A spectre is haunting Europe, yes again. Ours, this time.
We are being robbed and the political structures that are supposed to create added value from our taxes and our personal psycho-social efforts at building coherence are directed backwards and no longer productive to their goal; to create an inclusive society for all intelligences (whether human, animal or plant ecologies).
Over The Top (OTT) players like Google, Uber, Handy, Facebook, Whatsapp, and many more to come on energy, work, mobility and decision making protocols, are taking at least 20% on every transaction away from local investments, straight into the hands of – mostly- US shareholders. Worse, they are getting so wise about our daily habits that all new services and applications will emerge from their datasets. This means effectively that currently US OTT have already more influence in the daily lives of our European citizens then any political effort from the EC or local or national levels. All they can do is fine or beg for attention of a FB or Uber official, who usually do not respond.
I am ashamed to be a citizen of such a continent.
And I am not impressed by the level of sense of urgency or strategic intelligence in the current European Commission officials. I don’t see them taking care of my and your – our – daily investment in practical coherence in our streets and future business value. Politicians I do not even consider relevant at all. They are busy with getting re-elected.
We are being robbed and our leaders have no clue.
We have to take matters into our own hands.
The first step is to re-evaluate the current wave of technology as somehow bad or worrying for us, simple people with no money, heritage or socio-financial capital or contacts.
Internet of Things (IoT) is in its essence the seamless flow between the
♣ BAN (body area network): the ambient hearing aide, the smart t-shirt
♣ LAN (local area network): the smart meter as a home interface
♣ WAN (wide area network): Telematics, ITS, Connected Car
♣ VWAN (very wide area network): the smart city as e-gov services everywhere no longer tied to physical locations
Whoever ensures traceability, sustainability and security linking up the gateways is able to offer the best possible feedback on physical and mental health, the best possible household decisions based on real time monitoring for resource allocation, the best possible decision making based on real time data and information from open sources and the best possible alignments of local energy providers with the global potential of wider communities.
Google is rolling out Glass and Lens, the Google Power meter and NEST, the Car and automotive, open data initiatives, and cultural hegemony through google.org.
These gateways, the platform and the ‚app’ or service store should be in public hands. I posit that this is only realistic by using Identity Management as a lever. I propose to build a secure, stable and innovative device that acts as a passport as well as a controller to which appliances in the home can be assigned. This device talks specifically to European platforms and clouds.
Citizens gradually manage more of their everyday services in the EU service store. Eventually this pragmatic clean slate approach allows for creating a specific EU pace in the Digital transition, much likes the success of the Estonian e-card, creates a real 500 million market, initiates and integrates new currencies (bit coin, free coin), eradicates black markets and corruption, and allows for new forms of direct participation and democracy. Moreover it builds a real iterative framework for research into quantum computing and bio-nano, so results from IoT projects can be harnessed in a meaningful real world architectures of applications and services.
This allows us to slow the developments down. Currently the world is run on a rhythm of startup-up-up culture from Silicon Valley, consisting of 90% engineers and 10% marketers. What values of life affirming qualities have ever come from this continent, except Bob Dylan? If it wants to run Silicon Value, fine by me. But I want a different basis then optimizing efficiency for daily life and the dreams of our children. And I am sure that the rest of the world feels quite the same. They also should put a roof over their own heads, the harvest the added value on the data of their citizens locally.
Rob van Kranenburg
Rob van Kranenburg is founder of the Thinktank ‘Council’, theinternetofthing.eu and the Linkedin Group ‘The Internet of Things’ (plus 7000 ), both in 2009. He is Community Manager of the EU FP7 Smart City Project SocioTal (sociotal.eu), and Chair of AC8 – Societal Impact and Responsibility in the Context of IoT Applications of the IERC, The Internet of Things Research Cluster. With Trevor Harwood from Postscapes.com he organizes the 4th edition of the Global IoT Day, iotday.org