A UK GOVERNMENT backed project is giving 10 British companies up to £50,000 each to conduct preparatory studies for moving towards an applications and services marketplace, or 'internet of things'.
The first investment in the initiative will be managed by the Technology Strategy Board and is aimed at speeding up the formation of the so-called Internet of Things.
After the studies are completed, the Technology Strategy Board said it will invest up to £4m later in 2012 in a funding competition that will lead to development of a "convergence demonstrator". We think that's probably a way of showing how lots of different devices and apps work with each other, but then again it could be some made-up government term.
David Bott, director of innovation programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, said that the Internet of Things has the potential to "stimulate large scale investment, create jobs and bring substantial economic growth".
He added, "The number of connected objects is estimated to reach 50 billion by 2020, and the potential added value of services using the Internet of Things is likely to be in the range of hundreds of billions of pounds a year, with new business models, applications and services across different sectors of the economy."
The 10 companies leading the preparatory studies are AIMES Grid Services, BT, Cambridge Wireless, Focus Innovation, Globosense, Housing 21, In Touch InteliTap, Swirrl IT and WattBox.
Over a year ago we reported that the European Parliament started calling for an 'Internet of Things'.
The logic of 'things' was outlined by Maria Badia I Cutchet, who said that the Internet of Things involves revolutionising "person to thing and thing-to-thing interaction".
She said that in future it will be possible for all the information on a product to be stored, received and transmitted in wireless mode via a chip stuck on the product and measuring just a few millimetres in size. µ