The Internet-of-Things threatens to dwarf the Internet-of-People, as machine-to-machine interactions dominate even our personal spaces. Right now I am writing this comment on my iPad-3 while viewing the ballgame on my iPad-2 and keeping track of my upcoming appointments on my smartphone--all of which are linked together via WiFi and up to the cloud for auto-synchronization with Ethernet to my broadband cable modem. Already the bandwidth used by my keystrokes dwarfs the bandwidth used my machines all talking to each other and the cloud. In the future, nearly everything electronic will have an IP address, thanks to chips sets that are already poised to dip below $1, and with IPv6 in place, there is plenty of space avialable for more. One pet peeve of mine that I hope will be cured by the Internet of things is weather prediction. With realtime sensor network input from around the globe combined with cloud-based analytics running on cluster supercomputers, can't we at least get tomorrow's weather right! But perhaps Aristotle said it best: Hope is a waking daydream.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.