The Internet of Things, or the Internet of Everything, has become a popular buzzword in recent times. But what does it really mean? While there are many definitions, the central premise is that many or most of the everyday objects in our lives, from kitchen appliances to highways to paperclips, can be uniquely identified and linked together into a network using a variety of ‘tagging’ technologies, thereby sharing data and interacting to make our lives more convenient and efficient. The possibilities are endless – the lock on your office door could be linked to a taxi dispatch system, sending you a cab by the time you step out of the office building; you could have your car send a signal to start running a bath when you get close to home; an incoming phone call could automatically lower the volume on a nearby stereo system; or low inventory in a warehouse could trigger an automatic purchase order via a central purchasing centre.
The IOT development push in China raises a range of legal issues including those related to data protection, intellectual property, and antitrust.
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