What we refer to as the future is a concept where we imagine ourselves under a specific set of rules, spatial & digital environment, and predestined situations. That concept depending on our current state of mind and social capabilities might be or not be possible, therefore that concept could represent a future that’s around the corner or a future that still sounds like a sci-fi movie. Today we are primed to experience a situation that combines both near future and sci-fi into one possible future that’s around the corner. Rapid technological advancement over the past decades leads to an inevitable upcoming industrial revolution or industry 4.0 where human comprehension, machinery, and social patterns will all work together in order to achieve the next level of consciousness. One of the most promising concepts that will help us in making this possible future a reality would be definitely Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) or sometimes just Blockchain Technologies. We are using IOTA (MIOTA) as an example, for various reasons that would make sense as the article deploys, to understand how DLT is going to change our lives forever, on a scale previously experienced with the internet itself or the introduction of electricity on a public level.
In this article, we will take a look at a few concepts that are most likely to jump into our physical and digital realities respectively in the next decade based on present facts, technological capabilities, history of evolution and technological advancement, philosophy and big data analytics regarding mortal needs of a modern human being, expressed publicly or on a private matter and later absorbed by search engines like Google, and infinite private databases.
We already know that BOSCH, a giant company that previously have invested in DLT technologies and specifically in IOTA Foundation, by purchasing a significant amount of MIOTA, the native digital currency of IOTA, and Daimler are already working together in level 5 autonomous driving vehicles. According to official statements from both sides, it is most likely that we are going to use the first self-driving taxis by 2020 already. Individual citizens could call for a taxi and the taxi would pick them up outside their residence or working area. The taxi would follow predesigned and tested routes using sophisticated driving processors and could drop the citizen at A desired geolocation. The citizen, in this case, the user or customer, would pay for the autonomous service using a currency that the machine, in this case, the autonomous vehicle could accept, process, store and exchange if needed. What best currency to do that than IOTA which is specifically made for machine to machine (m2m) interactions and payments.
Public transportation is not going to be left behind as technology evolves and DLT solutions constantly create new options for previous operating models that could be now integrated into the new era using blockchain technology. An operative example would be a Smart Bus or a Smart Train in a modern Smart City, covered by 5g and IoT Networks. In this case, a citizen would be able to enter a train line, guided by his smart hand-held device, sit on the best possible seat if available at that time, discovered by the interaction between the train and the respective user’s smart hand-held device, based on historical events, choices and preferences of the individual user. The user is not obliged to talk to anybody, issue tickets or use his credit card before entering the train. Instead, a digital ticket will be automatically issued as the user enters the vehicle. According to the distance traveled the ticket will be filled and charged by the transportation unit directly to the user’s smart hand-held device, where again a digital currency will be exchanged between the two parties without mortal permission or interference.
These are just a couple examples of where industry 4.0 is heading. User-based historical events discovered by each user’s smart devices would help the machines to understand better what humans need, when they need it, and how are they using what they got. A complex algorithm will store and process that data on a private scale until the user chooses to share his personal data with services or products that might ask for such permissions in order to make the user’s experience outstanding.
All this information stored and exchanged between the machines will have one single purpose: understand the human needs. It might sound like a pre-apocalyptic version of the Matrix but we already passed that level when we ‘agreed’ that the internet is here to stay and it is now a part of our lives, same as the sun, same as our dreams, same as other humans beings.
Of course, the machines will only have access to information you are willing to share with them and on their turn, they will share this information with third parties or other machines only if you choose to. When that happens, machines create an interlink and start ‘discussing’ or ‘bartering’ on their own scale. For example, when you visit a coffee-shop and you claim a ‘latte’, paying with your “plastic currency” what happens is that the plastic card interferes with the PoS device and they have a silly conversation in algorithms that would look like that :
– pos->card : welcome to our coffee-shop, it seems that your user has already decided what he is going to have, would you like me to charge you for his purchases?
– card->pos : sure, how much is it?
– pos->card : it’s X units, please.
– card->pos : let me ask my bank if we can afford that….it seems that we can. Here you go.
– pos->card : thank you card, please come again anytime. I will issue 2 tickets and my handler will know what to do from that point.
– card->pos : thank you pos, I hope we can have this conversation again.
See, in that case, although we think we just swipe the card and we pay for the ‘latte’, a rather more complex mechanism takes place behind the scenes in order to create that feeling of “ease”. With DLT technologies, that level of interference goes beyond a couple simple lines. Machines would interfere without your permission, unlike the credit card that requires your physical motion to bring it in sync with the PoS device, using IoT networks which put simply is the ‘internet of the machines’ that would cover Smart Cities on a scale electricity covers modern cities nowadays.
The information exchanged between IoT based machinery could create a link between the machines in the following manner:
A user that enters the train, finds a seat with the help of his smart hand-held device. Next, his device based on information gathered by the user and flagged as “public” would be exchanged between the machines in order to upscale user’s experience. For example, the train will know what kind of news the user reads and display them on a part of his window, the lights will be adjusted for that seat based on historical data, again provided by the smart hand-held device to the transportation unit. A digital waitress will bother the user if his history indicates that he’s usually buying snacks during the long rides or coffee during a short ride.
All that information and actions will be exchanged between the machines without absorbing the user’s time and effort to create these situations. The machines already have their own network (IoT) and now a digital currency specially made for that network and services around it is part of our lives. IOTA (MIOTA) is not just a cryptocurrency as many think it is, just because you can find it listed in CoinMarketCap. It is a network (the tangle), a scalable mechanism that can support as many users and machines as possible and has 0 transaction fees, meaning that sending MIOTA’s between the machines will eventually become automatic and it will be treated the same way we spend electricity in order to use our TV or kitchen today. We don’t say “I sent 2Kw from the main panel to the Fridge”. The machines connected to the electrical network do this automatically and they tell you before the purchase how much “electricity” they are going to spend upon usage in order to provide you the services they promised to.
It is no surprise that IOTA (MIOTA) is supported not just by BOSCH and Daimler, but the list is already too big to unveil in one thread. These companies and even governments are not investing in cryptocurrency, they are investing in the future. A future that is not only possible, but it is most likely inevitable.
What are your thoughts on the future of IoT and how IOTA could play a major role in the world of machines that’s day by day syncing with what we refer to as “now”. Let me know in the comments below.