What are Networked Objects?


Networked objects connect the physical world with the world of information through the web. They do so through TCP/IP, the set of standards that enables network connections and specifies how information finds its way to and from myriad connections it contains. TCP/IP was formulated in the 1970s by Vinton Cerf and Robert E. Kahn. The advent of TCP/IP v6, launched in 2006, added enormous new addressing capabilities to the Internet, and enabled objects and the information they might carry in attached sensors or devices to be addressable and searchable across the web. This expanded address space is particularly useful for tracking objects that monitor sensitive equipment or materials, point-of-sale purchases, passport tracking, inventory management, identification, and similar applications. Embedded chips, sensors, or tiny processors attached to an object allow helpful information about the object, such as cost, age, temperature, color, pressure, or humidity to be transmitted over the Internet. This simple connection allows remote management, status monitoring, tracking, and alerts if the objects they are attached to are in danger of being damaged or spoiled. Traditional web tools allow objects to be annotated with descriptions, photographs, and connections to other objects, and any other contextual information.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • Internet of Things Maybe I have overseen this in the list? Of course, Internet of Things is one important technology that will have an impact also on libraries (see the discussion in the Desktop Research section). The OCLC publication gives an idea of how this technology will have impact on libraries.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Apr 14, 2015 Fascinating opportunities for libraries NFC etc- DaveP DaveP Apr 19, 2015 - rurik.greenall rurik.greenall Apr 19, 2015 Agreed---will have a tremendous impact on many areas including higher education and academic libraries. - Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto Apr 19, 2015 - mkloes mkloes Apr 19, 2015 A year ago, I thought--on this topic--that its impact would be minimal in the next few years. One year later, I laugh at my 2014 self. It's here now, and it's a bit daunting already. We have faculty and students who are generating massive amounts of data with exercise equipment, sensors, their phones, etc. and are beginning to see the exploitative possibilities with their own data. This seems like a trend that's about to go nuclear, and in libraries we should be asking ourselves about whether we provide the right support, which could include the software environment necessary to analyze and visualize such data, storage for the data, public displays where it can be showcased as either data visualizations or data art, and so forth. - askeyd askeyd Apr 27, 2015 [Editor's Note: Added here from RQ2.]
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I missed the topic Internet of Things, but it seems to be here... Nevertheless I suggested a new topic called IoT.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Apr 14, 2015
  • I'm going to add my thing about the Quantified building again capturing who, what, when, where, why and how of what is happening and sharing it with users, staff and the executive of Universities! - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • Sentient buildings or at least smart buildings capturing activity and explaining the narrative of daily activity, helping us to predict services, patterns of use and respond - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015 Agree with concept of "smart building" and smart objects within it. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 18, 2015
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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