Blazing fast networks, cheap silicon, always-on devices and a torrent of data will fundamentally change everything — how we consume media, how we work, and even who we are. We examined 10 areas that show how connectivity is profoundly changing the present and future of technology.


Data: Data is the new digital currency

by Derrick Harris

Data has been called the new oil, a sentiment that’s particularly apt when discussing the web. Like oil in a machine, data makes the web run. Without data, Facebook is just an empty platform, and Google is just a search provider.

Data has also been called the currency of the digital age. That’s true in some regard — rather than pay cash for many popular web services, we offer our personal data — but the analogy has its limits. Before data is truly the new currency, it has to be more connected. Wherever we go on the web, and possibly in the physical world, our data needs to travel with us and work for us.

Connected data brings with it life-altering promise for those willing to embrace data as a currency. Imagine a digital profile traveling with you as you peruse the web, letting sites with analytics capabilities know who you are and what your preferences are. Without having to select preferences or even log in to each site, information, products, music — whatever you care about — would emerge.

But it doesn’t stop with the digital world. For example, a customer loyalty card connected to your digital profile swiped at the entrance to a building could bring about a truly personalized shopping experience full of unique offers and specialized services. Health-related data generated by specialized watches or other sensors on our bodies, location data from cell phones, data from our cars, you name it: When taken as a whole, it all goes toward creating a more optimized life.

Of course, the privacy concerns are nearly endless in a world of connected data, which makes some of today’s work around regulation very important. Consumers willing to embrace connected data need to understand what data any given site will collect and share, and consumers need a choice about how much they’re willing to share. With every paradigm shift comes trade-offs, and when we’re talking about sharing potentially personal information with databases everywhere, knowing what we’re giving up, and what we can expect in return, is of the utmost importance.

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  1. The SmartPhone inside the car will change Telematics and the insurance industry. You can now track driving behavior leveraging your smartphone to provide data about your driving. Usage Based Insurance (UBI) will now be a reality. See http://www.locationlabs.com/#

  2. Katie @ Women’s Magazine Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Nothing great in the list still you have covered all of them in one place that’s a unique idea. The best thing according to me is Wireless connectivity of PC’s and my iPhone.

    1. That is only the beginning. The wireless connectivity of your phone with everything in your haouse and your workplace and to pay your bus ticket is nor far ahead.

  3. Katie Fehrenbacher Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    @akash agarwal, totally agree on this. thanks!

  4. @akash agarwal I agree, but why not extend this to other aspects of driving, instead of issuing speeding citations police could just send a standard bill for excessive speeds. We could reduce the cost of policing the roads. Just saying this makes me cringe btw…

  5. What’s “devalued” in this… the person. You are worth nothing because someone anywhere else can do the same job for a fraction of the money. Your work becomes their work with the push of a button….

    1. @sdinfoserv, Your comment makes me think of a recent talk I saw from Thomas Friedman. His message: Basically in this connected world people can’t afford to be average anymore, there’s too much competition with people competing for jobs on a global scale.

  6. took you long enough :-) Holonomy, david bohm, karl pribram… the interconnectenes theory and holonomics, et al, have been waiting for the market to catch up so they (these innately interconnected works from both physics and neuropsych) could be their as guides… For me , I have waited almost 30 yrs for the marketplace.. my own human and hu-sys evolutionary ontology, and associated products born from it – “The EvoReVo!”, EcoMind, OneMind, LeToonz and LeCozmos, and the LeToonz Ah-Ha and Flo (and other) characters-as-variables within the next big shell/OS shift platform, apps and metrics. Thanks for working at punching a whole into the next wave.

  7. A new startup to add to the list is Favabank @ http://www.favabank.co.uk where a virtual currency supports the sharing of time, skills, items and resources.

  8. A new startup to add to the list is Favabank @ http://www.favabank.co.uk where a virtual currency supports the sharing of time, skills, items and resources.

  9. If you’re in the UK and interested in collaborative consumption, check out Ecomodo.com. A marketplace to lend and borrow your everyday goods, skills and spaces with other’s locally and beyond!

  10. Boissou Jérôme Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/zxM8DQbw

  11. ‎2016년 위치기반 시장 100억달러, 구글 모바일 검색의 40%가 지역검색이라네요 http://t.co/CL6nF7GL #4sqkr

  12. 2016년 위치기반 시장 100억달러, 구글 모바일 검색의 40%가 지역검색이라네요 http://t.co/CL6nF7GL http://t.co/tnXeEYwF

  13. How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/obaNE7Sc

  14. For trips that are not too far, carpooling is a great travel option to go anywhere instantly. In Europe, it is very popular: students love it for last minute travel when trains or planes are full or too expensive. Mobile apps give you access to rides anywhere: a great back-up plan when you are stuck at the airport and your flight is cancelled.

  15. Jean-Marie Gilliot Thursday, December 1, 2011

    How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/ykTPXisQ joli tableau via @learningdrip

  16. Andy Hadfield Sunday, December 4, 2011

    What an incredible collection of digital trends and themes for the year coming. Watch these spaces y’all. http://t.co/MwaODsiX

  17. PRT @andyhadfield: What an incredible collection of digital trends and themes for the year coming. http://t.co/XCeuULdk

  18. How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/KTNv20hJ

  19. Connectivity is great but there is a point at which it is time to shut it off. People need down time and there is too much potential to be connected 24 hours a day

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