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Internet of everything
Internet of everything

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Session 1: What is the IoE?


Early in your reading you will discover that the terms 'internet of everything' and 'internet of things' are interchangeable. Many British readers will be used to the different words being used for the same thing. In our living rooms, we can equally sit on a sofa or a settee. There is no difference between the two, we are sitting on the same thing.

This is the same for the internet of everything (IoE) and the internet of things. The IoE is an evolving idea, at its simplest level, we are using the internet to communicate with multiple distributed devices. In the hope that it will make our lives easier, offer new opportunities and extend the human experience. As you read this course, you will discover some of the ideas already explored with IoE as well as begin to formulate your own view how IoE could be a game changer. From smart homes to smart cities and agile manufacturing, IoE offers us some interesting opportunities.

A note about spellings: While The Open University is a UK organisation, Cisco, who originally developed this course, are based in the USA. Therefore you may notice that some of the images contain the original American spellings.

This free course, Internet of everything, presents introductory material and is intended to be easily accessible for those with some basic knowledge of computer systems and how they operate.

When you have read this chapter, you will have explored:

  • the sheer scale of the internet
  • how the physical world can connect to the internet
  • how the internet has already changed our lives
  • where we (the people) fit in with the evolving internet
  • where we (the people) fit in with the evolving internet.

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