Beyond Facebook—Social Internet of Things—IoTBook

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With IoT, the internet has extended beyond humans to inanimate objects that are around us. What happens when all these things become social?

Beyond Facebook—Social Internet of Things—IoTBook

Monsoon is one of the finest times to trek in the ghats of the Maharashtra.  After several years of hibernation from trekking, this year I decided to join a trek club to revive this charm. As I shop for my trekking gear online, I come across this Digitsole smart shoe, a shoe that is reinventing the traditional footwear with connected sneakers that integrate wearable technology.  A shoe with health analytics, smart connectivity, movement sensors and heating.

As I study the features I wonder if this Digitsole could become social. Social media has been one of the greatest channel of mass communication that human has invented so far. I have been a big fan of Social Media for the last few years. I am amazed by the wealth of information that I can gather by connecting to the social media platforms. That is not the end; researchers say that social media can increase intelligence as well. Clive Thompson in his book Smarter than you think argues that the internet age has produced bold new forms of human cognition worthy of both – celebration and investigation.

With the Internet of Things (IoT), the internet has extended beyond humans to inanimate objects that are around us.  What happens when all these things become social?

The Social Internet of Things (SIoT): Turning Smart Objects To Social Objects

The Social Internet of Things (SIoT) is defined as an IoT where things are capable of establishing social relationships with other objects autonomously. In this way, a social network of objects is created – it could be the IoTbook. Through the SIoT paradigm, the capability of humans and devices to discover, select, and use objects with their services in the IoT is augmented.


The IoTbook Relations:

Parental Object Relationship (POR): established among objects belonging to the same production batch. They are usually homogeneous objects originated in the same period by the same manufacturer for e.g. the smart shoe connecting with my smart trekking clothes manufactured by the same manufacturer.

Co-location Objects Relationship (C-LOR): established among objects (either homogeneous or heterogeneous) used always in the same place (as in the case of sensors, actuators, and augmented objects) which use the same environment such as a smart home or a smart city. E.g. My smart shoe collecting information about the environment and passing it over to the city officials about the trekking conditions in the ghats.

Co-work Object Relationship (C-WOR): established whenever objects collaborate to provide a common IoT application (as in case of objects that work in sync with each other and cooperate for applications such as emergency response, telemedicine, etc.). E.g. My smart shoe talking to my healthcare provider providing information about my activity while I am on a trek , if my strides present any risk of injuries

Ownership Object Relationship (OOR): established among heterogeneous objects which belong to the same user (e.g. mobile phones, music players, game consoles, etc.). E.g. My smart shoe connecting with my mobile phone for analytics.

Social Object Relationship (SOR): established when objects come into contact sporadically or continuously, because their owners come in touch with each other during their lives (e.g. devices and sensors belonging to friends, classmates, travel companions and colleagues). You can also consider the example of my smart shoe talking to my trek club mate’s shoes thereby syncing up every one during the trek.

Engage, Enlighten, Encourage… SIoT is a community effort where everything is an asset

  1. Decentralized intelligence and data: As things become smarter and social, the data / information and the intelligence would become decentralized.
  2. Self-operation, management, and organization: Mechanisms including self-organization, self-management, self-operation, self-healing, and self-protection capabilities would be a decisive part of the SIoT. Not only automatic network management will be relevant, but also autonomic data analysis, and service discovery and composition will contribute to enhance the user experience. Smart objects would become smarter as they can access data / information and learn from each other.
  3. Customer experience and management: Social relationships can derive intelligence and context-awareness in SIoT which could improve service adaptability and enhance the level of Quality experience for the customers.
  4. Business Models: Information sharing, connectivity sharing can be monetized giving rise to emerging business models.
  5. Sharing economy: With SIoT, we would no longer need to worry about being disconnected because of poor signal or bandwidth while we are on a trek – staying connected is now simple through this technology.


Do you think SIoT will flourish as human social networks?

Does it have the potential that can affect the way we live and interact with each other (Humans and Things)?

Can the above bring in more models which would contribute towards a fully networked society?



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