A tip of the hat to @artbourbon for pointing out the article “Principles for Open Innovation and Open Leadingship" by Peter Vander Auwera, which led to a TED Talk by Joi Ito with his "Nine Principles of the Media Lab”. Something in this presentation struck me:
Media is plural for Medium, Medium is something in which you can express yourself. The Medium was hardware, screens, robots, etc. Now the medium is society, ecosystem, journalism,… Our work looks more like social science.
Great changes in society often go hand in hand with advances in communications, which in turn are tied to improvements in scale or portability of media. Think the printing press, television or even the development of paint in tubes which allowed impressionist painters to get out of the studios to paint water lilies and wheat fields.
We are seeing a similar advance in the next generation of the Internet. Traditionally, humans interact with computer systems and networks through visual media, like screens of varying sizes and printed material. However, this is changing: Sensors and actuators are shrinking in size and price, and there has been an explosion of devices, new services and applications that network these together into larger systems to increase their value through Metcalfe’s law. We interact with the actions of these sensors not just with our eyes, but other senses as well - a simple example is the feeling of warmth as your house adjusts its temperature as you arrive home.
These devices, and the platforms that orchestrate their interactions, are the media in which the next generation of the internet will be painted. We call it the Internet of Things today, or maybe the Interenet of Everything - but in long run, it will become just be the Internet. The expression of connectivity through sensors and devices will soon become as commonplace as social media are today.
Image "Wheat Field with Cypresses", Vincent van Gogh, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons