In the future, machines will be the biggest users of the Internet, according to a report entitled "Internet of Things" by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). They will overtake humans to become the biggest users of the Internet, and we shall see a new era of electronic sensors, smart homes, and tags that track users' movements and habits.
(The report) outlined the next stage in the technological revolution where humans, electronic devices, inanimate objects and databases are linked in real time by a radically transformed Internet.
Humans may eventually become the minority of Net users, as machine users of the Internet begin to number in their billions. Experts are counting on tens of billions of human and inanimate users in future decades, versus the current 875 million Internet users worldwide at present.
Remote computer-controlled household appliances are already appearing, as well as prototype cars with collision-avoidance sensors. Mobile phones can be used as electronic train tickets while meat exports from Namibia or goods for US retail chain Wal-Mart carry electronic tags to allow them to be tracked.
The ITU's vision goes further, highlighting refrigerators that independently communicate with grocery stores, washing machines that communicate with clothing, tags implanted underskin with medical equipment, and pens directly linked to the Internet.