M2M and the Internet of Things

What Google might be planning for the Internet of Things

Published on: 2015-02-05

How might Google evolve in next 10 years? That's a question that has recently been asked on Quora, oddly tagged under "Internet of Things." But on second thought, maybe it isn't so odd...

The question is dominated by an obviously tongue-in-cheek graphic depicting Google's early forays (the purchase of YouTube, the release of Chrome and Android, etc.), but then delves into some absurd forecasts for the future (e.g. Google buys McDonald's, somehow "becomes" President of the US, and eventually launches a New World Order.

Ok, that last part doesn't sound so far-fetched to me, but all the same it doesn't explain why the question-asker might have tagged the question under IoT (among other things). There might be a few possible reasons...

#1 - Google thinks big: Google has been vocal about their vision of the future: it seems to mostly involve a bunch of robotic cars driving us around using Google solar-derived energy while we (drivers-now-passengers) sit back, relax, and consume some Google-supplied Internet ads.

In all seriousness, while the idea of a morning commute that doesn't involve me driving sounds pretty nice, Google and others will need to create or buy a lot of infrastructure to make their big-picture plans a reality. For starters, the self-driving cars will need to communicate with not just their drivers/passengers, but likely other cars, and perhaps the roads themselves for maximum efficiency and safety. Obviously that will create a big "big data" problem, which will be well within Google's wheelhouse to solve.

#2 - Instead of thinking big, Google thinks small...: While the media has focused attention on Google's big-thinking projects, like their solar power initiatives and self-driving cars, in fact the future may belong to the very small (micro- or nanoscale sensors, smart dust, etc.) that will need network and compute services of a very Google-scale to be useful.

#3 - Google becomes the Internet of Everything (IoE): Not hip to the name change in popular media from Internet of Things to the more comprehensive Internet of Everything, Google could simply become the Internet backbone for... well... everything. It's not inconceivable to think that a combination of braindead-simple APIs, cheap (or free) Google computing power and Google fiber/Google wireless/etc. could put Google in pole position from becoming the de-facto standard for every part of the M2M toolchain that will enable a future IoE.

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