The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) entails connecting physical objects to cyberspace, says Professor Jon Crowcroft: “In this talk, I will discuss the business of trying to bootstrap the IoT. To this end, we need to create an innovative ecosystem that addresses two things: Firsty, we need to create a platform for peer-networks of users to create new ways to connect new objects, e.g. household appliances, to the Internet.


“A secondary appstore would hold systems for controlling home sets of appliances, and combining sets of such networks, securely, and safely. This would also extend access to the “home” (or work, or in the car) network of things to multiple remote sites (e.g. work to home, or public transport to home, or home to car).”


Professor Jon Crowcroft

Marconi Professor of Communications Systems, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge.Associate Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy.

Jon Crowcroft is the Marconi Professor of Networked Systems in the Computer Laboratory, of the University of Cambridge. Prior to that he was professor of networked systems at UCL in the Computer Science Department. He has supervised over 45 PhD students and over 150 Masters students.

He is a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Fellow of the IEE and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, as well as a Fellow of the IEEE. He was a member of the IAB 96-02, and went to the first 50 IETF meetings; was general chair for the ACM SIGCOMM 95-99; is recipient of Sigcomm Award in 2009. He is the Principle Investigator in the Computer Lab for the EU Social Networks project, the EPSRC funded Horizon Digital Economy project, hubbed at Nottingham, the EPSRC funded project on federated sensor nets project FRESNEL, in collaboration with Oxford; and a new 5-year project towards a Carbon Neutral Internet with Leeds.

Professor Crowcroft’s research interests include Communications, Multimedia and Social Systems, especially Internet related.

Professor Jon Crowcroft

Meeting details:

  • When:19th Feb 2013, 18:30 – 19th Feb 2013, 21:00
  • Where:BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA
  • Town/City:London
  • Organiser:BCS Internet Specialist Group
  • Price:There will be a £10 admission fee (inc vat) for BCS Members, £15 (inc vat) non-members, £5 Student (inc vat)
  • Booking Link:
  • Further Information:Further Information

Closing date for bookings is 12:00 noon on 17 February 2013. No more bookings will be taken after this date

This year’s Question is “How is the Internet changing the way YOU think?” Not “How is the Internet changing the way WE think?”

The Edge Annual Question — 2010

Personally, for 2010 it’s not how it changes the way I think – but how it helps me change the way I act.


Read any newspaper or magazine and you will notice the many flavors of the one big question that everyone is asking today. Or you can just stay on the page and read recent editions of Edge …

Playwright Richard Foreman asks about the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self-evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the “instantly available”. Is it a new self? Are we becoming Pancake People — spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.

Technology analyst Nicholas Carr wrote the most notable of many magazine and newspaper pieces asking “Is Google Making Us Stupid”. Has the use of the Web made it impossible for us to read long pieces of writing?

Social software guru Clay Shirky notes that people are reading more than ever but the return of reading has not brought about the return of the cultural icons we’d been emptily praising all these years. “What’s so great about War and Peace?, he wonders. Having lost its actual centrality some time ago, the literary world is now losing its normative hold on culture as well. Is the enormity of the historical shift away from literary culture now finally becoming clear?

Science historian George Dyson asks “what if the cost of machines that think is people who don’t?” He wonders “will books end up back where they started, locked away in monasteries and read by a select few?”.

Web 2.0 pioneer Tim O’Reilly, ponders if ideas themselves are the ultimate social software. Do they evolve via the conversations we have with each other, the artifacts we create, and the stories we tell to explain them?

Frank Schirrmacher, Feuilleton Editor and Co-Publisher of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, has noticed that we are apparently now in a situation where modern technology is changing the way people behave, people talk, people react, people think, and people remember. Are we turning into a new species — informavores? — he asks.

W. Daniel Hillis goes a step further by asking if the Internet will, in the long run, arrive at a much richer infrastructure, in which ideas can potentially evolve outside of human minds? In other words, can we change the way the Internet thinks?

What do you think?