Brussels, 12 April 2012 – The "Internet of Things" (IoT) is a future in which everyday objects such as phones, cars, household appliances, clothes and even food are wirelessly connected to the Internet through smart chips, and can collect and share data. The European Commission wants to know what framework is needed to unleash the potential economic and societal benefits of the IoT. The Commission wants to ensure that the rights of individuals are respected and is launching a public consultation inviting comments by 12th July 2012. Today, an average person has at least 2 objects connected to the Internet and this is expected to grow to 7 by 2015 with 25 billion wirelessly connected devices globally. By 2020 that number could double to 50 billion. This means a possible future in which many everyday things are linked.
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, said: "An Internet of Things with intelligence embedded into everyday objects is the next big thing. I want to promote an Internet of Things that serves our economic and societal goals, whilst preserving security, privacy and the respect of ethical values."