The Internet of Things (IoT) & Quantifiable Self

Simply, the internet of things is increased machine-to-machine communication based off cloud technology and networks of data-gathering sensors, being mobile, virtual and instantaneous connectivity (Burrus, D, 2014). It is the essence of a usually trivial object connecting to the internet, inherently obtaining it’s own network (IP) address, becoming uniquely identifiable, as argued by two students of MIT in 1999 (Mitew, T, 2014). This definition and founding begs to question whether all objects that are connected to the internet are known as an internet of things object, or whether within the definition, they are only classed by this term when adding to the internet or whether the information it brings is intelligible. It has stemmed from media convergence and technological shifts prevalent in our technological era – refer to my blog post from BCM112 for further info about convergence. The Internet of Things has now entered the cultural lexicon and is widely debated on a personal, professional and academic level (Lupton, D, 2013).

Another topic that has now entered the cultural lexicon is the quantifiable self, being the movement to implement technology into data acquisition in aspects of a humans daily life in terms of input. The movement developed based around the internet of things, becoming another node, exchanging data not only with other humans, but with objects and material environments (Lupton, D, 2013).

Below I have put together a short Prezi about both topics

TedTalk by Dr. John Barret on The Internet of Things


Lupton, D. (2013) ‘Understanding the human machine’, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, Vol. 32, (4), pp. 25 – 30. >

Mitew, T, 2014. Do Objects Dream of an Internet of Things, The Fibreculture Journal, issn 1449-1443. Accessed 21/10/2015 >

Burrus, D, 2014. The Internet of Things is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realises, Wired. Online article. Accessed 21/10/2015 >


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  1. Wow love that you did a meme and a prezi! It really helped me with my understanding of the complex concept of the Internet of Things. This is an interesting article about how the Internet of Things goes much further than we all may think. Take a look if you get the chance.

  2. I like the meme – clever, referring to a sudden but inevitable influx of cloud technology seemingly taking over the world. The IoT is an exciting phenomenon and should be celebrated with useless shit like wireless toilet flushes. I wish I had a toaster that could cook my toast from downstairs, I mean I hate going upstairs to get something, then you come back downstairs and the toast is cold. No thanks! No one likes cold toast..

    The IoT has the potential to change the world, and it already is and most notably with drones controlled via mobile phones which is extremely innovative and allows us to view positions without endangering ourselves (if we were in the army of course).. Something slightly less depressing

  3. Hi Todd,

    I think a prominent aspect to consider about the quantified self movement is how it is putting the power of a “curated life” in the hands of people in a way never before possible.

    A really interesting article I found ( looks at how the US Women’s Olympic cycling team analysed and visualised quantified self data to find insights that improved training, ultimately propelling the team to glory, earning the silver medal in London.

    Just a few years on and the complexity of Big Data analytics has become simply and intuitive, and most importantly, accessible to everyday people. Simplified data analytics are empowering individuals to take a more active role in their personal wellbeing. With insights into health data, people can implement individualised self-care tactics that help them sleep better, exercise efficiently, eat properly and ultimately be healthier. Is it one day possible that if enough people quantify themselves and share their data with each other, patients might be able to crowdsource, teaching each other and relying less on doctors?

    It seems too good to be true! Self-tracking has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry in which health data has turned into a new commodity. But where is this health data stored and who is it being shared with? The quantified self movement is democratising health care information – but what is happening with this information still remains an important question.

  4. Hey Todd,

    Was wondering what your personal opinion of ‘IoT’ is?

    After watching the IoT scenario video in the lecture I was laughing so much, but I get the feeling that one day it won’t be funny, because it will be the reality. I found it so humorous because of the way he was talking to his house throughout the day, as if it was a person (and then ditches his girlfriend at the end of the video, because house of things > girlfriend).

    When you say “they are only classed by this term when adding to the internet or whether the information it brings is intelligible”, I think the answer is yes. Once the object is added to the internet it will provide so much data, not necessarily intelligible in my opinion, but none the less the data is being collected and available to analyse.

    Great work, and your prezi was helpful.

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