Friday, 16 September 2011

Kimtag And The 'Internet Of Things'

We had a long discussion the other day with some industry people about the growth of NFC. One of the topics was how NFC will play it's part in the 'Internet of Things' and what this will really mean. Of course, our point has always been that the Internet of Things isn't just about NFC in the same way that NFC isn't just about payment systems. In fact, QR Codes and any number of current technologies are likely to play an equally important role.

But it got us thinking. Where is Kimtag within this Internet of Things ecosystem ?

We had always considered Kimtag to be a core element of the Internet of Things. It was one of the fundamental reasons that Kimtag was started. Kimtag was built on the concept that objects (which includes companies and people as well as products and other 'things') will not contain information themselves but will refer to the internet 'cloud' to display information. We hold the view that this immediate information store takes the form of a 'connection hub' - a place where the user can decide how to get information rather than a direct display of information itself. The principle being that we no longer can assume how the user will want that information provided and the device with which they will want to access it.

A key element of this idea is therefore that Kimtag is not an information store. It's not a social network itself or a method of displaying information. It may contain certain elements of information which we have called 'information objects' but the purpose of these is to aid identification of the Kimtag rather than the transfer of information in itself.

Wikipedia describes the 'Internet of Things' as 'uniquely indentifiable objects (Things) and their virtual representations in an internet-like structure'. In other words, a system of referencing physical objects with virtual information about that object.

If we consider that Kimtags are already being used on thousands, if not tens of thousands, of products, books, plant pots, and a myriad of other things - could we say therefore that Kimtag is an Internet of Things ? If so, how does Kimtag then integrate with a more global Internet of Things. And what form would that take.

The answer is that perhaps that integration already exists. Kimtag is providing the mechanism to link thousands of 'things' to information stores within social networks, blogs, websites and so on all the time. At the same time as being an Internet of Things we are also fully integrated into an already established wider Internet of Things.

We are already there.