I first read that as “The Deck Of Many Things“, a notorious D&D artefact that, more often than not, resulted in your character’s soul being trapped in an inter-dimensional prison or violated repeatedly by a powerful undead assailant. But no, we’re talking about a concept IBM’s been pushing for a couple of years now (as you’ll see in the video above), where all sorts of devices — from phones, to sensors to, well, washing machines — can access each other’s data and, eventually, communicate.
CSIRO’s taking tentative steps towards this future with the help of Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Greece. The goal of the €4.2 million ‘Open Internet Of Things’ project, funded by the European Union, is an open source platform that facilitates communication between all sorts of sensors, using the internet as a transport and storage medium. From The Australian:
The idea, according to CSIRO ICT deputy director Darrell Williamson, is to build a platform that will allow sensor networks — everything from radio-frequency identification chips to soil moisture sensors — to communicate through the cloud (internet).
“Everything in the cloud is virtual and you don’t care where things are located, but when you have real things like sensors and you are trying to do real experiments, you have challenges.”
As you can tell, they’re not aiming for phone-to-washing-machine relations; for now, it’ll focus on gathering info from devices for more science-related activities. But, with it being a non-proprietary platform, it leaves the door open for anyone to jump in and get their hardware talking.
The idea of an open network of sensors keeping track of pretty much everything sounds like a boon to scientists and researchers. It also sounds like the very first thing a rogue AI would need to plan our demise, but let’s not think about that right now…