Chapter 1. The Internet as Material: Empowering the Next Phase of Connected Hardware Innovation

The following document is adapted from the keynote address by Ayah Bdeir, on The Internet as Material: Empowering the Next Phase of Connected Hardware Innovation, given at the Solid 2014 conference. Ayah opened her Solid keynote with praise for Neil Gershenfeld, who delivered a keynote earlier in the same day on the third digital revolution.

Before I get started, I’d like to vouch for something that was said in an earlier talk about Neil’s How to Make Almost Anything class. For me, this was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to get into. It was harder than getting into MIT. But to be honest, that class by Neil Gershenfeld changed my life.

Internet as Material

My talk here today is about the Internet as Material. We all know that the Internet of Things is a field that comes with a lot of promise to make our lives easier. The promise to get our thermostats talking to our fridges, thus preventing us from forgetting to buy milk, but also the promise of making our relationships with technology even better.

There have been many technologies and waves of technologies that have also come with a lot of promise. In the 40s, the 50s, and the 60s, when the first washing machines and ...

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