-Internet political/economical counter-strategy, they would be here for a long time.”

Bryan Alexander, senior fellow at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, wrote, “There will be impacts on many levels. First, we should never underestimate the power of convenience. Wearable computing can make things easier for users, and that’s enough to drive adoption. Second, companies, old and new, have much to gain from the Internet of Things, starting with customer data, and moving on to shaping services based on that data. Expect people in driverless cars to talk to their personal shoppers (AI, probably) through their glasses or armbands, while businesses jockey for their attention, based on minute data advantages. Third, we will socialize in new ways, changing more. Our sense of personal space will both expand (to cover the world) and contract (to not be rude to other multitaskers). Our sense of belonging will continue to redistribute globally and by affiliation. Public and private spaces will acquire a new layer of interaction and mediation, with Twittering car tires, writing on fridges, and projection on cabinets. Convenience will be a factor. Our deep desires to be entertained and connected will lead us to accept these devices. Younger folks will lead the way. Our will to create will make us want these devices ready and on-hand. Naturally, there will be a backlash. We’ve already seen it with the ‘Glassholes’ meme. Expect more neoLuddites to hanker for computing as humanity was intended to have it, on keyboards!”

Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said, “Think about ‘wearables’ in two categories—those devices people choose to wear (Google Glass, for the moment), and those that people are required to wear (RFID tags in identity documents, GPS tracking in smart phones). The problem with the Internet of Things is that the users are just another category of things. It is worth thinking more deeply about the future. By 2025, the more interesting question will be how the Internet is interacting with people, not how people are interacting with the Internet. Google Glass is already part of Google’s sensory network, with all images and sounds that the user obtains sent onto Google’s servers for storage and analysis.”

Marjory Blumenthal, a US government technology policy analyst, wrote, “There will be widespread effects, for sure. Beneficial effects are likely, but they are not the only ones. The use of sensors in phones, and the built environment to monitor environmental conditions of different kinds, can benefit a community and scientific understanding; this has begun to be observed. The monitoring of personal health and wellness, now popular through systems like Fitbit, can give people more insight into, and more control over, their health—it remains to be seen how such information streams may connect to others relating to health, such as electronic health records associated with physicians, hospitals, and so on. Google Glass, and other technologies for capturing, sharing, and streaming images, can have a chilling effect—I have heard college professors talk about that—and can have unintended consequences (i.e., disclosure of the location of domestic violence victims who have escaped their tormentors). Benign interactions will increase; it’s how to deal with the others that’s a challenge.”

Seth Finkelstein, a programmer and consultant and winner of a Pioneer of the Electronic Frontier Award for groundbreaking work in analyzing censorware, wrote, “One need only look to barcodes and RFID tags to see potential applications in supply-chain management. Google Glass as a display is part of a long tradition of display miniaturization. The Samsung watch is also part of a long tradition of fancy watches, which only get used by gadget-lovers because the watch is inferior to the far more powerful pocket device and is harder to use (i.e., calculator-watches always lost out to pocket calculators). Also, people’s wrists are rather harsh environments for expensive screens—it’s too easy to scratch the face, or soak it. The keyboard, in some form (I’m including the touchscreen), has proven to be a surprisingly durable interface over decades. It seems to be the sweet spot of the combination of fine motor control with what’s cost-effective in terms of resolution from consumer devices. While all sorts of exotic technology has been shown in prototype, it never seems to be robust in widespread use or practical in terms of widespread manufacturing. I could see a specialized (and expensive) interface for people with severe physical disabilities that can be used, i.e., laser tracking of eye movements. And there will be ‘Kinect’-like interfaces in contexts where only a few choices are needed. But the fact is, using eye movements or gestures, or anything other than typing, is simply too tiring or error-prone where there’s a high amount of information needed. There’s already enough of a problem with repetitive strain injury as it is; other body parts are even less adapted to such tasks.”

Leah Lievrouw, a professor of Information Studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, responded, “The term ‘widespread and beneficial effects’ is slightly leading. The effects will be widespread, definitely (that’s more or less the definition of the Internet of Things). Beneficial? Yes, to the extent that people find that interconnected devices offer more convenience and mobility. But the potential for any device or person to affect any other in ways that may feel intrusive and threatening is correspondingly large. Plus, the whole question of the return to strongly centralized computing—in the form of so-called ‘Cloud’ or software-as-service configurations that would operate and govern the proliferation of personal devices—has passed, almost without comment. It reverses the whole point and philosophy of ‘personal computing’ and the moves away from centralized mainframes that were seen as so important to personal autonomy and creativity—until a few years ago.”

Brad Berens, a research fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, wrote, “Not only will the Internet of Things—including wearables and smart homes and smart cars—have hugely beneficial impact on medicine, education, and the like, but it will also have hugely negative impacts as well. We’ve already seen how mobile phones enable the rise of helicopter parenting: with embedded technologies, apron strings will grow longer, privacy will be harder to achieve, and new forms of criminal mischief will become available as individuals find their pacemakers vulnerable to hacking and the like. Hardware will start to disappear by 2025, as we will no longer need to carry a bunch of technology with us. Instead, whether via biometrics or wearable devices, we will interact with common appliances proximate to us at all times.”

Mike Osswald, vice president for experience innovation at Hanson Inc., wrote, “Health monitoring devices will be the most significant tools to counter the aging population needs for pre-condition assessment and chronic condition management. Other wearable devices and home monitoring tools are simply convenience items that the public will adopt but they won’t contribute to a better life, as any ‘free time’ gained will be spent on idle entertainment. Screens will only be so relevant as other haptic signals, and thought control will certainly be more convenient (and allow us to continue to look like humans versus cyborgs).”

JD Lasica, CEO for Cruiseable.com and founder of Socialmedia.biz, responded, “I don’t want or need my refrigerator to order milk for me. Smart watches may catch on but will never approach the number of smartphones. Google Glass will be a commercial disappointment at the outset but will gain wider acceptance when it’s incorporated into existing fashion.”

Geoff Livingston, author and president of Tenacity5 Media, wrote, “Many, many things will be easier and more intuitive for consumers. I really see retail loyalists, people that frequent specific brands, as the true beneficiaries. They will get things they regularly order and want—how they want it, when they want it—in a much more expedited fashion. The real difficulty will be getting people to provide their data to allow brands to provide these kinds of services. There will be major moments of creepiness where people will object. And those moments will probably create legislated movements. I really see pornography and abuses that occur via wearable cameras as the most likely source of problems on a personal level. On a business level, trade secrets will need to be protected. Wearable computing hype will move away from the head to the wrist. Google Glass is too awkward and clunky to be anything more than a niche product. Meanwhile, Nike+, FuelBand, and Fitbit continue to show how wearable computing can quietly be accepted in day-to-day life. Expect Apple and Samsung to take advantage of the form factor and define the market. In the long term, it’s hard not to envision embeddable chips and other forms of ‘native’ computing that occur within a person’s actual body.”

Thomas Haigh, historian of information technology and associate professor of information studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, wrote, “The technology is spreading, and people will find uses for it. I would put more confidence in widespread use than profound social changes or major beneficial effects, but human ingenuity is hard to predict. Scanning/recognizing people and being prompted with data about them will probably be the basis of many successful applications. I suspect that Google Glass will be a niche product for a while, rather than spread as quickly as smartphones to near-ubiquity: more of a geek subculture product or something for service industry people than a mainstream item. In the long term, something like this, a contact lens, or an implanted device, probably will become a standard part of being human.”

Marc Prensky, Practical Visionary author and speaker, said, “Wearable and even implantable devices and the Internet of Things, will just feel like the normal evolution of the digital world and will be no big deal to the Internet generation. To many from The Last Pre-Internet Generation (TLPIG), it is likely to feel weird. Embedded chips and implanted devices in our bodies will become mainstream far more quickly than many expect—they will be ‘functional tattoos,’ and most people will have them. As The Last Pre-Internet Generation and its old attitudes dies off, things will change a lot, and quickly—and although there will be some glitches and resistance, the changes will be almost entirely for the better.”

Joe Kochan, chief operating officer for US Ignite, observed, “Sensors are getting smaller and will be embedded in nearly everything by 2025. I am not certain that the Internet of Things will come to be in the same way in which it is envisioned today, but small, networked sensors will be a part of most, if not all, of the things we buy and use by 2025. Heads-up displays in cars, houses, and elsewhere will become more common. I find that Corning’s A Day Made of Glass visualization/video seems to be a very plausible vision of the future. It’s less likely that we will be wearing our screens and more likely that our screens will follow us wherever we go and will appear on the devices/surfaces around us once we are in proximity.”

John Hopkins, a university educator in social informatics, art, and activism, responded, “The Internet of Things, as another in a string of concepts that is posited as being the bringer of greater freedom, will simply allow those controlling the communication protocols to access and parse more and more detailed information on those participating in the system. Who will dictate the protocols that subsequently re-form people’s lives? Certainly not the general population, and this raises serious questions as to the meaning of freedom in general.”

JP Rangaswami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com, wrote, “The proliferation of sensors and actuators will continue. ‘Everything’ will become nodes on a network. The quality of real-time information that becomes available will take the guesswork out of much of capacity planning and decision-making. We will really understand what it means to move from ‘stocks’ to ‘flows,’ as in the Hagel-Seely Brown-Davison model. The net effect will be to reduce waste everywhere: in physical flows and logistics, in the movement of people and goods; in logical flows and logistics, in the movement of ideas and information; decisions will be made faster and better, based on more accurate information; prior errors in assumption and planning will be winkled out more effectively. ‘Inventory’ will be reduced, as will the waste associated with the decay that is an intrinsic part of inventory. This will affect the food you buy and cook and eat; the fuel you use to power yourself, your devices, and your vehicles; the time you take to do things; and, as you learn to live longer, the burden of care will reduce as a result of far better monitoring of, and response to, your physical and emotional state, in terms of healthcare. Our notions of privacy and sharing will continue to evolve as a result, with new tradeoffs needing to be understood and dealt with. People will engage with information using all of their senses: touch and feel, sight, sound, smell, and taste—using them in combination, more often than not. Wearable, connected devices will become embedded more and more in our bodies, more like implants, as in the Glass becoming more like contact lenses. As that happens, our ability to use nerve impulses to engage with information will expand dramatically. We will see today’s connected devices become smaller and smaller and slowly merge into the part of the body from where the particular sense related to that device operates.”

Ben Fuller, dean of the faculty of humanities at the International University of Management in Windhoek, Namibia, wrote, “The Internet of Things is already here. The impacts are already real. For example, I help support a rural, poor family in Northern Namibia. They depend on agriculture for much of their subsistence, and this year has seen the worst drought in thirty years. Here in Windhoek, I would transfer money to Meme Helena’s account—she lives about ten kilometres outside a small town near the Angolan Border. Once the funds are in her account, the bank sends her an SMS, so she knows that the money will be there if she takes the time and expense to travel to town. The impact of the Internet of Things is major in a country like Namibia, where the population is small and widespread. Information about health, education, finances, and family now flows with an immediacy that was unthinkable 10 years ago. The impacts will only increase over the next 12 years. Anywhere there is the need for communication, we will see the development of both social and commercial applications. Problems will arise. Here in Namibia, we have talked about the problems of connectivity on different social issues. Cyber-bullying comes to mind. We have also discussed how increased connectivity makes it easier for criminals to contact people and take advantage of their innocence. Human trafficking comes to mind. Socially, we will still have the problems of etiquette, as people forget to turn off or silence devices. Privacy of the data transmitted will become a major issue. We may not end up with Google Glass or watches as a form factor, but wearable connected devices will become widely accepted. (What is the difference, by the way between a wearable device and one that we carry in our pockets or purses?) Innovations to things like clothing, contact lenses, prescription glasses, and jewelry, may prove more popular than Google Glass or a watch. We already communicate with bodily signals and have done so for millions of years. Wearable devices may only enhance that human characteristic. Using thoughts is another matter. Do we really want our thoughts to be known?”

Herb Lin, chief scientist with the Computer Science and Telecommnications Board for the National Research Council, wrote, “The effects will be widespread, yes. Beneficial? Maybe—it’s not clear yet. People will not be interacting with computers via thought or eye movements for a long time.”

Joel Halpern, a distinguished engineer at Ericsson, responded, “As devices become smaller, lower power, and easier to interact with, the effect will be pervasive. The environment itself will be studded with sensors that can provide accurate and useful information. People moving through the environment will find it easy to find information, objects, people, and situations of interest. This is likely to result in far more efficient resource utilization and far more robust environments. For example, bridges with sensors will know how much they are being used, how much they are wearing out, and will provide real-time information to people about conditions. At the same time, this amplifies the privacy problems referred to in the first question. If everything is connected and communicating, everything we do is potentially known. We will likely have to accept somewhat (maybe even much) less privacy, even as I hope we take steps to ensure we do have some privacy. And the current email spam problem will be dwarfed by the efforts of business interests to provide us ‘information’ guiding us towards their commerce. One of the other challenges is to make sure that the benefits of these technologies are available across the spectrum of our society and across societies around the world. There is significant risk that these tools can heighten the degree to which those with resources are in an advantageous position to control and manipulate more resources, relative to those without. While I doubt that we will get to direct thought interaction with devices or the Internet by 2025, I do think we will have moved to a paradigm where much smaller gestures and actions will be all that is needed to interact. Both the Samsung watch and Google Glass are tentative steps towards this. I expect that, while one will be able to trace the lineage from those to what we have by 2025, it will likely appear quite different.”

Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review, responded, “I suspect that sensors and embedded devices in the ordinary fabric of life (the ‘Internet of Things’) will become commonplace sooner than widespread acceptance of the wilder wearable devices. That’s because the Internet of Things has clear economic advantages and is already changing our urban structures. At the same, however, we’re carrying powerful, socially accepted computers around in our pockets, in the form of phones, and it’s not clear that devices like Google Glass will be accepted in the same way. Still, I anticipate that secondary devices that interact with our phones (like smart watches and personal-quantification devices) will be unremarkable by 2025. By 2025, Google Glass will be an important tool for vertical business uses like inventory control or library services. It will not be worn for civilian use. On the other hand, almost all non-mechanical watches will be smart watches. There will be other, not-yet-invented socially unintrusive smart devices, too.”

Nigel Cameron, a futurist and consultant with the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, responded, “Obviously there will be impacts. There will be huge disruption, which will be greater because of such little forethought, especially in the United States. Glass and, ahem, watches, are clunky first steps. BMI will be emerging by then.”

Larry Gell, director-general of the International Agency for Economic Development, wrote, “Yes, to both benefits and negative impacts. But then, isn’t life kind of a Yin and Yang? The public is not that dumb. The ‘Cloud’ sounds nice but is only a corporation’s huge bank of servers collecting your information. People will rebel against this (some are already), but if the corporations beat them to the game of locking them into their software and allow for no escape from their ‘Cloud,’ the corporations and governments win. I am betting on the corporations and governments winning that game. Why not, if someone can create the devices and make them work so people must have them? Peter Drucker said, ‘The only function of a company is to create a customer.’ The ultimate goal is get all people on a minute-by-minute-monitoring data-collection system. Big data! Of course, they will be billed monthly for such great and convenient service.”

Michael Glassman, an associate professor at Ohio State University, wrote, “One of the things Google Glass is showing us is that individuals prefer to treat the Internet as a tool, an extension of the self, but not as part of the self. It is the same reason the cane has never been replaced by an attached extension of the hand (which would theoretically be more convenient). Humans do have boundaries. For the reasons stated above, wearable, connected devices are going to be a flop.”

Janet Salmons, an independent researcher with Vision2Lead, Inc., wrote, “We’ll communicate with our cars, refrigerators, televisions, thermostats, etc. The down sides may include a more distracted society as people try to manage aspects of their lives remotely. I really don’t want to try to drive wearing Google Glass. I fear the emergence of a significant digital divide, when some who are less capable find themselves increasingly cut off from even basic everyday life. These devices will be accepted and widely adopted.”

Mikey O’Connor, an elected representative to ICANN’s GNSO Council, representing the ISP and Connectivity Provider Constituency, wrote, “The Internet of Things will expand dramatically, largely funded by Google, Amazon, and other private-sector actors who are motivated to increase their markets and economic power. These things will be powerful additions to the surveillance portfolio they already wield, both for themselves and for their governmental partners. The public will cheerfully adopt this technology, trading off their privacy and control over their lives for the convenience offered by those inter-networked things. A privately controlled Cloud that can monitor and record the thoughts and eye-movements of millions of people will provide the basis for the ultimate in psychological warfare and political control. By 2025, at least one bigoted regime will have completely exterminated a minority population, greatly aided by this capability. This effort will be made possible by multiple informants providing real-time identification and location information about targeted peoples.”

Zach Braiker, the CEO of a strategic consultancy wrote, “Yes and no. In business especially, the abilities to easily understand the condition of parts of a plane or a vehicle, for instance, and create detailed track records for components to provide an insightful look at the health of a whole will revolutionize manufacturing. This question should be informed not only by the advances in technology, but also the advances in sports and fashion, which will spur its growth. Perhaps our existing major sports leagues will not allow technology-enhanced human play, but this gives rise to new sports leagues and new sporting concepts. Once we aspire to be like these enhanced athletes, adoption will follow. The same idea applies for advances in the fashion industry, as garments change their look and feel to allow for conditions, and as celebrities wear devices to amplify their status and provide extraordinary abilities (i.e., the ability to interpret body language, to scan an audience and look for a threat, to have their voice projected), then wearables will become mainstream—not a part of a sci-fi fringe movement but a must-have.”

Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher for Microsoft Research, responded, “The greatest challenge in utilizing embedded devices is powering them. As power requirements drop and efforts to harvest energy efforts bear fruit, we could see a breakthrough by 2025. Inexpensive light-powered ‘solar energy’ hand calculators were common 25 years ago, so we should get there. Until we do, wearable devices can harvest energy from our movements, which will also take us close to data collection points for transmission or scanning. We will see more devices reporting on our health and fitness. Any device run on electricity represents an opportunity for sensors and effectors to assist or work symbiotically. The commercial potential is great—providing new services or encouraging upgrades to existing devices and services. Socially, this will feed into the already rampant challenges of more of our activities being digitally recorded, and thus potentially available to others, who may or may not have what we consider to be our best interests in mind, whether they are other individuals, enterprises, or governments.  I would not invest in Google Glass or the Samsung watch. I had friends 10 to 15 years ago who confidently predicted that by now we would all be walking around with dangling ear buds, and that has not happened. I can imagine very lightweight, thin, and, perhaps, flexible phones that attach aesthetically to sleeves, allowing a larger display than a watch, which fewer people are used to wearing anyway. Machines will certainly be able to utilize an awareness of our gaze direction, but I don’t expect people to delegate responses to eye movements, or thoughts to technology mediators. Severely disabled people will continue to benefit from these technologies, and detection could be part of the care of the elderly or infants, but for routine communication by 2025, I would be surprised. Keep in mind that a decade essentially spans the advance of technology from the iPod to the iPhone 4, or Windows XP to Windows 8.”

Lucas Gonze predicted, “The Internet of Things represents the movement of digitally-media value outward, from office desks to the context in which it is most needed; however, it will also enable increased government surveillance and control.”

Micha Benoliel, CEO co-founder of Open Garden, posited this scenario for 2025, “Embedded devices, wearables, and scannables generate such a high level of information that it becomes possible to forecast with a good level of accuracy the impact we have on climate and adjust, almost in real-time, our impact. Big data is used to regulate consumption of energy and flow of populations to avoid natural disasters. Sensors and technology become the DNA of every commonly used devices, objects, or materials of our environment. As new, low-power ,wireless technologies and dynamic wireless power generators take off, everything interacts with you. Every surface becomes a display, and objects are all sensing. How to communicate your identity, or what are your preferences for a short period of time, and protect your privacy, becomes a key element of the ecosystem.”

Kevin Jones, founder of SOCAP, Good Capital, Impact Hubs, predicted, “The Internet of Things will be linked to robots and enlightened collective intelligence. This survey is lacking because it has not asked about emergent social factors. It is myopic at this point. Google Glass will become huge, but it will be almost invisible. Eye response computation is going to come soon.”

Dean Thrasher, founder of Infovark Inc., wrote, “I imagine that wearable devices will continue to have widespread effects, but that most of these will have relatively subtle impacts on our lives. What was the impact of the pocket watch on society? Or the bicycle? Both of these earlier inventions had their effects and were seen as important advancements in their time. I’m not convinced that the Internet of Things will make the dramatic changes ripple that many of its supporters do. I expect more wearable, connected devices to appear, and do so in a much greater array of forms than are available today. But I’m not convinced that people will allow their devices to replace or mediate their discussions. Humans already convey an enormous amount of information in their body language and eye movements. Do we really think that these new wearable devices will improve on millions of years of evolution and ages of social history? I’m doubtful.”

Fred Zimmerman of Pagekicker.com wrote, “Yes, Net-enabled devices will be ubiquitous, although I am skeptical about the benefit of Dick Tracy iWatches and malware-infested rice cookers. They’ll be obsolete, as will most 10-year-old technology. Haptics are coming. Thought-controlled typewriters are a bit further off.”

William Schrader, co-founder and CEO of PSINet, the first commercial ISP, said, “The answer to this simple question is yes and no. For the hundreds of millions of individuals willing to share their interests, locations, and network of friends with everyone watching, including governments and Big Data, the wearable and scannable devices will be easily adopted. For those less willing to share, they will not be used except in the ‘private setting,’ if one exists. And, everyone will know that even information collected during private settings will be delivered to governments and Big Data. On the positive side, wearable devices will aid users to improve their personal, physical, or mental health, such as constantly-monitored blood sugar for diabetics, saturated oxygen levels for those with breathing disorders, diet monitoring for those watching their weight, and numerous disease monitoring tools for people who care about their well-being. Hundreds of types of devices will be developed for all kinds of purposes, and well-intentioned users will enjoy the benefits. The results can be read by doctors, and some feedback could be given to the wearer if urgent steps are needed.  On the negative side, some devices, such as a galvanic skin response (GSR) monitor, intended to aid the wearer in telling him when he is nervous, can also be remotely monitored by Big Data (read: governments) in real time to detect lying. Intrusion by anyone wishing to harm another person will be much easier when self monitoring devices are worn routinely, which are also broadcast to the wearer’s smart phone, which can be remotely monitored by others in real-time. In short, if people fear nothing and trust everyone, they will wear these devices easily. For those who are vigilant in protecting their privacy, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to sell a device to them. The Internet is everywhere now, almost. By 2025, the Internet will be everywhere and will still be monitored by Big Data constantly. Everyone on earth who can see or hear, will be able to communicate with anyone they have contact with at anytime of day or night, and at no marginal cost. This is the difference between the Telephone Company and the Internet Companies. Remember in the twentieth century, when making a phone call internationally would cost two Euro or two dollars per minute? Now it is free with VoIP. The use of video between two people, whether for business or personal use, will continue to increase. And the wearable devices each user may have on may be enabled for the other person they are communicating with to ‘read.’ This is similar to the way body language has always helped in communications and is why email is so much less effective than a short video conference; however, the skills of high-quality body language reading, when converted by a wearable device for a novice listener, will then be a surprise when they discover the person talking to them is lying. The pros and cons of advanced devices are always intrusive. The proof will be when the military requires them to be worn at all times by soldiers; that alone will be convincing that they tell more than the wearer wants to be telling.”

George Lessard, information curator and media specialist for MediaMentor, wrote, “As much as the marketers and manufacturers will develop more and more of these devices, I believe that ‘the powers that be’ will build in backdoor, remotely controlled ‘off-switches’ that they will use to turn them off whenever they think they need to be shut down, making them mere toys. Of course, there will be more ways of connecting to these devices because they will be used in the workplace more and more—like the use of drones.”

Deborah Lupton, a research professor on the faculty at the University of Canberra, Australia, responded, “Wearable and embedded technology and ‘smart objects’ that can interconnect will be more common in 2025. Many people will find these devices useful and productive. Only certain individuals, however, will want to voluntarily take up wearable tech to quantify the self. Others may be more interested in devices such as Google Glass, but this will raise important issues about surveillance and to what extent these devices should monitor or watch others. I am also concerned about the dissemination of wearable technologies and other self-monitoring devices in medicine and healthcare, which I believe will grow in the next decade or so, particularly in response to economic imperatives to save money on healthcare. While these technologies have much to offer, they may begin to displace the human interaction and emotional support that so many people desire and need from the doctor-patient relationship. There are also significant implications for health insurance related to the use of wearable and embedded tech for health monitoring. If health insurance companies continue to incorporate these technologies and to charge higher premiums to those who either choose not to use them or do not meet set goals related to fitness and body weight etc., this raises major ethical and social discrimination concerns, given what we sociologists know about the social determinants of health and illness states.”

Riel Miller, the head of foresight for UNESCO, based in Paris, responded, “This survey is cumulative—if the personalization and quality of data issues are transformed, then the augmented reality and normalization of all aspects of health, learning, producing, entertaining, finding meaning, etc., will be part of living—not a surprise since this is what it means to live one’s life.”

Nishant Shah, visiting professor at the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University, Germany, wrote, “The more interesting question would be to understand how the connectivity and simulated worlds of the Internet will produce slippage between things and human beings. As we produce more sapient devices that mimic human intelligence and emotions, and we build more technologies that sustain our understanding of being human, it is going to be interesting to look at how the question of (human) rights, justice, entitlement, labour, sexuality, emotions, intimacy, etc., change as we create an Internet of Things. Or, in other words, I would look at the Internet of Things as not merely a causality of human ambition, but also the ontology of human existence going in the future.”

Matias Perel, an entrepreneur and business leader, wrote, “It is my belief that finally wearable devices will be part of the future. However, the ability from scanning the uniquely patterns that make a human being are more likely to either support or replace wearable devices by making devices available everywhere. Google Glass today makes the life of travelers easier, and it makes the life of anybody that needs to focus on a task and access information at the same time easier. I believe that by then the watch and the glass will have evolve to a format unrecognizable today.”

Rex Troumbley, a research assistant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, wrote, “One of the most pervasively terrible ideas we have convinced ourselves of is that the Internet, which can disrupt or innovate everything, is somehow immune from being displaced or replaced. The second most-terrible idea is that the Internet and the ‘Cloud’ are immaterial. The Cloud is simply a server connected to the Internet. Given the evolution of digital networks over the last decade, the Internet of Things so often predicted is much more likely to be a ‘Thingifying of the Internet.’ With coterminous events like climate change and increasingly expensive energy production, we will have necessarily become more aware of the materiality of the Internet and the Cloud by 2025, as both draw considerable electricity and produce a lot of pollution and waste. If the Internet is still around in 2025, it is likely that it will be used the same way people today use land telephone lines. There will be many faster, more innovative, options to use, rather than the Internet, but the Internet may continue as a backup or a more reliable way to move information and remotely control devices. Wearable, connected devices may become increasingly ubiquitous, but we should not expect them to still be using the old-fashioned Internet by then. People, and things, may prefer to interact via many alternatives. For example, computers may rely upon DNA for communication with humans using viral infection, or devices might communicate with each other more readily via music and sound waves. People may interact using smells rather than thoughts, emitting or receiving chemical transmissions between each other. Google Glass, which is little more than a camera and a low-resolution display at the corner of one’s visual field (which I have used and think is more about publicity than utility), might be replaced by more useful devices like computing clothing with haptic feedback interfaces and mechanical or biological implants under the skin and replacing organs.”

Liza Potts, an assistant professor and senior researcher at Michigan State University, responded, “One can imagine a set of wearables that can enhance and augment our everyday experiences. Common activities like shopping for groceries might become better if our own shopping lists were attached to these ‘wearables,’ helping us navigate stores in much faster ways than we do now, to help us locate products and services that we want, rather than want to be sold to us. For example, say you are purchasing items for a spaghetti dinner. The device would navigate you to the aisle for cheese, pasta, canned tomatoes, and walk you to the bakery for fresh bread. What’s new? Not getting lost in a store and being reminded to pick up that fresh bread—missing from your list this time, but knowing you bought it last time and everyone enjoyed it. To take a dystopian viewpoint, the social and political difficulties we are now seeing with Internet privacy will only intensify as we are tracked, traced, and followed via these wearable devices. My greatest concern is for privacy. We need to just be, rather than having technology mediate that experience for us. Perhaps these augmented technologies can blend in better (in future iterations). Right now, they are intrusive and awkward. We need more people working on social user experience, especially for these kinds of devices.”

Frank Pasquale, a law professor at a large US university, responded, “There will be a large class of people essentially ‘tethered’ via the Internet of things to certain activities, health maintenance, employment, tasks, and even games. Health status may well improve thanks to behaviorist-inspired micro-targeted manipulation of affect, opportunities, and environment. But as Rivera’s film Sleep Dealer shows, the workplace plugged into the Internet of Things will be more productive and more prison-like (or, to be more accurate, more like an ‘ankle monitor’ of the mind that upgrades scanning not merely to location, but also to observable ‘outputs’ like typing and eye movements). Jonathan Crary’s 24/7 is also an essential guide to this future. It sets the stage for extraordinarily targeted monitoring and manipulation of these individuals. There will be a small class of ‘watchers’ and a much larger class of the experimented upon, the watched. Rules that govern institutional research boards should be applied here, too.”

Jesse Stay, founder of Stay N’ Alive Productions, wrote, “My favorite part of all this is in the medical field. The more we know about the health of humans collectively, and the more data we’re collecting from newly-created sensors that humans wear, the longer the lifespan of humans will grow. The lifespan of humans will grow exponentially as this becomes more prevalent.”
Steffen Schilke, a research scientist who works for a government in Europe, predicted, “These will work as supporting functions—quite an interesting development making things ‘easier.’ From a privacy aspect, there will be a quiet zone (i.e., the house or a room in it), but if the user wants, he or she will be always on in more ways than today.”

Michael Kende, professional economist, wrote, “Having been an early adopter of the Pebble, there is no question that wearable devices will be significant, but they may need another generation or two of growth to be truly usable. Combined with AI and smart agents, they will be able to output key information for us, without requiring detailed input from us, by combining an understanding of our environment (where we are, what we are doing) with a detailed understanding of our habits, preferences, and activities (from our calendar, emails, etc.). On a technical side, this will require a move to IPv6, so there are enough IP addresses for the new devices, alongside a comprehensive privacy structure regarding the use of this new information. Based on my use of the Pebble watch, it is more socially acceptable to take a look at the watch when it buzzes that there is a new message than to pull out a phone, but of course, that can be overused as well. As such, it is a good extension of the intelligence of the phone, and if feasible, a replacement for some phone functionality. As for the Google Glass, I do not believe it would have widespread usage unless it could be integrated into normal glasses, and even then, or especially then, there will be significant privacy and social concerns with this level of online access.”

Marcel Bullinga, futurist and author of author of Welcome to the Future Cloud—2025 in 100 Predictions, responded, “There will be benefits and threats at the same time, of course. No trend whatsoever has only beneficial consequences! Two major areas of impact will be work and education. There will be diminished work skills: less need of knowing how to handle equipment, machines, cars, etc.—they will handle themselves, and interfaces will become super easy and intuitive. There will also be diminished educational skills: less need of knowing facts, as they present themselves on the spot in real-time on your glasses. A major global megatrend here is de-skilling—our children will learn less and achieve more. Of course, they will also suffer from major social media stress traumas. The rise of the body-as-key and the body-as-interface is highly likely because the advantages are clear in terms of better decision-making on the spot, but it will also raise major social distress, not because of the augmented reality part, but because of the video-capture feature. We will not only have Google Glass-free zones everywhere, but also personal anti video firewalls around our body, protecting us from spying.”

Lyndsay Grant, a researcher at the University of Bristol in the UK, said, “[There will be] some beneficial, but also potentially negative, effects. I would see wearable devices likely to be connected via location-sensitive systems, and thus provide increasingly location and context-sensitive information and interaction, allowing for hyper-coordination of people and objects at a micro-level in time and space.”

Daniel Miller, a professor at University College, London, responded, “This seems a clear trajectory that is already developed sufficiently that it is easy to imagine its continuity into the future. Most of these are likely to first develop at two opposite poles. One will be the emergence of useful applications in areas such as medical dependency. The other is expensive high fashion for the vanguard elite. More widespread mass usage is likely to follow later on. Advances of this kind already exist in the medical field, and one suspects they will be taken up in the military. So, there will certainly be advances, but I suspect these will be slow and complicated because they will involve difficult legal issues and new regulations. So, I don’t expect a revolutionary change by 2025.”

Duane Steward, a self-employed consultant and solution architect for Medical Knowledge Engineering & Affiliates, wrote, “How can this be stopped? In a world where extreme poverty does not block smartphone ownership—look around, and observe the paradox—the impact is inevitable, albeit limited in predictability. Unintended usage is no more preventable than death or greed.”

Vytautas Butrimas, a chief adviser for a government ministry with 23 years of experience in ICTs and defense policy, responded, “One has to remember that for every good use of technology, there is also a potential for ‘dark’ uses. The many devices, or ‘Internet of Things,’ hold great promise. One wonders, however, at the new vulnerabilities that will also come with the Internet of Things. It is hard to say if the scale will tilt in favor of the good use of that technology. So many seem to be interested in looking for weaknesses that can be exploited. The most important thing about the Internet is trust. It was built on trust, and if trust degrades, so will the usefulness of the Internet of Things. Wearable devices will not be so popular in 2025. There are too many possibilities for damaging them, or for putting them out of alignment (bumping them into things or sitting on them by accident). Maybe there will also be some health concerns involved with so much electromagnetic radiation being generated constantly about the body. Perhaps there will be some reaction against these electronic communication devices in favor of a return to traditional human-to-human forms of communication. I imagine meeting and talking to each other without the help of Skype or some other electronic device. Privacy may be more valued than taking the risk of being part of a surveillance scheme.”

Robert E. McGrath, a retired software engineer who participated in critical developments of the World Wide Web, wrote, “Wearables, etc., will be widespread, displacing today’s absurdly clunky phones and tablets. Enough said. Whether there will be ‘beneficial’ effects depends on your values. All the issues with mobile devices will be amplified. Tracking my every move is beneficial for the powerful tracker, but it may or may not be beneficial for me. If there is an Internet (which could be pretty iffy, considering the previous question about cybersecurity), it will be what you see today, only faster. Google Glass and Samsung are silly toys: we will laugh at them in a few years because whole body interfaces are a really, really important development. At this point, we don’t really know how to do them, and we don’t really know how they will really work. There should be a lot of public investment in this. Call me.”

David Orban, CEO of Dotsub, wrote, “The radically increasing number of smart, connected devices are going to need, and take advantage of, the AI systems becoming available in order to function in total autonomy. Self-deployment, monitoring, and aggregating sensor data and functions will lead to actions and alerts, reaching human levels in vanishingly small numbers. The Internet of Things will be notable for being invisible. The increase in computing power will allow a much higher degree of understanding of the human communication spectrum. Emotional computing will allow the reading and writing of human emotions, and we will naturally project anthropomorphizing ideals on computers, perceiving them as empathic. Computing will cease to be characterized by a given form factor, as all personal preferences, and what we today call applications, will be available in the environment, transparently.”

Gary McGraw, the CTO for Cigital, Inc., and software security expert, wrote, “The last vestiges of privacy will disappear as people willingly broadcast where they are and what they are doing at all times. Wearables will be standard-issue and ubiquitous. They will begin to anticipate what we want to do. They will save us tons of time.”
Jamie LaRue, director of Douglas County (CO) Libraries, wrote, “The first consequence is the further subdivision of rich and poor. What will determine your economic status won’t be your house and car; it will be your clothes, implants, their services, and their bandwidth. Immediate access to information, software agents to take advantage of stock market opportunities and global news feeds, will put capitalists and government officials alike in a position of far greater power and influence. The benefits will be distributed unequally at the top but may also result in greater efficiencies in public safety, emergency response, etc. As noted above, this also introduces the possibility of absolute surveillance and tyranny—with houses that know what you read, who you talked to, and can place you under ‘house arrest’ based on automated profiles. Ongoing subvocalized conversations, eye movement interactions, and gestures with something like an AI or Siri-servant will be common. At some point, we’re more likely to see Google contact lenses than external devices.”

Robert Ubell wrote, “I’ve checked ‘yes,’ since your survey offers no intermediate choice. Also, your question has two parts, with only one answer. For one part, I’ve noted, ‘Yes.’ I predict that the Internet of Things and wearable devices, among other such applications, will emerge as a major industry over time, but I’m not sure about the answer to your implied question that these will be beneficial. As we’ve seen, major technological transformations are not all positive. Many have negative effects—unemployment, emotional, and other consequences that are far from positive. It’s not wise to be either utopian or dystopian about new technologies.”

Marsali Hancock, president and CEO of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, wrote, “The gains and convenience of having devices that can be worn will outweigh consumers’ concerns. I predict that trusted, and self-selected, networks will be chosen by individuals interested in services provided by a wide range of connected devices.”

Cristian Berrío Zapata, a doctoral student in information science at the Universidade Estadual Paulista, wrote, “Many benefits are coming, and will keep coming, from the Cloud, but the cost will be privacy. [There will be] no privacy at all, and this will be accepted and embraced by users. Data skin will be the tendency, making cellular or similar devices like a hub, transmitting various kinds of information from different sources like the vest, glasses, health monitors, etc. Not even your DNA will be private as portable blood testing devices will be online.”

Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab, wrote, “Biometrics will be in full force. This will be good for individuals but not so good if the data is shared with employers and health care providers. I could see wearable devices not just monitoring behavior, but actually changing behavior, especially in areas of substance abuse, depression, and obesity.”

Vanda Scartezini, a partner with Polo Consultores Associados, responded, “In the automation/robotic question, I also included the Internet of Things. Then, please see the answer at that question. I guess these alternatives will grow slowly, since interaction is not only a cultural behavior, but also an instinctive desire to be part of a group for protection. I believe these alternatives will be very restrictive for personal contact, though a part of humankind will prefer such king of interaction.”

Steve Jones, distinguished professor of communication at the University of Illinois-Chicago, responded, “This is likely the next major area of technological growth. Most everything that can have some sort of connectivity, whether it’s RFID or Bluetooth or whatever, will do so. Managing it will be an interesting challenge, from the standpoint of the technology (i.e., doling out bandwidth, IP addressing, frequency, and other forms of communication conflicts, etc.). From the standpoint of users, the issue will be how to get all of it to work, what to do when it doesn’t work, whether to rely on it, etc. And from the standpoint of the social-political-economic, the issue will be will it be secure, can it be tracked, will certain brands/devices go out of business/no longer be supported, etc. This is potentially more fraught than the diffusion of the Internet because most of this technology will operate without direct user input, with users unaware. I expect we’ll continue to communicate verbally and non-verbally, as we always have; it’s the etiquette that will change. Just as the cell phone ushered in new ways of interacting in public, at home, in groups, and so on, so, too, will these technologies take a long, long time to develop new norms and understandings.”

Russell Bailey, library director at Providence College, wrote, “Embedded, wearable, and scannable devices will likely increase slowly but inexorably in coming years: Google-Glass-type visual/optical devices; vital-signs-monitoring devices (breath, urine, pulse, blood-pressure, temperature, blood-sugar, EKG, EEG, etc.); disease monitors (‘cancer’-cell presence and movement, epileptic seizure onset, panic attack onset, etc.); and unique identification (chips, ‘RFID’). There will likely be a sort of ‘divide’—participants, partial participants, non-participants. There will likely be classes of participants (i.e., ‘criminals’ or ‘outsiders,’ who will be forced/required to accept an embedded device). There will likely be exclusive classes, who can afford embedded/wearable/scannable resources and tools that provide exclusive access or privacy or faster, front-row access. I suspect, that ‘tools’ like Google-Glass and the Samsung ‘watch’ will be relatively common. I also believe that some ESP, energy-controlled, thought-controlled impact will be even more broadly present than it currently is.”

Karl Fogel, partner at Open Tech Strategies, president at QuestionCopyright.org, said, “No, yuck, we don’t need this, and most people aren’t asking for it. I’ve never been quite clear on where the demand is supposedly coming from. The scarce resource will continue to be human attention. There is a limit to the usefulness of devices that are worn in public but that demand attention because it is often socially and practically unacceptable to give those devices enough attention to make them worth the trouble of configuring and interacting with. Cell phones already aren’t that hard to carry and interact with; once the portability barrier has been breached, as it has, I’m not sure there’s a lot of extra value in whether the device is on your head or your wrist or in your pocket. The bottleneck is now your attention, not the availability of the device.”

Maurice Vergeer, an assistant professor at Radboud University Njimegen in the Netherlands, wrote, “The main issue is that it’ll probably be very fun to use these wearables and scannables, but, at the same time, there are, of course, major privacy concerns. The introduction of Google Glass already points this out. In the short run, people will utter these concerns, but in the long run, it’ll get dominant, and people get used to the sight of it and will not question the use of it. Communication through thoughts will not be happening by 2025: not from a technological point of view, and not from a privacy point of view. Maybe [there will be] facial recognition, and assessing facial emotions will be a thing that will become popular, instead of smileys.”

Elizabeth Albrycht, a senior lecturer in marketing and communications at the Paris School of Business, wrote, “It is likely that these things will be felt most around entertainment and day-to-day management of our lives. I suspect that a great deal of progress will be made around health and longevity, given the intense interest the Baby Boomers have in this (and their disposable income). I suspect, as well, that many of these objects will have already begun disappearing into the human body. And we’ll be fine with that (the ‘new normal’). Consider biometrics and movements. Google Glass and watches will be inside our bodies and invisible to those watching (and to whom we watch). New sociological issues of privacy will arise and be dealt with.”

S. Craig Watkins, a professor at the University of Texas-Austin, wrote, “We will continue to see progress in the relationship between wearables, health, and the quantified self. These applications will become smarter, easier to use, and more fully integrated into everyday life. The ability to be always-on and always-able to monitor how the lifestyle choices we make everyday effect our personal health will continue to evolve into a lifestyle all its own.”
Lyman Chapin, co-founder and principal of Interisle Consulting Group, LLC, said, “The utility of many objects (whether or not worn by a specific ‘user’) is enhanced by even rudimentary ‘self’-awareness-location (GPS), characteristics of the surrounding environment, and local activity. ‘Thing-awareness’ will develop gradually as unforeseen benefits are discovered; it will be difficult to find commercial applications that survive because thing-awareness is subtle and individually mundane.”

Gail Ann Williams, an online community management consultant, responded, “First, we need inexpensive and reliable ‘findables,’ so we can find our phone or our keys or locate a lost credit card on a map.”
Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning, University of Illinois-Springfield, responded, “The Internet of Things enables us to control smart and dumb devices alike at a distance. It allows us to plan and to react to changes in the environment automatically. And the network enables us to make connections that otherwise could not be made. For example, connecting home HVAC with the National Weather Service enables optimum settings and savings of energy. Connecting those same HVAC controls with our car or briefcase GPS (combined with traffic reporting connections) allows the HAVC to adjust thermostats just in time to meet the needs of the resident. Connecting automobiles with smart weather collection data can recommend you adjust speeds and interval between car warnings. GPS route planning can make dynamic changes based on weather conditions that are occurring and are forecast, etc. These are valuable services that will provide for more convenient, economical, and comfortable living. Certainly, wearable devices will continue to proliferate. Google Glass is still relatively primitive. A next big step will be the use of technologies to eliminate the need for a visual display outside the brain. Direct connection to visual centers (or, in the beginning, the optic nerve) will allow private images to be provided to the brain without computer screen or other visual device. This means that color blindness and other visual limitations will be circumvented. The same is true of hearing. Audio connected directly to auditory centers will circumvent the limitations of the mechanical processes of the ear. A wider—and purer—range of sounds will be heard, providing much more enjoyable audible experiences.”

Aliza Sherman responded, “The Internet of Things—back to conveniences, as well as connections—household, health, education, community building, communications. The Google Glass functionality is promising, but the glasses themselves are awful, uncomfortable, dizzying, and awkward. Other wearables for tracking, measuring, contacting, documenting, learning, enhancing, monitoring, etc., will become the norm. They may even be add-ons to more comfortable things, such as a lens descending from a hat versus wearing the glasses all the time, for example.”

Brian Newby, election commissioner in Johnson County, Kansas, wrote, “[The effects will be] widespread, yes. Beneficial? [I’m] not sure. If widespread, the users will find them beneficial. I’m still expecting to see a major league baseball player leading off base during a game, talking on the telephone at the same time.”
Fredric Litto, professor emeritus at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, wrote, “Convenience, convenience, convenience. There will be fewer commands given in written form on keyboards and more voice-recognition commands, including those destined for printed form. Whatever will speed up, make more accurate, and generally improve communication, will be adopted and steadily improved over time.”

Pamela Wright, chief innovation officer for the US National Archives, predicted, “This is already happening. Staff in my office are losing weight due to various wearable devices. This will blossom in the next decade. Everything, from ensuring you are getting highly personalized health care to your refrigerator ordering your groceries, will be accomplished without your thinking about it due to the Internet of Things. Previously acceptable social lies will become more difficult to impossible because you will be constantly tracked and known by the Internet. ‘Hey, you said you were out of town this weekend, but your bed reported that you got eight hours of quality sleep Saturday night at home. And your wine bottle confirmed it.’ We will know more about our society as a whole based on statistical data flowing out of the wearable and embedded devices. Data points about our health, spending habits, everything we do, will provide a clearer picture of our needs as a society. Poverty, public health, crime, and much more will be easily tracked. In general, we will have more facts to inform our decisions. Politicians will probably twist those facts as much as they always have. People will be able to know more very easily. When they look at a monument, rather than wondering who the guy on the horse is, and what did he do, they will easily see information that provides historical depth and knowledge about it. Same for everything from trees to buildings—all things will have more information available, including historical data. The ignorance that we live with now will be unacceptable to those in the future, and they will look on this time as we look on the time before the written word.”

John Wooten, CEO and founder of ConsultED, responded, “There are many societal benefits applicable in answering here, but one that likely resonates with most as a primary example would be healthcare/medical attention: devices monitoring your body’s systems and functioning can be immediately alerted to, and accessed by, pre-authorized medical professionals (your primary care physician, a specialist treating you specifically for a given condition, etc.). That can not only stave off potentially harmful health hazards, but also could literally save one’s life by having ‘real-time’ reporting on health conditions that can be addressed in a more immediate sense.”

Kevin Carson, a senior fellow and chair of social theory at the Center for a Stateless Society, responded, “I expect mapping architectures to be combined with RFID chips and GPS coordinates to provide visual, ‘virtual reality’ overlays of the virtual world, accessible through HUD glasses, like the D-Space in Daniel Suarez’s Daemon and Freedom.”

Lillie Coney, a legislative director specializing in technology policy in the US House of Representatives, responded, “In the long term, there will be beneficial effects, but also know that their will be tragedies regarding these applications that will drive the policy and design to eliminate or reduce potential abuse or misuse of these applications. First adopters will bring some of the devices into the marketplace. However, mass marketing and use will require an infusion of funding, likely by government. Government use can include the military, agency employees, prisons, and public schools. The next group would include medical applications for the technology. By 2025, there may be more than Internet. The easier it is to engage in discrete to non-discrete remote communication, the higher the likelihood that the technology will evolve in that direction. Thoughts translated into communication, on some level, is possible now with the use of implants. The mind is an uncharted country, and there is a lot more that must be understood before attempts are made to merge technology and thoughts. Body signals are much easier and can be customized for the person. Eye movements would require training.”

Gina Neff, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, predicted, “More data will be tracked by more people using wearable sensors and pervasive devices. The social and political cleavage will be between those who take charge of protecting, analyzing, and managing their personal data and the majority of people who will not, forming the basis of a new information elite.”

Peter S. Vogel, Internet law expert at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, VogelITLawblog.com, wrote, “Since the advent of RFID technology in the 1980s, more and more creative uses have been in widespread use, and so, wearable and scannable devices have been on the horizons for decades. What seems to be driving the increase in wearable and scannable devices is the increased use of mobile devices that are the norm today, and this will surely continue in the foreseeable future. I see little social pushback, since so much of the public now relies on mobile devices that send data about personal use and GPS location information. Interacting with the Internet will proliferate as new tools become socially acceptable, and promoted, in social media. Accordingly, products like Google Glass and Samsung watches are likely to be successful in the long term, just as cell devices have proliferated over time.”

Marcus Cake, a network society content architect and strategist for WisdomNetworks.im, wrote, “The Internet of Everything has consumer, industry, and society applications. Much has been said of consumers using data to create information to provide greater insight into a consumption activity. The society and industry implications of the Internet of Everything are much greater. The ‘Internet of Everything’ means that everyone can see and act on everything, everywhere, through their mobile devices. The Wisdom Networks crowd creates Network Society with (r)evolution through six stages to turn data into wisdom into prosperity and accelerate the ‘shift’ from Information Age (stagnation) to Network Society (prosperity). All communities can be organised by Over the Top (OTT) wisdom networks, including health, education, equity market, governance, innovation, government, organisations, individuals, countries, and regions, culminating in global wisdom (in five years). Technologies on the bleeding edge take a generation before they are incorporated into every day use. Google Glass and watches will be novelties and not cause a singularity jump in productivity. The (r)evolution will be very simple. Cloud applications will organise people, wisdom, and processes in the Internet of Everything through their mobile devices across every community in society and across the world.”

Yalda T. Uhls, senior researcher at UCLA’s CDMC@LA, and regional director of Common Sense Media, wrote, “As a society we need to think through the implications of being tracked by the Internet 24/7 by wearing connected devices that will allow corporations to find you anywhere. It must be remembered that the underlying purpose of communication technologies is to create efficiencies and wealth (Chui et al., 2012). The capital growth of the companies that focus on social media is spurred by aggregating data and audience in order to sell product. Online communities, where children practice social learning and develop youth identity, are owned and operated by major corporations, who push image and status, conferred by audience size and likes, as a means to sell product. In this kind of community, a superficial image becomes one’s identity, and when you are in the throes of building identity, the marketplace, through satisfying developmental needs for popularity and belongingness, may be shaping that identity. That, to me, is not a good thing. We already do communicate this way through non-verbal communication.”

Per Ola Kristensson, lecturer in human-computer interaction at the University of St. Andrews, UK, responded, “In 2025, smart, mobile-connected devices will be so cheap that people will not feel the need to own them. With the exception of electronics, that is part of fashion and what people wear, such as smart glasses or electronics in clothing, people will not own smart, mobile-connected devices. Such devices will be available in offices, homes, care homes, and other trusted places as needed. It will be possible to, for instance, pick up six mobile devices, align them physically, and create a large touchscreen out of them. The devices will not store personal information or data; rather, personal information and data will be retrieved when the user starts using the device, for instance, using biometrics. Similarly, large wall-mounted displays will be appropriated by users seamlessly and fluidly when they are needed, for instance, to share information with another user. In the home, home appliances will communicate with nearby devices and synchronize data to the Cloud. Information will be used for instance to reduce energy consumption and provide recommendations to users. Difficulties in realizing this vision is privacy and security concerns. There will also be a needed shift in the perception of ownership of smart mobile connected devices. In 2025, we will be able to write as fast as we can on a full-screen keyboard, wherever we are. Wearable sensors and mobile eye tracking will be used by systems to learn about users’ context: where are they, what are they doing, and what are they likely communicating?  Better sensors, more advanced machine learning algorithms, and a better understanding of humans’ capabilities and limitations will result in gesture and speech recognition, having evolved so much that users will fluidly be able to express themselves quickly, even if they are mobile or encumbered. Systems will be able to take users’ context into account and enable users to combine several modalities such as speech, gesture, and eye movement, and systems will fluidly combine these modalities, providing users maximum flexibility, robust recognition results, and fast-text input. Brain-Computer Interaction (BCI) will, however, not be feasible for able-bodied users, most likely because efficient BCI will remain requiring invasive equipment to be installed and the signal-to-noise ratio remaining low.”

David Ellis, PhD, course director for the department of communication studies at York University in Toronto, wrote, “The Internet of Things will certainly be widespread by 2025, though there are reasons to doubt whether the ubiquity of wearable and embedded devices will be either beneficial or part of the everyday lives of the public. Both the Cloud and Internet of Things are sure to experience growth, if only because they already have an established presence. Sure, Cloud computing will bring plenty more changes to the IT industry. But sending files from a local drive to a remote server to be stored, synced, and shared is not exactly exotic behavior: the ‘Cloud’ has always been out there. Moreover, many enabling technologies have already been developed for the Internet of Things, in both software (like Web services) and hardware (RFID tagging, networked sensors, smart appliances, computers-on-a-chip). By comparison, with other types of digital devices, the acquisition and use of embedded technologies will be more passive and less visible than usual. Hidden devices, by their very nature, take action away from the user, in exchange for greatly enhanced convenience in the handling of routine chores. Clearly the effects produced by many embedded devices, like a weekly grocery list derived from the contents of the fridge, will be in plain sight. Nevertheless, the rallying cry for industry marketers will be: the less you know and have to do, the better you’ll feel. Unfortunately, the Internet of Things will eventually create a perfect storm from three elements: ubiquitous networking platforms; the huge proliferation of addressable things made possible by IPv6; and the out-of-sight-out-of-mind nature of many of the ‘things’ in question. Consumers of digital technology have never been well served by their own ignorance of how things work, where risks lie, and what end-user licensing agreements say about vendor privileges. Embedded technologies take the problems of consumer protection to a whole new level, given the dramatically increased opportunities they create for surveillance and commercial data collection. Apart from how the industry will market these technologies in the coming years (variations on ‘Intel Inside),’ the Internet of Things raises obvious questions about heightened risks to privacy and security. But this latter problem isn’t strictly about the insidious nature of vast networks of hidden devices. It’s also about the values of our consumer culture, in which everything digital is sold as easy, powerful and friendly, the ultimate source of no-effort happiness. Sadly, more digital ignorance will only mean less consumer bliss. The smart devices we can actually see and handle add another consideration: usability. Smart watches, for example, can be expected to get much better in numerous ways, like steadily improving battery life and user interfaces. But what about hugely popular functions like video playback? Is there a practical limit to how far miniaturization can go before small devices like watches are no longer suitable for motion video? Consumers have been surprisingly adept at adjusting their viewing habits from conventional TV to lower-quality online video and the relatively tiny screens on smartphones. But as practical limits to playback are reached, it’s inevitable that many operations will move to the territory staked out by Google Glass—the more intimate, enveloping kind of device that adds AR functionality to visual, auditory, and other inputs. The transition from small, free-standing screens (like those in handhelds) to AR-based screens (like those in Google Glass) will be dramatic, especially since, by 2025, pathways will have opened up to practical kinds of cyberware—i.e., devices implanted in the human body. Many have noted how Google Glass will pose unprecedented threats to privacy and public safety. It’s difficult to imagine, however, that Google will be dissuaded by these concerns, especially since its highly successful advertising model has always depended on persuading its customers that its data-mining practices are well worth any affronts to privacy. Unlike embedded technologies, wearables will at least have the benefit of raising widespread public awareness about these issues. It’s thus unlikely that AR-assisted wearables like Google Glass will become accepted by mainstreamers until third-party developers have managed to create countervailing technologies—affordable ‘jamming suits’ and other cloaking devices that block the transmission of photographic images and other data in public places where people are mingling. If public benefits do flow from the IoT, they are much more likely to do so in connection with wearable, as opposed to embedded, devices. Embedded technologies lend themselves to insidious purposes like tagging and other forms of passive data collection, providing tempting opportunities for abuse. By contrast, micro-devices, like Intel’s Edison chip, might be used in ways that leave end-users a little more in control of their devices and the functions they provide. Given the fate suffered in recent years by general-purpose computing, in favor of apps and walled gardens, however, consumer empowerment is far from a foregone conclusion for the future Internet of Things.”

Monica Guzman wrote, “Efficiency seems sexier now than ever before. With the rise of self-aware devices, the pursuit of efficiency will become easier and more expected. It will lead to various new ‘normals.’ All thermostats will know when you’re not home. All cars will park themselves. Safety will be as much, or more, of a catalyst for mainstream adoption of these technologies. As for wearable devices, because there is more than just efficiency at play—privacy, communication, basically all the things any individual needs to live a connected, portable life—it’s tougher to know where they’re headed. How law enforcement, regulation, and, say, insurance premiums, will be affected by all the nuances of how we use this or that, will be interesting to sort out. For Google Glass to get mainstream adoption, it will either get more out of the way or we will all get used to seeing it in the way. The first path is easiest. Glass will need to go through a couple evolutions before it’s useful enough to create the culture of acceptance it needs. But it could get there, or make an assist a la MySpace, learning tough lessons and taking the hits so an unscarred product, the Facebook of wearables, actually conquers the territory. As for the smart watch, it will have to do more than connect to your phone—aren’t we connected enough to our phones?—to be the killer device it hopes to be.”

Nilofer Merchant, named by the thinkers50 as the person most likely to influence the future of management, wrote, “The wearables of the day, say the Fitbit or Jawbone, are the Model T of our times. There are early signals of what is possible, but we’ll be able to get 360-degree feedback, and those wealthy enough and interested enough will be able to optimize health and live longer.”

David Solomonoff, president of New York Chapter of the Internet Society, responded, “Embedded and wearable devices and the Internet/Cloud of Things will ubiquitous. The challenges will include understanding and controlling how they work and what they do. The degree to which technologies are open-source will be critical in this regard. Current interfaces are still very crude and inadequate for the amount of data that needs to be managed. So yes, large-scale adoption brain machine interfaces, smart contact lenses and hearing aids, etc., are inevitable—and present very serious, not yet understood, privacy and security problems.”

Janet Kornblum, a self-employed media trainer and journalist wrote, “Basically, if you can forget about privacy issues, there’s a lot to be gained from wearable network devices. I definitely see a future where we all have phones in our ears (whether it’s via Bluetooth or some other technology) and chips implanted in devices that will wear. Who knows? Maybe we will have chips implanted in our skin. But I really don’t think that will happen. However, we will have lots of medical devices that we wear or embed in our bodies: Smart hearts. Smart knees. Smart hips. Smart medicine dispensers. When we run low on medication, it will be automatically ordered. When our medical signs indicate a problem, we will be informed (i.e., someone who must take thyroid medication will have levels constantly checked and monitored.) The real promise lies in medicine, I believe. But since we humans seem to be hardwired to communicate, we will also accept devices that we wear or implant. I don’t think we will have implantable phones, etc., simply because technology will move too quickly to justify implanting a device that may be obsolete. Google Glass and the Samsung watch will have matured to a point where they actually work easily. At that point, they might become adapted. The watch thing is simply a shrunken down phone. When the phone can actually shrink that small and does not need to be accompanied by another device, people will wear their phones. It makes sense. I can definitely see people also augmenting their vision with the Google Glass type of device. But people won’t adopt these kinds.”

Sarah Houghton, director of the San Rafael Public Library, wrote, “Keeping the ‘new digital divide’ in mind, we will see a mass influx of this type of technology into everyday life, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. This is precisely what we saw with mobile technology, and the resulting communication revolution has been epic. I expect nothing less here.

Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz, partners at Johnson-Lenz, wrote, “At present, the Internet of Things is insecure and vulnerable, as described in The Internet of Things Is Wildly Insecure—and Often Unpatchable, an opinion piece by Bruce Schneier, posted on the the Wired website on January 6, 2014. The realization of an optimistic future outcome with ‘widespread and beneficial effects’ on everyday life from embedded and wearable devices and the Internet/Cloud of Things depends on how people are involved in orienting technological innovation toward such common-interest uses. In 2004, the UK Think Tank Demos published See-Through Science, a guide for moving public engagement on science and technology upstream, rather than after the fact. The Demos authors write: ‘Scientists need to find ways of listening to and valuing more diverse forms of public knowledge and social intelligence. Only by opening up innovation processes at an early stage can we ensure that science contributes to the common good… Debates about risk are important. But the public also wants answers to the more fundamental questions at stake in any new technology: Who owns it? Who benefits from it? To what purposes will it be directed?’ The Internet of Things is still in its infancy and not widely understood yet. Until it is, developing ‘widespread and beneficial’ applications will not happen. Two resources of note: Futurist’s Cheat Sheet, Dan Rowinski, ReadWrite, August 31, 2012, and What’s Holding Up the Internet of Things, Brian Proffitt, ReadWrite, June 14, 2013. But technology is only half of the equation; these technologies are extensions of our minds—tools for thinking. As such, these technologies are attention magnets (think: people glued to their smartphones). How we use our minds and manage our attention matters. In order to use embedded devices, ‘wearables,’ ‘scannables,’ and ‘augmented reality,’ at all well, people will have to practice focusing their attention on what matters, rather than using continuous partial attention on the many distractions being presented to them through these technologies. We need to include attention training and practice at all levels of our educational institutions and make effective attention management a socially valued and encouraged skill. In his 2012 book, Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, Howard Rheingold’s opening chapter is called ‘Attention! How and Why to Control Your Mind’s Most Powerful Instrument.’ Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, recently published Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence (2013). Goleman writes, ‘The source of distractions is not so much in the technology we use as in the frontal assault on our focusing ability from the mounting tide of distractions.’”

Annie Pettit, a startup entrepreneur and Internet policy advocate, responded, “I am very nervous about wearable devices and their potential to completely erode all privacy of everyone, even those who do everything they can to remain off the grid; however, there are many, many benefits. For me personally, I would love for a device to tell me if the person I am looking at is someone I have met before, as well as where I met them, what their name is, and what their company is.”

Mike Caprio, a software engineer for a consulting firm, responded, “My exact answer to this is ‘Yes, if and only if…’ My elaborated caveat is that they will only be beneficial and widespread when the tools to understand that vast ocean of data have been developed. If we don’t understand how all of the factors work together in the equation, we won’t be able to sort the signal from the noise. It’s going to take more time to figure out how to make the Internet of Things work for us in a concerted fashion. The first devices that are coming out now for wearable computing will quickly turn into curiosities. Fashion plays a much bigger role than anyone realizes, and the majority of people will prefer completely unobtrusive wearables. I believe that people in the near future will have many more tools to determine people’s emotional state and psychological profiles—supersmart cameras that can read facial muscles, body temperature, eye movements, and see other sub-visual cues will be able to tell you when someone is lying, in love, nervous, or hungry. The social implications of this are enormous and too complex to lay out in a short answer, but it will change governments, legal systems, and all human relationships.”

Jason Hong, associate professor at the school of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, predicted, “The biggest impact will be in personal health devices, which can be used for monitoring aspects of one’s health over a long period of time. Wearable devices like Google Glass and smart watches will have low adoption, partly because UX designers haven’t quite figured out all of the interaction and experience issues with them yet, along with issues of value proposition and battery life. The problem is not so much with the wearable devices, but rather that smartphones are pretty hard to beat in terms of their value to people, and it’s not clear whether people are willing to pay several hundred dollars more for something that only offers marginal value beyond that. (Being able to see who is calling you on your watch is nice, but not if it’s yet another device you have to charge every day, and not if it costs several hundred dollars). If they take off, they’ll need to target specific niche audiences, for whom smartphones aren’t sufficient. This might include people who need hands-free interaction (i.e., dentists, surgeons, mechanics), who have needs that today’s smartphones don’t offer (i.e., health monitoring), or don’t use smartphones (i.e., kids). Things like brain-computer interfaces and eye movements for user input will still be highly experimental and will not have taken off in the mainstream, mostly because of issues of reliability and comfort. Many of those technologies might be able to get 80 or 90% accuracy, but that won’t be good enough for everyday use without users getting frustrated.”

Richard Rothenberg, a professor of public health at Georgia State University, responded, “There are likely to be many Things, but only a few will be of lasting value and will stick. My sense is that the major social impact of Things will be to further the current widening disparity between the haves and have-nots. I’m old, and won’t be around to find out, but the theme of my answers here is that Things change the way we operate, but I’ve yet to see anything that makes a basic change in the distribution of human attributes. Note the term ‘distribution.’ There are some who will leap forward with these things and renew the social contract for the good of humanity (and all that), and there are some who will use the new technologies to serve their personal avarice—and a whole lot in between. Changing the distribution (that is, the proportion of humans that lie along the spectrum) is not a technological issue.”

David Golumbia, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, wrote, “They will have widespread beneficial and detrimental effects; these things are not mutually exclusive. These potentials sound good on paper because we almost only consider their beneficial effects, but in practice, as we get closer to implementation, the negatives become much clearer. Any area of the biological individual that gets closely interfaced with digital technology can be hacked and manipulated by those with the power to do so. These technologies conflict with every well-considered notion of privacy, and even democracy, that I find credible, but I worry that such concerns will be brushed aside by the majority that wants the power, and the rights of the few be damned.”

Adam Gismondi, a PhD candidate in higher education at Boston College, responded, “The Internet of Things will result in us never being ‘without’ anything. As we move to digitizing a higher percent of our possessions, the concept of forgetting to bring something with you will become obsolete. Through our phones, scannables, and wearable devices, we will always have access to anything we need. The Cloud will be our central storage location for everything—just as we can now access our music, bank accounts, and documents, the future will allow us to do that with nearly every possession in our lives.”

Jim Jansen, an associate professor at Pennsylvania State University, wrote, “With wearable devices, information on conversations will near-instantaneously be broadcast on social media. There will be no ‘private’ conversation or situation—even in families. The next innovation will be brain waves.”

Tony Cline, an adjunct professor of sociology and education at Columbia University responded, “Unfortunately, most of the effects will be felt in the area of consumer behaviors—attempts to get us all to buy more and spend more. The ownership of the information in the databases will continue to be a contested question. The connectivity of wearable devices will simply be the next stage of the enhancement of human communication systems, following the invention of writing, printing, telegraph, telephone, film, and the Internet.”

James Wisdom Jr., the owner of Wisdom Consulting and General Contracting LLC, wrote, “People who have disappeared, or gotten, hurt and do not have the capability to send messages will be able to use these. It will help in the overall scheme of things. There will have to be guidelines set in place, so as to not have abuse of power and authority. There will have to be a switch to turn things off that is only known by the person wearing the wearable or embedded device. These ideas, along with others, can and will work together to help improve everyday life.”

Lisa Dangutis, webmaster at the Sunshine Environment Link, wrote, “With access comes sharing. Sharing knowledge builds knowledge—the benefits will be an increase in understanding and access to knowledge. Technology makes life better. I believe some people will like wearables and scannables, while others will fear this technology, due to public rights, and privacy concerns. Scannables will come into play most in the medical field first; however, it will be slow because many people will not want a scannable in their body. However, for people with real life-threatening diseases or multiple allergies, it could be a true lifesaver in terms of treatments if medical staff could read conditions and if a patient is unable to respond.”

Thorlaug Agustsdottir, public relations manager for the Icelandic Pirate Party, responded, “People will be wearing anything from interactive shoes to glasses, watches, and pocket-computers/phones. GUI will have taken leaps and will now be assisted by eye tracking for easy navigation. You’ll be able to sync anything to your purse/watch/phone. Some people will like to wear socially connected clothes, so they can, for example, go clubbing in interactive clothes, have online sex, etc.”

Kevin Reilly, a simulation technologist and doctoral student at Pepperdine University wrote, “The lifestyle changes related to health and social behaviors will be catalyzed by wearable devices to the great benefit of society.”

Charles Hendricksen, a retired mechanical and software engineer, entrepreneur, and scholar, wrote, “The Internet of Things is one of the major drivers of Internet security. We will be successful in solving the problems. Interaction with ‘things’ will likely be through dedicated devices that are biometrically password-protected. Thoughts and eye movements have an involuntary aspect that will prevent widespread use for controlling ‘things.’”

Glenn Grossman, a consultant to a software provider for banks wrote, “We can see a pattern now with portable technology in education. It is changing the delivery of information. So, I suspect the wearable technology will have many impacts. Imagine the impact on healthcare and improved monitoring of a patient. There biggest risk is the lack of privacy. With all this networking, your location and activities are always on.”

Jon Perry said, “Nothing is so unreliable in a court of law than the testimony of a witness. Questionable police tactics and public events become public knowledge. Can’t make it to the wedding in Albuquerque? There will be seven people streaming it live. While there is a real issue of privacy, there will be no more privacy. If there were a 9/11-type event again, how many angles and different videos would be available to track down the evidence? Consolidation continues. Ten years ago, you rented a car with GPS for a premium. A person carried a device to stream their music. Maybe they had one or two books with them for a trip. You open a laptop to send a message that you’ll be arriving at 5 p.m. In your bag, you pull out a camera to take a picture of beautiful sunset. [There will be] consolidation—everything you need in one simple device, from GPS, camera, messaging, and more, in a lightweight, wearable device.”

Marc Brenman, a faculty member at Evergreen State College (WA), wrote, “The effects will be widespread but not necessarily beneficial. The effects will be mixed. A solution will be looking for a problem. People will be interacting and sharing their information, often without visible devices.”

Arthur Asa Berger, a professor emeritus of communication at San Francisco State University, responded, “I assume that economies of scale will bring these embedded and wearable devices to people by 2025. I assume that many of these new developments will involve medical monitoring and other such medical services, as well as other areas such as automobiles, manufacturing, and education. As people gain more access to information, it will be difficult for authoritarian governments to maintain control the way they did in the past, so there is reason to hope that new technologies will bring more democratic forms of government. With Google Glass, as I understand it, winks can lead to photographs being taken…and those with high-tech watches can also take photographs. Much of our interaction now is based on images, with billions of photos being taken each second and billions of images being uploaded to social media. It is reasonable to assume that new technologies will enable people to discern the way others feel by scanning eye pupils to see if they are dilated, body temperatures, etc. All of these are ‘tells,’ which helps us find out how others are reacting to us.”

Carol Wolinsky, a self-employed marketing research consultant said, “Google Glass and smart watches are just the beginning; these technologies offer substantive benefits to the disabled, allowing them to participate in aspects of life that were not available to them before. These devices will allow the blind to ‘see’ and the deaf to ‘hear.’ Special suits or equipment to help physically disabled individuals stand and walk will be in widespread use; Israel has already developed one model. [It is] hard for me to imagine how the average consumer will be affected, but it certainly will be interesting to see.”

Jeanne Brittingham, an opinion research consultant, responded, “The big question is: By what standards will the changes be beneficial? As norms change to accommodate our personal access to this huge leap in data, what norms will cultures create and accept? By what means? For whom? Perhaps an individual’s desire to gain information-access will divide cultures into levels-of-use mini-cultures. Perhaps selective information access will create ranges of populations with diverse objectives. Perhaps levels of information access—whether by force or by necessity—will create specialized populations that will interact to sustain civilization or put stress upon it.”

Janie Pickett, an educator, wrote, “Like all technology, the growth of devices and the Cloud of connectivity will offer benefits—and harm—to everyday lives. The challenge will continue to be to seek what is human, honest, integritous, and valuable, to offset the increasing pull to personal isolation and hardening.”

David J. Wierz, an OCI commercial developer, wrote, “Following-on to my participation in a panel at the recent mHealth conference—there are two elements for expanding the use of wearable and embedded devices—’gamification’ building on the non-invasive nature of the devices. Combined effect is the means to deploy ‘structured’ programs supporting health and care among populations, for whom, today, the economics of such interventions is not viable. The result is creating the means to both ‘push’ engagement as well as ‘pull’ participation with ease, simplicity, and interest. We will see ultimate mobility through wearable items and, perhaps, implant options.”

Sunil Gunderia, mobile strategist at an education startup, responded, “All things that, where value can be enhanced through connectivity, will be connected. Nanotechnology will replace most current wearable technology, so that other than for fashion, Google Glass/Samsung watches will no longer be visible. Again, the ability to be tracked will present the biggest societal issues. As our bodies continuously connect to the Internet and our digital footprint is available for many to see, I believe privacy issues will become an utmost concern.”

Mary Rodgers, director of marketing communications for a large food services company, wrote, “It already has [had effects] in the health and wellness arena. I only expect this to spread wider into other areas of consumers’ lives.”

Bud Levin, a futurist and consultant and professor of psychology at Blue Ridge Community College (VA), responded, “It’s been happening for years. Problem detection will be improved. The anxiety reflected in (and perhaps caused by) texting (i.e., http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563213003993) will be multiplied by incessant communication by and with these devices. The focus on things will interfere with a focus on people. Perhaps in this dimension, the poor will be advantaged. I cannot imagine the Samsung watch lasting very long, nor the Google Glass. Both are transitional forms—as are most digital technologies. By 2025, we will have less to wear and carry but more to implant. We will have universal-enhanced WiFi, supporting not only the Internet of things, but also the Internet of people.”

Dale Richart, a marketing and advertising client liaison, responded, “General use of wearables will become the norm and will be largely accepted. We will be more connected. I’m certain the smart phone of today will transition into an extension of our person and technology that, in some way, allows easy and quick communication without being externally perceived.”

Tom Roe, senior account manager for a large staffing organization and owner of a mobile apps start-up, predicted, “There will be benefits to health and, possibly, earning potential. There will also be increasingly negative consequences in terms of privacy and security.”

Dave Rusin, a digital entrepreneur and global corporate executive, wrote, “There will be impacts in healthcare cost containment, yes. Integrated GPS for elderly purposes, yes. Government cost containment, yes. Intelligence, yes. Policing, yes. Greater advances in sensors for multitudes of applications, yes. Anything else is for fashion and consumption, the two things killing our economy because we no longer manufacture. If you want to be fashionable, wear it; it’s your privacy, after all, that you are giving away instead of being paid for doing so. The Internet is a communications platform, period. It provides diverse connectivity and alternative routing of packets. It is interpersonal; it is a network. The better question is how the Internet can be used. My personal opinion: I’ll take Facebook, et al, as contemporary examples and Google. No business is immune to business cycles or disruption—none. My analogy over time: the Internet will allow more vertical applications to develop synonymously with anthropology and human evolution. I foresee, ‘Country Club-like’ memberships and virtual entities by invention and/or dues of shared community interests—business or otherwise. [There will be] sites that are certified and credible by users to get news, true/factual investigative journalism information, and knowledge—without bias. There will still be plenty of bias, bashing, whatever going on—as long as there remains a commercial mechanism to make money by doing so. Deciding what sensors to wear for location, eye movements, etc.—unless someone is paying you to do so, why would you?”

Llewellyn Kriel, CEO and editor in chief of TopEditor International Media Services, responded, ‘Things’ will become matters of choice, and, against the backdrop of trade-offs in online security and privacy, personal choice will be exercised as a way of getting back at The System. Healthcare and movement will all become more strictly controlled. We will be under constant surveillance, and the ‘terrorism of things’—i.e., vehicle signal jamming, interception of masses of information, subversion of utility supplies—will become as common place and routine as toll booths, PINs, and airport scans. These will simply become facts of life.”

Art Brodsky, a self-employed communications consultant said, “I sure hope so. It’s not that hard. We will be beyond wearable to embeddable.”

Sarah Andrews wrote, “Embedded and wearable devices will remain relatively expensive by 2025 and will only be adopted by those with higher income levels, higher education levels, or early adopters. For example, if your dog currently goes to daycare, why not have an embedded camera so you can see what the dog is doing at all times? If your dog doesn’t go to daycare, why have a camera? And lots of people can’t even afford a dog. The Internet of Things will be most popular with frequent travelers to allow them to immerse themselves in an experience more rapidly.  The reason people have rapidly adopted cell phones is because people want something personalized and easily customizable. They want as many options as possible. People will only wear connected items if they are easy to customize and if there is enough unique functionality to justify the price/inconvenience or if the devices make their life much easier. Disabled people would probably adopt these technologies sooner because the advantages are more obvious.”

Anita Salem, a design research consultant, wrote, “There will be widespread effects. We will see hybridized humans and greater economic disparity. We will experience Increasing physical weakness and weight gain as more things are automated and we move farther and farther away form the physical world. These effects will be unevenly felt—higher economic subcultures will be more automated and more distracted from the common life. Lower economies will be excluded from the life-enhancing apps and will still be tied to physical engagements with their environment. The biggest effect will be government-sanctioned spyware in every aspect of our lives. It’s going to happen. Already, paraplegics are able to control their muscles using computer assisted brain stimulations. My money is on it being widely available (to those with money) by 2020.”

Joe Hernandez, an equipping specialist wrote, “As a sci-fi and a science type of person, I am amused how imaginative people that ‘see’ the future display the innovations in technological thinking that, within a generation that which was fiction, is now reality. The rate of actual creation of technology is moving so quickly that we will embrace the new sciences and allow our lives to be technology-driven.”

Jim Leonick, director of new product development for Ipsos, wrote, “By 2025, this will be old news. It will become common for everything, including our clothing, to be communicating with everyday items that, when they doesn’t work, people will be lost and baffled as to how they tell the coffee machine how they take their coffee.  I am sure Google Glass will lead to new technologies which are 100% reliant on things like eye tracking, speech, and hand motions. That said, watches are just a stepping-stone to something greater like from the sci-fi movies: maybe whole arm computers like a gauntlet.”

Susan Caney-Peterson, a self-employed writer and editor, responded, “This is one where my adult sons would say ‘yes’ and I would say ‘no.’ They would be happy to have brain implants if they could, and I feel the whole thing is hugely invasive. I turn off rewards, badges, and geolocation on apps I use; they can’t imagine why. The spread of the Internet of Things will be wide and inevitable, but I disagree that it will be largely beneficial. It will benefit corporations, no doubt about it. And the convenience of not carrying as many things will be nice (and transactions much faster), but we always give up something when our actions and whereabouts are continually monitored, tracked, and recorded for third-party use.”

Christoph Trappe, a vice president for communications and innovation, commented, “[In terms of] content gathering: this is newsworthy, worth Tweeting, etc. It’s done. [In terms of] content distribution: I want to know this. Here’s the info, automatically. It knows I want it; it’s not just a general alert. [In terms of] connectivity: NFC or other similar tools will allow us to connect with people offline when it’s relevant to all involved.”

Laurie Orlov, a technology industry analyst, said, “Gartner just predicted there will be 26 billion units by 2020. The odds are that this estimate is low and will be revised again to be much larger—cheap sensors that can be placed in wearable (or carry-able) technologies means that they will be. It is amazing that there is no fall-detector-functionality activated automatically with smart phones today—but by 2025, that will a given. Eye movement technology is only appropriate for those who cannot use their hands. For those people (a narrow niche), Google Glass-type technology may be useful. Otherwise, the smart phone and tablet have better form factors. The Samsung watch is a gimmick and will not be adopted. Again, the problem is inappropriateness of the form factor.”

John Saguto, an executive decision support analyst in the implementation of geospatial information systems for disaster response, wrote, “Yes, we are already ‘wearing’ smart phones, music players, technology. Very early high-tech items (like wrist watches) have given way to more multifunction devices, and items like Fitbits are a consumer-paid technology, and RFID embedded technology has also been long incorporated into our attire. If you just use the cell phone, you are already ‘giving-up’ true anonymity, so privacy will be ‘slowly’ degraded, and, much like a lobster in a water caldron being heated slowly, the general public will incrementally trade privacy for conveyance. The ‘bad guys’ will, of course, not be using this technology proactively—this is an area to expand the thinking on. William Gibson’s now-historical prologue book Neuromancer has a very accurate foretelling of ‘devices.’ I agree that ‘microsofts’ or imbedded (protein chip) knowledge-transfer devices will be at least emerging by 2025, and perhaps, like most technology, in practice with military. Nano-technology and bionics will evolve quickly, and artificial kinematic devices will expand (or replace) human agility capabilities. An exoskeleton-fortified body is already being used. It will be far more expansive than ‘entertainment-driven’ wearable technology—think enhanced athletics!”

Stuart Osnow, a partner with Prime New York, wrote, “You will never carry a wallet. Scanning your finger will replace credit cards. There will also be an undercurrent of things done with cash. There will be a digital class that uses these things, but I do not believe they will be mainstream. They will make many people uncomfortable to be around the constant surveillance.”

Tuija Aalto, head of strategy for Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, predicted, “The Internet of Things will mostly benefit retail, hospitality industry, and logistics, and will be ‘baked in’ the user experience in shopping malls, hotels, and other semipublic places, creating a personalized customer experience. Individuals are not going to be talking about Internet of Things as such.”

David Burstein, CEO of Run for America and author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, wrote, “The Internet of things will allow us to live in a world where our bodies and minds are more in sync with what we consume and how we behave. This will help us, as individuals, lead more productive and happier lives and will save massive amounts of energy around the globe. The ability for our electricity to ‘learn’ our behavior patterns will be great enough so that it will know when to turn off, saving individuals hassle and saving energy. This pattern can and will be applied to everything, from groceries in our refrigerator to heating and air. When you further apply this pattern to our giant buildings that consume a majority of the energy in this country, the savings is very significant for reducing energy consumption. In 2025, we will be accessing the Internet more often through wearable devices than on our tablets or phones. But we will still use tablets and phones heavily. Google Glass is too early for its time; the general public is not yet ready for this advancement, and coming from Google doesn’t help. By 2025, it will have been replaced with something much simpler, sleeker, and more functional.”

Matthew Henry, chief information officer at a university, responded, “‘Wearables’ and ‘scannables’ by 2025 will be seamlessly integrated into the human condition. What it means to be human will continue to be the forefront of the public forum, as the unimaginable will be available. On the commercial side of things, marketing, for example, will continue to be required to be authentic. With authentic information literacy and research, marketers won’t be able to use logic fallacies to entice buyers to purchase their wares. These devices will allow us to instantly authenticate traditional marketing ploys and validate with our circle of friends and family. Social understanding of influence, as well as cognitive workings, will become mainstream. Legislation will have to continue to keep pace with change. The Internet by 2025 will be ubiquitous. Two aspects, the seamless connectivity and the access to knowledge, will become part of our human condition. We will be faced with learning to use these devices to improve both ourselves and our relationships with those around us. Devices will have evolved to working well with our thoughts and bodily signals.”

Brenda Freedman commented, “This all goes back to an earlier answer, where I stated we need to be able to connect anywhere, anytime, without relying on a network that becomes totally useless without a wireless card or some other device for connectivity. I have always believed we will see more embedded devices, including ourselves, to change the landscape. We already have the technology to embed chips and can take this to another level. Again, 2025 is a mere eye blink in the scheme of the Internet of Things, and there will always be early adopters of new technology, just as the ‘naysayers’ exist. I do think we are headed to an all-mobile society but have a ways to go before it is the ‘standard.’ [There is] no question about the future of using our thoughts and other movements to connect to one another. We will go beyond our own imaginations to connect to each other in ways never thought possible. We only use a portion of our brain, which makes the possibilities almost unlimited.”

Meredith Gould, a self-employed digital strategist and consultant said, “Crystal ball/wishful thinking: I am hoping the impact will be most commonly, vividly, and significantly be felt/experienced by people with disabilities.”

Buroshiva Dasgupta, a professor of communication at Kolkata International Management Institute, responded, “We are expecting the president of United States to attend the UN conference in person, not a clone. I travel light—from Alaska to Sahara, without fluctuations in body temperature. My family in India knows where I am.”

Peter R Jacoby, a college professor, wrote, “The effects will be widespread but pernicious. We might as well inject ourselves into the Internet of Things. By 2025, we will have long ago given up our privacy. The Internet of Things will demand—and we will give willingly—our souls. Whether intended or not, the Internet of Things may be the ultimate affirmation of Juvenal’s observation in Satire 2 all that was really needed to keep the entire Roman Empire under control by the Emperor was as simple as ‘panem et circenses (bread and circuses),’ which Juvenal mused was the formula for the well-being of the population, and thus, a political strategy. This formula offered a variety of pleasures, such as: the distribution of food, public baths, gladiators, exotic animals, chariot races, sports competition, and theater representation. It was an efficient instrument in the hands of the Emperor to keep the population peaceful, and at the same time, give them the opportunity to voice themselves in these places of performance. It worked quite well for a few hundred years. Now, we have tacos and TV. Wearables and scannables by 2025? Same thing.”

Mark Lockwood, a researcher, wrote, “By 2025, we will still be experiencing the digital divide that we experience today. In fact, this divide will likely widen as technology progresses. It is unlikely that African Americans, for example, would be willing to allow an implantable technological device of this nature by the year 2025. There is a well-documented, and well-justified, mistrust of the healthcare system in the African American community in the United States (I am writing from the perspective of a health care provider). Unless the wearable devices come down in price, it is unlikely that they will be adopted by the masses. Plus, the infrastructure required would not be in place by 2025. There are clearly major ethical considerations that need to be addressed before the Internet of Things comes into being. The Internet of Things could be a major threat to society as we know it and, possibly, to our continued existence as a species on this planet. As it stands now, our laws and policies are not advancing as quickly as technology develops. This leaves us vulnerable at the macro and micro level. One concern is the question of who will be controlling the Internet of Things. This could be an incredible, powerful tool for controlling populations. With the current blurred lines between governments and corporations, the Internet of Things could result in a global ‘cult of personality-’type government, as exists in North Korea. These technologies will continue to be developed and will become more sophisticated, but I don’t think people ‘commonly connect’ with the Internet as you say. We recently conducted a study of kidney transplant patients in Chicago and found that only 27% of African Americans and only 57% of whites reported using the more than six hours per week.”

Kevin Ryan, a researcher in communications and marketing for the City of Charlotte, NC, wrote, “Yes, the Internet of Things will have widespread and beneficial effects on the everyday lives of the public by 2025. First and foremost, [the effects will be in] medical monitoring, as medical care morphs from being reactive to forecasting and encouraging changing behavior to not have a problem in the first place. Privacy and ownership will always be an issue. Our future involves giving up bits of freedom for a return that seems valuable, whatever that is. What do you think of the future prospect that people will interact via bodily signals, such as eye movements? Don’t we do this already? This is part of our being animals. Future prospect that people will interact via their thoughts? Don’t mess with my thoughts! Inside my mind is my own. You cannot have access to it! It will be the last bastion of freedom. When I want you to know what I am thinking, I will tell you!”

Aaron Balick, a PhD, psychotherapist, and author of The Psychodynamics of Social Networking, wrote, “We might see the most interesting growth and change in this area. Increasing bandwidth, combined with the ability to embed technology into smaller and smaller spaces, will enable a full fusion between the organic and the technological. In many ways, our current technologies enable an extension of the self, either by way of our profiles on social networking sites or the ways in which we see our smartphones as an extension of ourselves. This will increase and be adopted by a whole range of services. I see a growth in efficiency that may be utilised for environmental and sustainability purposes (food/water/energy savings); efficiency growth in our working lives (managing traffic/desk space in offices/minimising disruption); and the obvious feedback from our own bodies for the purposes of better health. All of these positive things may be tempered by a growing reliance on outsourcing to technologies that make decisions not based on human concerns, but instead on algorithms (however influenced by our own past choices). We may begin to lose sight of our own desires or our own wills, like many of these drivers who we hear about who, because their GPS told them to, end up in the most unlikely places in the face of all sorts of real world, contrary evidence. What will happen to our own senses of intuition, let alone our capacity to venture into the unknown, learn new things, and our ability to be still and quiet without being in constant relationship to one device or another? The likely trajectory is technologies that will be more subtle. Today, the favoured device is the smartphone; however, as soon as new technologies are developed that enable similar intuitive ease of use, without having to reach for (and charge up) a box device, I’m sure they will be used more and more. Unlike Google Glass, my sense is that these technologies will need to be incorporated into the fabric of everyday life in order to really take off—though technological objects like Glass will continue to be popular by certain parts of the population. There is the problem of a surveillance culture, however, that comes with hidden technologies that may infringe upon the privacy of others, and we may find it necessary to have some kind of law or convention, whereby individuals will be aware if others are recording them. Many, of course, will bypass this by way of their own hacking.”

John Senall, principal and founder of Mobile First Media, LLC, responded, “Wearables will gain traction in adoption, but for years it will likely be for more trivial uses, doing far less to increase personal or corporate productivity. Leaders in the field will offer beneficial apps for usage of wearables in time to create enough demand for continued evolution in the field. The safety risks and privacy concerns, however, will delay much adoption in the early years, and legislation will need to be created for things as simple as Google Glass, in order to lessen risk for both consumers and the companies that service them with the devices. I don’t see a future by 2025 of mass adoption of Google Glass or the smart watch. Reasons include: they are awkward to wear for many people, and there is a low use of wristwatches in general by younger demographics ages 18-45, so wearing a watch actually is less normal and intuitive than carrying a small smartphone. As for interacting via thoughts and body signals, again, I foresee limited adoption for some time, but I see success for the smaller group of people who choose to be early adopters. I believe many audiences will actually be uncomfortable with the body-machine relationship, even though raised on technology.”

Kathryn Campbell, managing partner at Primitive Spark, predicted, “We’re already experiencing the benefits of connected devices related to health and wellness, and these individual successes will continue. The challenge will be—as it always is—with the connectivity between devices. Will our consumer electronics manufacturers, auto makers, and building contractors agree on industry standards, and thereby create a boom for all, or continue to fight territorial battles over proprietary technologies in which everyone (including consumers) loses? It’s been decades since the ‘imminent’ success of smart homes and connected televisions were first heralded, yet each is still struggling to gain traction for this reason. Increased connectivity is inevitable, and by 2025, all of our personal devices will be ‘smart.’ Data collection that now requires bulky physical sensors will be embedded within our bodies, and screens will be replaced by ubiquitous surfaces, upon which any data desired can be projected.”

Carolyn Appleton, a nonprofit fundraising executive, said, “As with all new technologies, it would make sense for embedded and wearable devices to proliferate as well. I believe many beneficial effects will arise from these inventions and their widespread use in healthcare (monitoring and treatment), security (personal and corporate), transportation, and communication. The challenge for us today is to encourage research and development, the market launch of new tech, fine-tuning and improving the devices, and then, hopefully after their effectiveness has been demonstrated, the cost per person will be reduced (to allow for more broad public acquisition and use). Broad educational efforts about the helpfulness of the new technology will be needed. Today, one must read Mashable, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, and the like to learn about the latest new tech; but coverage must seep down into more common avenues of communication at local levels to support broad-based adoption. By 2025, I expect Google Glass and similar devices to be more commonly used. Today, they would actually be used more often, but the fact is, they are very expensive and out-of-reach for most people. I would expect more ‘virtual’ screens that are easier to read and use to become more prevalent (versus laptops). I have no doubt the Samsung watch will gain traction in some sectors. But I personally believe—as the Boomer generation is quite large and growing (huge impact on our nation during this time span)—that a focus on ‘easy-to-use-and-read’ devices will be emphasized as time moves on. In other words, not: ‘tiny, elegant, and hard to read, but very cool’ devices, smiles.”

Sean Mead, senior director of strategy and analytics for Interbrand, wrote, “There are few barriers to the Internet of Things. The largest barriers will be the over promising of benefits and the attempt to get people to use it for items that are not relevant to consumers. Wearable active clothing and electronic paper will be widely and cheaply available. Fashion will drive the most talked about uses, integrating unique personal styles with activators that enable a wide variety of social enhancements and social activity. A wide variety of interfaces will be available to suit different tastes and purposes. Contacts that project displays will be common, as will interfaces between networks and the mind. The former will be frequently used, while the latter will not. Many connection devices will provide highly active and adaptable AIs and will blend in like ornamentation, rather than phones.”

Frank Feather, CEO and chief trend tracker for Future-Trends.com, wrote, “The Internet of Things will become pervasive, creating an almost totally-connected society, including globally. We will be close to a situation where all the global population will have access to all the world’s information—and to everyone else—using any device, including wearables. In an anyplace/anytime/real-time world, anyone will be able to access any public database, any product/service provider, any government agency or politician, and everything that belongs to them personally, via such devices. This will be fairly commonplace by 2025. All devices will be multi-lingual, instantly translating any conversation or text to ease clear communication, as well. Everything will be decentralized across a global network. A university degree will be able to be taken ad hoc, one course here and there, from any online learning institution on the planet. Social movements will spring up and disband with ease. Governance systems will be under serious pressure to modernize and become agile and innovative. Wearable devices on the wrist or Google Glass will be predominant but more sophisticated and easier to wear and use by voice command and gesture. Simple commands and requests will be able to be delivered by thought processes.”

Nick Wreden of the University of Technology Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, wrote, “There will be absolutely no privacy, not even in the jungle, away from civilization. I don’t like this, but people have shown over and over again that they are willing to trade away their souls for a ‘$1 off’ coupon. Conversation, which includes not only words, but also movement, eye contact, hearing, memory and more, is such a holistic, pleasurable experience that people will not give it up easily.”

S. Rodriguez, COO for MC&S IB and digital consultant, responded, “Basically, because they facilitate the day-to-day life of human beings, they will be increasing efficiency. This includes the development of intelligent systems that allow people with serious injuries and sequelae of disease or injury to regain much of their former life, even in extremely severe cases. Also, they will allow humans to move in places or situations that are hostile or currently difficult to access, such as extreme weather or outer space, the depths of the water, or particularly inhospitable places. Likewise, they will facilitate telemedicine and telecare, education, and distance training. Even different socio-political activities, such as voting in elections and referendums, attendance at public events and political acts are different and will be able to facilitate the use of the Internet of Things. Probably, the natural evolution is that the use of different devices do not just do it with your hands: the remote-control of televisions and game consoles through the voice is already a reality, the control of different audio devices of a cars through the voice already implemented in many models. There is a huge likelihood that the immediate future is to control the mind through different devices, but that takes a little more time, so that the threshold of the year 2025 seems a bit premature. We’ll do it closer to reality for most people in 2035.”

Karen Sulprizio, a marketing and business consultant, wrote, “Consumers want ease-of-use and are not accustomed to the kind of technology for instant information and gratification. The next generation of easy-to-use technologies will be the ‘wearables’ and ‘scannables.’ However, with that said, this will also open up the potential for cyber attack, if the security is not included/embedded in the devices. This topic is already being considered with wireless, Net-based medical devices. Remote access to these can allow a ‘hacker’ to control everything from heartbeat, release of insulin, as well as control of artificial limbs. As with any technology, once the devices become cost-effective for the general public, there will be widespread adoption. Consumers will want reassurances of security and safety, but will adopt the ease-of-use wearable, connected devices. After the first ‘release’ is adopted, the next generation will be interactive via eye movements and body signals. Direct hard-wire connection via the brain will be a more difficult ‘sell,’ but in the next twenty years, will probably be the technology of choice for consumers. As security is reinforced and maintained, consumers will adopt.”

Patty Ash, a research analyst and senior editor, commented, “This has already occurred—in science, in telemedicine, in information, in research of all kinds, and will continue indefinitely.”

Gonzalo Bacigalupe, a professor at the University of Massachusetts and the Basque Foundation for Science in Spain, responded, “The question of privacy is definitely at the center of the evolution and adoption of these technologies. Addressing the access and literacy equity question is also an essential factor. More technology could equate to more inequity. If equity is not address, the technology will support larger inequality. The technology will continue to develop. The question for me is, who benefits? Who are the individuals to really enjoy these advances?”

Peter Janca said, “I liken the adoption of the Internet of Things to the adoption of smart phones: Smart phones were marginally more useful than mobile phones at introduction. Yet, the rapid availability of applications (such as GPS/travel directions, health monitoring, video communications) multiplied the value of the devices—and with the benefit that it all fits into my pocket. The Google Glass family will become common, provided privacy concerns are addressed (such as automatic blocking of camera functions unless permission is electronically received from others in range of the camera). Both devices will have a place: The Google Glass family will have a specialized application (such as when I’m out and about). The Samsung watch idea will become more universally accepted: Think of it as being one more step to increase convenience of access to a subset of the data I need—in a similar fashion to the way the smart phone replaced the need for a computer (but only for certain applications).”

Micky Hingorani commented, “I suspect the wearable Internet will have a big impact on health. It will remind people to take their pills or to exercise. It should also help us organize, politically.”

Breanne Thomlison, founder and president of BTx2 Communication, said, “The wearable device will track everything and be customized to how you want to see data, which data, and what to do with the data. Customers will have a choice to connect to corporations that are interested in their data and will ‘feed’ them products based on their results. For example, a kid who plays basketball will track how many shots he or she misses, and a shoe company may offer him or her new shoes to improve his or her shot. The Internet of Things will most be felt for consumers, who will call the shots on how they want all of their information. The social and political difficulties will blend… I expect that the consumer will have control and based on the evolution, there will be laws in place to protect privacy and ensure consumers are aware of what data is being used for what. Without that, there will be no support for global innovation. People will be ‘born online.’ They won’t know anything different. Eventually Google Glass and the Samsung watch will be obsolete, and people will have devices implanted in them and/or their clothes. Innovation will allow us to interact through thoughts and signals. This will be the key to helping treat people with mental health issues.”

Clifford Lynch, executive director for the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) and adjunct professor at the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley, said, “I have two comments: I see the use of embedded and wearable devices as quite separate form the Internet of Things, but I believe that we will see both moving ahead. I am not sure about how the social norms here will evolve, and this could be a determining factor on adoption rates. I am also skeptical about how beneficial many of the effects will be for the average consumer. You may see much heavier use of embedded and wearable interface devices in work and business settings, at least early on, where the payoff is easier to see and the social norms are less relevant or easy to change (given a payoff in efficiency or capability).”

Mike Ribble commented, “As the growth of technology continues to rise, technology will become ever more personal. These devices, and the Internet of Things, will continue to feed information and entertainment to the user. As more tools become available, users will continue to move toward them. The more they are integrated (and upgradeable), the more people will want them. These tools will definitely begin to focus information to the individual. We will continue to get information, but it will be focused to each one of us. Our bodies will become the mouse and keyboard for the future.”

Thomas Lenzo, a self-employed consultant for 30-plus years in the areas of training, technology, and security, wrote, “I am currently shopping for a personal wearable health monitor. I want it to help me lose weight and get in better shape, as I don’t seem to be doing it without some sort of help. My primary care physician is technologically savvy, so I expect he and I will work together to get my data into my health records. As we get more electronic health records, these devices can help improve our health, showing details we might not have the tenacity or veracity to record. The first difficulty with the Internet of things will be the end users. First, they have to be willing to integrate these things into their lives. That takes time, effort, and some cost. The second difficulty questions, ‘Who is scanning me, why are they scanning me, and what are they doing with the information?’”

Adam Rust, director of research for Reinvestment Partners, said, “It will be felt whenever and wherever humans have trouble. Most people struggle to diagnose any problems with the physical infrastructure in their lives. Do you realize how easy it is to clean an HVAC system? [I predict] that Google Glass will face lots of local privacy ordinances. It will be illegal to wear those things in many public environments.”

James Grant, social media manager at Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK, commented, “I expect the Internet of Things, including wearable devices, to enable a self-monitoring revolution with regards to health and behaviours. Given useful feedback on ourselves and on our property, we will be able to change: the way we interact with the world, how we use energy, what we eat, how we exercise.”

Bryan Padgett said, “The Internet of Things will be felt the most at home, as home automation will quickly become the norm. I also think that physical desktops and mobile devices will stop holding data, programs, etc., themselves, but instead simply be a screen you can interact with, displaying your same virtual desktop from the Cloud, however you access it. I can also see multiple surfaces becoming displays, where a desk no longer is place at work to put a computer on, but rather is itself a computing device, thanks to an ultra-thin and large super-high definition display. I can see the mouse and keyboard going away for hand gestures and vastly improved voice recognition. Despite advances in technology, we are still relatively locked-in to using a single point (mouse) to interact with our electronic environments. Using our hands to naturally grab virtual files and folders, along with a 3D interface, will become more natural and the norm. On the go, Augmented Reality will become commonplace, with AR-embedded in windows and glasses. Information will appear above or near something you are looking at because the position of your eye, relative to the object, will be calculated and displayed appropriately for your view.”

Maxene Spolidoro, a director of family health and nutrition for the state of Massachusetts, responded, “Blood sugar can be accurately monitored and treatments automatically, easily administered; [there can be] pain relief for chronic disease. My hope is that thoughts remain private. I only like wearable connected devices that protect life.”

Brenda Michelson, a self-employed business-technology consultant said, “Yes, we’ll continue to see smart things (embedded, consumable, wearable) pervade everyday life, particularly in the areas of healthcare (personal fitness, diagnostics, monitoring); homes & buildings (appliances, electricity and alternatives, heating & cooling, safety, gadgets/convenience); and travel/transportation (vehicles, services, itineraries, routes and so on). While this proliferation will be generally beneficial to individuals, it won’t be without consequence. As we willingly connect more data emitting things to third-party and public services, there is a greater likelihood that data can be used against us by bad actors, law enforcement, government agencies, and even insurers, contracted to act on our behalf. As we’ve already seen with the rollout of smart meters by utility companies, there will also be active campaigns by detractors to generate unfounded fear on specific connected things, which can lessen the impact of smart-thing initiatives focused on conservation, sustainability, and safety. Critical factors for the success of the Internet of Things at scale are an informed public, sensible policy, and trusted service providers. Regarding the prospect of human-Internet integration (interactions via thoughts and/or bodily signals), I foresee profound implications for education. Assuming students are seamlessly wired into audio-readers, fact retrieval, and mathematical processing, education needs to reorient to the thinking, engineering, scientific, design, and creative skills that allow students to make sense of these easily found answers, and then apply them in context to solve problems, innovate, advance society, and so on. Wired societies need to build educational systems that assume each student has a supercomputer in their pocket, glasses, or cerebral cortex.”

Karen Riggs, a professor of media arts and studies at Ohio University, responded, “This is not a black-and-white matter. Of course, personal health and performance, among other factors, will benefit from such devices and networks. Personal technologies will allow people to experience wonders to which they otherwise would never have access, such as visits to foreign places. They will provide channels for physical, as well as emotional, therapies. On the other hand, some of these prosthetic devices and networks will create stronger filters between individuals as subjects and their external worlds. They will contribute to transforming understanding of what it means to have subjectivity, what it means to be a person in one’s relationships to all institutions, including the family. Unintended consequences of such technologies such as Google Glass and subsequent killer apps will present physical and mental dangers in addition to opening up creative and immersive delights. These devices will benefit many people but put ‘digital have-nots’ at a greater distance from personal and social power. An increasingly important concern is identity theft, and wearable technologies, through such means as optical movement and physiological activity, will provide means of mitigating it. Of course, malevolent technologies will create vulnerabilities that will again mean that protective technologies must be invented. Smart watches will create deeper manifestation of an always-on existence, permeating every instant of waking life and disrupting moments that are not intended to be part of waking life. The seduction of access to one’s world will offer new channels of participation, as well as new channels of external control. Google Glass, in addition to the aforementioned factors, will have the capacity to put individuals and those around them in increasing danger as we go from a society of distraction (i.e., texting while driving) to one in which the wearable technology will supercede attention to the outside world. Walking down the street or driving a car will become riskier, and face-to-face communication will become secondary to technically mediated communication. Changes in meaning of sexual, parenting, and friend relationships will occur.”

Andrew D. Pritchard, a PhD candidate and instructor in media-and-society issues at North Dakota State University, wrote, “The growth of the omnipresent ‘network of everything’ seems likely to profoundly undermine the independent sense of self required for the individual to assert him- or herself against the mass public. Many superb thinkers have articulated the consequences of the absorption of the individual into a collective identity, so I will only add that I have not seen any benefits promised from perpetual instant connectedness that strike me as outweighing the harm of the loss of individualism.”

Brittany Smith commented, “Wearable technology will help us to access information more quickly, stay connected, and monitor our health. As with any new technology, we will have to be intentional about how we use it, but used appropriately, this technology will help people overcome many problems.”

Beth Bush, senior vice president for a major healthcare professional association, wrote, “Healthcare will predominate. Applications/tools will be expected to be implantable and wearable to enhance life. The challenge will be how to upgrade and maintain.  Identification will no longer be password-driven. A combination of intellectual and biological identifiers will become the genre.”

Ian Rumbles, a technology developer and administrator, commented, “The increase in sensors will make it a challenge to develop the applications that can filter out all the data and provide usable information.”

Bob Kominski, a demographer and sociologist who works for the US government predicted, “These objects will only become more ubiquitous over time. To know where your child is at any moment; to have immediate assistance wherever you are; to be able to instantly access any piece of information—including your own personal information—these are all things many people want and will pay for. The key is ‘pay for’—no too many people want a $3,000 phone—just about everyone will use a $10 phone. And the more we move to 100% acceptance, the more powerful/useful the integrated system becomes to everyone. So, in essence, getting everyone to ‘buy in’ is the greatest challenge and greatest utility. As always, it’s not clear that the implementation of the moment becomes the one that ultimately wins. One area that has great appeal to many folks is the medical/physiological application area. Being able to walk, see, and move utilizing advanced technology is something almost everyone gets behind. But then, the broader application to more routine uses starts to happen.”

Patrick Stack, manager for the digital transformation group of Accenture Interactive, predicted, “Nearly everything in daily life will have a connected application associated with it. We can think of each person as a plug and each part of life as a socket—when you move from your bedroom to your kitchen to your car to your workplace and back again, each step along the way will be able to recognize your common identifier and tailor your experience accordingly. Marketing applications will be more restricted and subtle due to strong consumer resistance to in-your-face advertising, but experiences associated with already-purchased products will be ever-present. The transition will be relatively seamless and accompanied by little resistance, with the exception of very loud annoyance at marketers who intrude too far.”

Stuart Chittenden, founder of the conversation consultancy Squishtalks, wrote, “From automated payment systems that diminish personal theft, to inbuilt medical devices monitored and mediated by automated controls and response systems, to personal lifestyle data collectors, and educational things—these are all sorts of commercially exploitable opportunities. My main concern is that the question asks about ‘beneficial effects,’ which I can see with such devices, though the diminution of the human experience, our uniqueness, and interaction with the world around us, may be at risk, too. Many things will be wired into the Internet. We won’t carry the Internet around in our pockets (i.e., smart phones); we will live our lives ‘within the Internet.’ I don’t mean a scenario like The Matrix films, but rather everything around us will be designed with the Internet woven into it, whether in our interactions with it, its modulation of itself and our environment, or its capturing and data collection of the environment.”

Glen Farrelly, a self-employed digital media researcher and consultant, commented, “We’ll increasingly see public and private buildings connected to the network to provide a wealth of information readily available to people. The Internet of Things won’t progress as much in the homes as some people suggest, beyond home entertainment devices and climate controls, as the benefits will not be sufficient to drive uptake. I don’t see wearable computing gaining much ground from mobile devices due to their awkwardness and expense—and the fact that they don’t provide unique functionalities people need. This may not be the case for limited purposes, such as wearable computing helping disabled people or for athletes training, etc.”

Norman Weekes, a volunteer for a non-profit organization, predicted, “In the long run, people prefer to be unplugged.”

James Penrod, the founding vice president of technology and CIO at Pepperdine University, University of Maryland at Baltimore, California State-Los Angeles and the University of Memphis between 1969 and 2010, responded, “It will impact all aspects of life dramatically but none more than health and medicine; it will occur in all areas, but especially in enabling advanced warnings of disease or imminent failure of human organs. The political implications will be much as they are today, an advantage to the well off, a big disadvantage to the poor. My hope is that our nation will have moderated the extremes in politics to some major degree; if not, we will have an explosive possibility beyond what now exists. I believe wearable interactive devices will be commonplace and highly valued in many ways, but interaction with eye movement, etc., will be mostly for disabled individuals or highly specialized situations.”

Ken Elmore, an audience research and development strategist, wrote, “There will be a merging of technologies, where only a limited number of Internet devices are needed, and maybe just one. Virtual displays generated by wearable devices will create mobility and always-on visual communication, replacing voice-only options like the current telephone. Much like the smartphone started as a phone, music and video players, and other connected devices, will expand beyond these early uses.”

Barry Chudakov, futurist, consultant, and principal with Sertain Research, wrote, “By 2025, we will have eaten and digested the technology that, today, we experience from the remove of a screen. This technology will be a part of us, as well as everything that touches us—and especially everything that we reach out and touch. Products on shelves will know when we pass them and choose them; location awareness will be built into everything, so we will experience a new sense of place from where we buy gasoline to the street we walk to work. This place will be layered, changing, alive: we will scan the place, and the place will monitor us. Our sense of the unknown effectively disappears: moving through experience will become i-experience, a living movie—a world within a world. With this technology, we will have crossed a threshold, gone deeper into the oldest of human endeavors—exploration itself. The social and political implications of ubiquitous ‘wearables’ and ‘scannables’ are that we all become the watcher and the watched. Watching our world in this enhanced way becomes spying. Our tools will enable forms of watching previously imagined only in dreams, but we will not consider seeing people via enhanced watching to be dream-like. We will assume these people, brought to us by lenses and digital connections, are there for us. We will not calibrate the economies that brought them to us—we are interested only in watching them. This urge to watch is so compelling that we will adopt its logic—as we do with all our tools—and we will easily move from watching what we can see, to watching what we could see. Whether adopted for so-called security reasons or for more personal rationales, our lives will all be on YouTube in a running docu-presentation that is not just an adjunct commentary to who we are and what we do; in some measure, it will be who we are and what we do. ‘Connected intelligence,’ Derrick de Kerckhove’s excellent phrase, will define the merger of the virtual and physical worlds. We will no longer think of reality as something out there—a store far from us, a person across the world or across the street; we will ingest reality as we now snack on corn chips. These wearable, connected devices will connect our minds and intentions and direct our attention. There is little doubt that, eventually, people will react and interact via their thoughts and other bodily signals, such as eye movements, but it is doubtful that we will have developed, perfected, and implemented this technology and made it commonplace in a decade. Having said that, even now, we are headed towards what we might describe as ‘active thinking’—creating tools and networks that we can think through and into in order to act in the world without performing overt physical actions.”

Ruth Martin, a retired university professor, wrote, “There will be great advances made in wearable health devices.”

Jamal Cromity, UI/UX technical lead for Infosys Limited, responded, “Yes, there will be more advances as more people are on the grid. The primary barriers to change will be those who prefer to remain off the grid. While those off the grid are a small number, those who lobby against change have a very powerful influence on how policies are enforced. In addition, for faith reasons, people will not barcode or brand themselves; however, wearing risk bands or accessibility via phone codes will clear norms. Glasses and items that can be taken on and off will definitely be more the norm, even before 2025. As the market for items you wear, like watches, becomes tangible to those that can afford it, accessibility will continue to evolve the norms.”

Melissa Mallon, an information science professional wrote, “This will have a major impact in the medical field. Doctors will be more available from anywhere in the world via wearable devices; there will be quick wellness checkups via scannable machines, etc. There will probably be some social upheaval in the fact that the public may feel the human element is removed. But the efficiency and the impact on quality of life and available healthcare have the potential to be huge. So many people use the Internet to share their lives and information about themselves. Communication is another key feature. Both of these interactions can be enhanced by wearables—it has the potential to make people more transparent, but also, perhaps, more cautious about what they actually share.”

Lori Latimer, a school technology coordinator said, “Anytime someone wants to embed a device into a human being, that spells trouble. We are not devices or things to be programmed. As a student of geology, I seriously doubt that our society as we know it will exist. We have less than 1% clean water left on the planet; the oceans are warm and acidic and filled with toxins. We are losing large mammals and microbes to deforestation and mining. We cannot continue on our present course. I have no opinion on this because I already witness crowds of people interacting with devices while ignoring friends, family, and spouses. I am sure that innovators will design many more doo-dads and devices to plug into the web, but again, we are nearing the end of the Quaternary Period, and we cannot say what our future holds. Our planet used to be called The Blue Planet. It is turning brown. This means it is dying. If it dies, we all do.”

Walter Minkel, manager of a public library system, wrote, “I wear an insulin pump that connects to my blood glucose meter and can interface with an app that keeps track of how I manage my diabetes. I imagine that we will see similar devices for many health conditions over the next decades—ones that make sure people will mental illnesses take their meds, for example. There will, no doubt, be personal budgeting software tied to peoples’ debit/credit cards, and, possibly, even devices that track what they eat and drink, in order to keep them on a good diet and away from harmful/addictive substances. I just want to avoid commercials, commercials, commercials everywhere. Imagine how hellish it will be when everywhere you go and everything you do, the things you look at (eye movements) and listen to (turns of head) are telling you, ‘Buy this!’ and, ‘Buy that!’ I imagine it like cable TV on the proverbial steroids, but on TV, you only have to sit through five minutes of commercials every five minutes.”

Kit Keller, a researcher and consultant, observed, “As with everything, moderation is the key. Some folks declare that Facebook is detrimental. I contend it’s the way they use (or misuse) it. Whatever is available has to be used judiciously, safely, and productively. I’ve not explored either of these options in any depth; however, if the device is at all clunky or intrusive, it will not last.”

Trudy W. Schuett, chair of the Regional Council on Aging for Western Arizona, wrote, “There will, of course, be plenty of evolution, with many mistakes along the way. That’s just the nature of the beast. If people can overcome their fears, the possibilities are limitless. When electricity first became available at the consumer level, it was distrusted and feared for all kinds of reasons; this is where we are right now with technology and the Internet. Although, right now, items like Glass and the watch are considered clunky and ‘uncool,’ or even dangerous. If used properly, there are great possibilities, particularly for the elderly and disabled. Assistive devices and physical monitoring could be beneficial for the elderly wishing to stay in their homes as long as possible but have no relatives or friends able to ‘keep an eye on them.’ Technology could allow someone living in Chicago, for example, to care for a loved one in Arizona while not being able to be physically present.”

Robert Furberg, an international senior clinical informaticist, wrote, “For the first time in many areas of social and behavioral sciences, investigators will face new types of data from never-before-seen quantities of information, enabling dramatic progress in advancing the core methods of these disciplines. We will need to develop new ways of capturing, curating, analyzing, interpreting, visualizing, and protecting these huge volumes of data that will be produced; however, the same forces that present such a tremendous opportunity pose critical challenges to our modern day processes, research ethics, and policies.”

Rex Cornelius, an information science professional, recently retired, wrote, “It will be most commonly, vividly, and surely in healthcare, and particularly in support and management of the elderly.”

Tim Mallory, a regional library services coordinator, commented, “The effects will be widespread, yes. Whether they will be beneficial depends entirely on your value system. We’d better all invest in server farms, or find a different way to store and access all this accumulated data; 99.999% of all communication will still be between disintermediated humans.”

Susan Barnum wrote, “Effects will emerge as we become more and connected, that our individual societies will become more democratic, more tolerant. When you come in contact with others, you learn how they think and why they think what they do. In addition, those who may be feeling isolated physically will find others who think as they do online, and feel less isolated. As a user of the Internet, I find the current Open Source and Maker movements to be especially appealing. These movements emphasize creativity, sharing, and community spirit. If these grow and continue, I see a lot of benefits to society coming out of these. I expect that we will have embedded hardware and software to use by 2025.”

Mary A. Malinconico, a futurist and consultant, wrote, “Wearable devices will distract from everyday life. We need to limit the amount of technology. We need to live in the world, not interact with the Internet all the time!”

Don Hutchinson, a retired entrepreneur, wrote, “Medical monitoring, especially of the aged and chronically ill, coupled with advances in medical diagnostics, present drug evaluation procedures now, with three stages of testing for approval, and will add a fourth stage of widespread usage because of the unique personalization of drug reactions and different genetic profiles. This could be provided with extensive monitoring of hundreds of thousands of personal recordings. Such drug monitoring, along with strongly worded ‘informed consent,’ will be essential to forestall a rash of legal suits. I’m not impressed with the value of glass or the watch as such, but wearable sensors, yes. A far-out application may be for criminal monitoring—a leap year ahead of current monitoring bracelets/anklets—such as for sexual predators, drug pushers, or intoxicated drivers.”

Tina Glengary, director of strategy for Instrument, wrote, “Wearables will likely provide the greatest value in enhancing the seemingly mundane, and often repetitive, tasks. We will also need to determine personal comfort in making our personal data accessible. These devices and services will become more interconnected, rather than discrete services by specific companies. They will also become much more passive, either working in the background based on preferences or smartly learning our preferences.”

Scott McLeod, director of innovation for the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa, responded, “By 2025, we will take many aspects of the Internet/Cloud of Things for granted. Whether these be wearable computing and/or sensors embedded in our environments, most of us will find that the convenience and empowerment far outweigh privacy/monitoring/tracking concerns. We will be interacting digitally with more aspects of our environment via voice, sight, biometrics, and other traditional, non-digital ways of interaction. In other words, our natural interactions with the world around us will now have a digital aspect overlaid on top that will enhance (and also diminish) those interactions.”

Casey Rae of the Future of Music Coalition, an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University, predicted, “Automation will continue to displace jobs. AI-like customer service will be the norm; manufacturing will continue to be eroded; even retail will be affected by the evolution of the home fabrication of consumer goods. Privacy will be tested by wearables and ‘always-on’ interfaces that will be increasingly woven into the fabric of everyday life. The ambient information commons will continue to expand, with display, computation, and data collection all a part of our shared environmental experience. Chances are, these phenomena will be heavily corporatized and may lead to all kinds of unsavory psychological—and potentially physiological—effects. We’re a long way off from networked minds, but increased computational and imaging power will eventually allow for tighter integration between synaptic and digital networks. Wearables are a total fad.”

Joan Neslund, an information science professional, commented, “We will track our lives and the lives of our families. We will watch our kids at home and on the playground. Freedom will be enhanced for kids; they will be tracked and free to go down to the creek to play. Firewire, Bluetooth, touch technology, whatever we call it then, will be fast and connected to all we do and all we want to do.”

Ralph Tomlinson, a library professional, commented, “Scannable and wearable devices will become more widespread but will also make it more likely that our privacy and our personal data will become less and less feasible. I do feel that applications using the Cloud will continue to play a large role, not only to store data, but also to access programs and applications. Wearable, connected devices, such as Google Glass and the Samsung watch, will become part of our daily dress.”

Bob Harootyan, the manager of research for a national nonprofit organization, wrote, “These devices will be more common, especially in interpersonal communications. The benefits will be improved and allow for more frequent communication with those whom the individual chooses to communicate. The major difficulties will be users’ control of the devices and the types of information that are shared through them. First, it’s important to clarify that people interact with each other or with other entities, not necessarily ‘with the Internet.’ The Internet is the vehicle, just as was the written word, telegraph, or telephone. People already interact via their thoughts and eye movements! It is called personal (i.e., in-person) interaction. That is why Skype is a notable improvement in interpersonal communication when compared to email or the telephone. Skype is bidirectional, in real-time, truly interactive (like the phone but not email), and it provides ‘in-person’ observation of others’ facial expressions, eye movements, eyebrow movements, frowns, smiles, etc., (unlike the phone or email). Verbal and non-verbal cues are part of the interaction.”

Karen Miller, a consultant, wrote, “How would that not be cool? Of course there will be wearables and all that other stuff. As with anything, the digital divide, or the monetary divide, is what will be the barrier to these types of things. I expect to see applications to the areas of safety (in fact, we already are: have you seen the new design of the smoke detector?) and other places where people are willing to pay more—so, probably fashion, also. Anything that will help improve efficiency will probably find a decent amount of success—isn’t that what history has demonstrated?”

Sam Moreland, a mechanical engineer, wrote, “If everyone is connected, when you are in public, your actions can be viewed by a wide audience, and this will change behavior and social norms. This is already being shown by municipalities that have equipped their police with wearable cameras. If that is adopted across the board, it cannot help but change personal interaction. It will be that much easier and quicker to access any information and there will be an expectation of instantaneous answers to almost any question.”

Meg Houston Maker, a digital engagement and analytics consultant, responded, “By 2025, the Internet of Things will have widespread use, especially in business, which has the most powerful drivers (commercial) for tracking objects’ locations and statuses. The social difficulties of these technologies lie in their use to track and monitor human movements, which could be ethically appropriate in some cases—for example, tracking migration patterns of refugees—and ethically inappropriate in others—for example, violating the civil liberties of children. Text and typing will lose its primacy, and we’ll invent new models of storytelling. Or, perhaps, this will simply be a reinvention of old models: the oral tradition, writ large.”

Amy Crook, senior administrative assistant for the IT department of a large CPA firm, wrote, “It is hard to imagine a time when things such as Google Glass are more than a trend/fad/toy because, what benefit do they really offer? More importantly, what are the consequences of such devices? I am thinking particularly of eyesight, in the case of Google Glass. People get eyestrain from too much computer use, or they get headaches from nearsighted/farsightedness. How will a device overcome that? Is there a big enough consumer base for such a product to be successful? By that I don’t mean, will enough people think it’s cool, but rather, will enough people with income to spend think the devices are worth the expense? Accessories, however, are different than Glass and the Samsung watch. Being able to Skype from the satellite radio in the dashboard, for example, is probably coming (if it isn’t already here…). Cloud politics will become grey, I absolutely believe. [Major factors include] ownership, marketing, and privacy. Will consumers be protected against Cloud breaches, or will everyone have to click an ‘I Agree’ box that effectively terminates a consumer’s right for recourse and redress?”

Maureen Schriner, an assistant professor of communications at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, responded, “Privacy is a non-issue. Individuals will be socialized to accept implantable chips and devices. The major change may be our willingness to carry devices. Instead, the devices will be all around us, using cloud technology so we can access technology at any time. Consider the analogy of drinking coffee: It used to be that we would make a pot of coffee in our house in the morning and carry a thermos to work. Then, workplaces started offering coffee, so we didn’t need a thermos. Then, Starbucks and other coffee shops started populating our cities. Then, Keurig made cups of coffee available almost anywhere, anytime. Technology devices will evolve the same way. We won’t carry devices anymore. Computer access will be available at every desk—from white and blue-collar workers, to students and patients and prisoners, etc. Computer access points will be offered on trains and planes and taxis, in every room of our homes, in our cars, and at the stores. The benefit of this is that we, as individuals, won’t need to manage the devices. The drawback is more technology junk than ever before—and a greater need to be able to recycle, reduce, and reuse the technology hardware. And we will accept chip/device implants into our bodies, or wear them as jewelry or clothing, so we don’t carry the device.”

Kate T. wrote, “Google Glass is cool, but in 2025, we’ll look at it the way we look at pagers now. It’s a steppingstone. Glass and similar devices are focused on being fun and making things easier right now, which is well and good but not really revolutionary. If people are able to wear devices in 2025 that can accurately warn them of heart problems (for example), then that will change everything. These devices may make us look at our bodies in a different way.”

Vickie Kline, an associate professor at York University, wrote, “At the top of my wish list are any technologies that allow us to augment the abilities of the human mind. I could use a faster processor and a memory upgrade right now.”

Brian Asner, 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). This is all dependent on the intuitiveness of the technology. In its current form, Google Glass feels like a barrier between the virtual and physical world, while the Samsung watch feels like the user can better control how they want this technology to be integrated into their lives. The devices that succeed will be designed around people, not in spite of them.”

Annette Liska, a design director for a research and design company, wrote, “Today, we wear our mobile computing devices on our person, even if it’s not in the form of a watch or embedded in our bodies. It is ubiquitous across demographics. By 2025, the most beneficial aspects of this connectedness will be how granular we can curate what is shared and that it can be done hands-free. In the social context, we already share these things, but our overall state could be more fully communicated to our chosen network. With expectations toward privacy likely to change, the Internet may become an area with more boundaries; that is to say, we will cultivate an Internet—and thus connections—with the people we desire to be in that cloud, and keep away from those that make us vulnerable. Glasses and watches are good prototypes to understand use-cases today but will likely not have much longevity. The issue of trustworthiness is key; human beings don’t respond well to creepiness, unless it’s confined to art (movies, books, etc.). We may connect superficially with such tools, and the data communicated with them, but sincere trust is not possible if ‘over-mediated,’ which is what Google Glass does to our line of vision and natural sensory perception. Today, those with missing limbs or loss of control of their bodies are already testing prototypes to move or control their bodies with thoughts or impulses. Eye-tracking tools to study technology use have been widely available for years. Finding opportunities to further refine such tools in safe and social scenarios is likely a matter not of ‘if,’ but instead, ‘when.’ The success of such tools depends upon how much we are still able to naturally trust our own sensory instincts, instead of having them trumped by technology.”

And the last word, from Doc Searls:

Doc Searls, journalist and director of ProjectVRM at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, wrote, “First, the nature of the Internet, with its end-to-end architecture, welcomes everything—literally—in the world, in addition to the people, machines, and organizations connected today, by 2025, countless trillions of things will be online. Second, it isn’t necessary for everything to have onboard intelligence, or to be connected full-time to the Net. Intelligence and connectivity can be abstracted away from things themselves to their own Clouds. This means everything is already in a position to have a Cloud of its own. This is all early stuff, but it already proves several things:

1. That the intelligence of a thing can be abstracted to its own Cloud
2. That its Cloud can have its own operating system
3. That it’s possible to program relationships between things, and what events (such as scanning) can trigger
4. That the Cloud of a thing can live within the Cloud of a person, and both run the same operating system

People’s Clouds of things can be as personal and private as their houses (and, when encrypted, even more so). They can also be far more social than any ‘social network’ because they won’t involve centralized control of the kind that Facebook, Google, and Twitter provide. Instead, they can connect to each other in a fully distributed way. Logical operations can be programmed among and between anybody and anything in the world, with full respect for the permissions others provide voluntarily. For example, one could program (or have programmed for them) this kind of logic:

— If my phone scans the QR code I’ve put on my cable modem, a message will go to the cable company saying that’s just happened. The cable company could note the message and its source, check against a trouble ticket database, and text back a message such as, “We see there is an outage in your area. Service should be back up within two hours.” Or,
— If a cable company technician scans the same QR code, she will get access, with my permission, to whatever data I have chosen to flow into the Cloud of the cable modem. In fact, the Cloud for the modem could have data in it from both the cable company and myself.

Several additional points are worth noting here:

1. All kinds of logic can be written and executed in this scenario: if, then, and, or, else, nor, and so on.
2. There will be a hefty business in providing, provisioning, and programming Clouds for things and people, and making it all easy.
3. Products themselves become platforms for relationships between customers and companies. This opens huge service opportunities. (See more in this piece I wrote for HBR.)

Today, all customer-service frameworks are provided by companies, and not by customers. All are also different from each other and require that each of us maintain separate relationships with all of them. (Even when many companies use the same back-end Cloud, as they do with Salesforce, what faces the customer is different for each company.) In the new system we see emerging above, customers will own—and standardize—the relationships they have with companies. (One small example of this is the ability to change one’s contact information one time for all company relationships, rather than separately for all of them.)

We will wear smart clothes and smart things. The world will also be thick with smart things as well, including products for sale that communicate what they are, what they cost, and much more. Moderating between our selves and the rest of the world will be systems of manners. So, for example, we might wear devices that signal an unwillingness to be followed, or to have promotional messages pushed at us without our consent. Likewise, a store might recognize us as an existing customer with an established and understood relationship. Google Glass today is a very early prototype and has little, if any, social manners built-in, which is why it freaks people out. New manners-friendly systems, and the protocols to go with them, will be worked out over the next five or so years. (Some paths in this direction are outlined in my blog post, Searls Glasses.)

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

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