Richard MacManus from ReadWriteWeb examines the consequences of the rise of the Internet of things, where objects start broadcasting data information to the rest of the world. I found this excerpt especially enlightening as it explains the variables that we could soon see as data points:
[Google VP Marissa]Mayer talked about “a sensor revolution,” including data from mobile phones. She remarked that “today’s phones are almost like people,” in that they have senses such as eyes (a camera), ears (a microphone) and skin (a touch screen).
HP’s [Parthasarathy] Ranganathan used the term “ubiquitous nanosensors,” that can have multiple dimensions per sensor:
* Air flow
What it means: imagine a world where every piece of communication comes with a “data payload”. We’re starting to see it with smart phones and Twitter/Facebook (URL links, photos, location, etc.) but we can expect more of these structured data variables in the future. They are key to the development of the Internet as they will provide multifaceted context to filter and interpret the billions of messages around us.
Update: you can read more about Twitter “Annotations”, the method by which we’ll be able to attach complex content payloads to tweets.