Military Review

Future on the threshold: Internet of things

The future that science fiction writers or directors of modern blockbusters draw to us is actually much closer to us than we think. The future gradually enters our life, changing it. In particular, we can cite as an example the three most interesting areas of the military-technical development of our days - the “Internet of Things”, 3D printing and robotics. We have repeatedly written about 3D printing, as well as about modern robots and the prospects for their development. In this case, the robots are not so clear. Currently, there is almost no information about the facts of use and the ability of robots to operate in the conditions of real combat.

In short, not only robots will determine the appearance of humanity and the armed forces in the future. Therefore, today we will take a closer look at the phenomenon of the “Internet of Things”. The Internet of Things is a very important area of ​​human development and technological progress in general. The term Internet of Things (IoT for short) hides the concept of an information communication and computing network between a large number of different physical objects (things) that will be equipped with the necessary equipment to communicate with the external environment or with each other. As such, this network can completely exclude a person from a part of operations and actions.

Having proposed the term Internet of Things as early as 1999, Kevin Ashton, who was the founder of the Auto-ID Center research center based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, clearly did not expect how events would develop now. Over the past decade, IoT ideas have been significantly deepened and expanded. Even 14 years ago, the scale of the proposed changes did not seem so large. Currently, the Internet of Things is not limited only to communication with things that have special RFID tags; it is already being considered in the context of combining such modern concepts as the intelligent environment and all-penetrating computer systems.

Future on the threshold: Internet of things

The Internet of Things will allow you to develop such dynamic networks that will consist of billions and trillions of different devices that can communicate with each other. All this will provide a fusion of physical and digital worlds. In IoT, for each of the real things of the physical world, there is a digital counterpart, a virtual representation of this thing. All these digital counterparts will be able to perceive information coming from the outside world, interact with various objects, exchange information. As a result, a completely new environment may arise in which the intelligence implemented through software applications can evaluate things happening in the physical world, taking into account previously accumulated experience and information to support decision making. In such an environment, qualitatively new conditions will be created for both the conduct of hostilities and for quite peaceful purposes: health, business, technical and environmental security, and much more.

The development of the Internet of Things is attracting attention and intelligence services. For example, the US National Intelligence Council, which coordinates intelligence efforts in certain industries and geographies, prepared a document called “Disruptive Civil Technologies” in 2008, in which, among the listed six different civilian technologies, has the technology with the highest explosive power. ", It was named IoT. According to the compilers of this report, by the year 2025, all objects surrounding modern man can be equipped with IoT nodes.

In fairness, it is worth noting that the Internet of Things still exists at the concept stage. The main reason for this is the lack of common standards. Without uniform technological standards, devices compatible with the Internet from different manufacturers and companies may simply not understand each other, and this completely destroys the very idea of ​​free exchange of information between different objects. That is why the Internet of Things needs its own consortium that would study the uniform cross-industry standards of network compatibility for a wide variety of objects and devices.

The concept, which appeared in 1999, is today the uptrend of all modern information technologies on the planet. Since 2010, its development and filling with diverse technical content, the development of practical solutions for the implementation of the concept has accelerated noticeably. This is also due to the widespread use of wireless networks (Wi-Fi), the improvement of machine-to-machine technologies, the emergence of cloud computing, the development of software-configured networks and the beginning of an active transition to the new network protocol IPv6.

If all this happens in reality, then the things themselves will be able to participate in the process of their transformations and movements, communicating any necessary information about themselves that is programmed into the standards for memory labels. The use of such achievements will fully automate the entire logistics process. With built-in intelligence, some things will be able to adapt to the environment and change their properties. Using IoT in full it will be possible to solve one (this is not the only problem, but just an example) of such complex problems as repair of equipment as it is. Any unit of a combat vehicle, tank, truck, rocket launcher will be able to independently transmit information about its current condition and the need for repairs or unscheduled maintenance. Having their own senses, these tools will be able to find other, somehow or other (organizational or functional) means with them, to establish interaction among themselves.

The most fantastic example of this kind of interaction is the so-called attacking swarm. This term implies a flock of small unmanned aerial vehicles (underwater or ground-based) vehicles, which will be able to solve the task assigned to it by a single plan and plan. At one time, the famous science fiction writer Stanislav Lem wrote about something similar in his famous novel The Invincible. In addition, the Internet of things allows in practice to create a combination of intelligent devices (for example, robots, various means of remote viewing) and human operators that will be interconnected by multi-protocol communication networks. Acting together, they will be able to create such systems that will allow solving tasks in view in conditions and environments inaccessible or dangerous to humans. We are talking about space, the battlefield, nuclear installations, great depths and altitudes, thousands of overloads and ultra-high speeds of movement. The synergy of various things in combination with the creative possibilities of modern man makes the opening possibilities of IoT endless.

However, as already mentioned, there are three main problems that can significantly hamper the development of the Internet of Things: the need to switch to the new IPv6 protocol; maintaining the required level of power supply of a huge number of sensors; development and adoption of common standards. The first and last of the listed problems are now more of an organizational nature, while the second of them is quite material and difficult enough from a technical point of view.

In order for IoT to fully realize its capabilities, it is necessary that all its sensors can operate completely autonomously. Just imagine what this means: we will need to have billions of batteries for billions of devices installed not only on Earth, but also in space. It is absolutely unreal. Therefore it is necessary to go another way. For example, sensors need to be taught to extract energy from the environment: from light, vibration, and air flow. Not so long ago, great progress was achieved in this area. Scientists presented a nanogenerator, a flexible chip suitable for commercial use. He is able to convert the electrical energy of the movement of human body parts (even with just one finger). This invention was announced back in 2011, at the 241 meeting of the American Chemical Society.

At the same time, there is another important factor that can easily become a pressing headache for all users of the Internet of Things without exception. In the above-mentioned report of the US National Intelligence Council, the Internet of Things also appears as one of the potentially disruptive technologies. The imperceptible and ubiquitous transformation of consumers into Internet sites of such things that are common for the layman, to which furniture, commercial packaging, and various documents can be attributed, can cause great damage to the interests of national security. For example, a candy wrapper left by a soldier in a tank can be a valuable source of information that tells in detail about the location and movements of an armored vehicle. In other words, a kind of beacon for air strikes.

In principle, every object that will be used by the military and possess a device with a built-in tag can be considered an enemy - a beacon for targeting missiles at a target, a reconnaissance aircraft, etc. In this case, over time, the number of such items will constantly increase. Cisco IBSG, a leader in information technology, predicts that 2015 billions will be connected to the 25 year, and 2020 billions of various devices will be connected to the 50 year. It is important to note that these forecasts do not take into account the accelerated development of devices and network technologies, so that in practice the numbers may turn out to be even greater.

For many millennia, the commanders have adhered to the postulate that it’s not so much the enemy’s power that is important as detailed information about it. In this regard, the “Internet of Things” promises to expose any potential opponent in full in the long term. And this, in turn, raises a number of questions: what will be the methods and form of warfare? How to increase their intensity and transience? Or it may happen that military units will be tied hand and foot due to the uselessness of the preparation and planning of a military operation, since the enemy will still be able to receive all the information in real time. All this is worth thinking about now, because the future, in fact, has already arrived.

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  1. borisjdin1957
    borisjdin1957 29 January 2014 09: 49
    from the Don.
    And you also need to think about the fact that mankind is wandering towards self-destruction! And in spite of all this crap I will build a real Russian oven in the yard, and I will bake a real BREAD in it!
  2. Apollo
    Apollo 29 January 2014 09: 56
    quote-Therefore, today we will consider in more detail such a phenomenon as the “Internet of things”. The Internet of things is a very important area of ​​human development and technological progress in general. The term Internet of Things (abbreviated IoT) hides the concept of an information communication and computing network between a large number of different physical objects (things) that will be equipped with the necessary equipment for communication with the external environment or with each other.

    No comment or translation. And so clear.

  3. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat 29 January 2014 10: 40
    Well, for every cunning ass ... there is a "bolt and screw". Once I read projects from the 80s devoted to Star Wars .. The author, there, described how in the future satellites from space will not only track everything in real time, but also hit various targets, etc. Well, like- " death from space "and nowhere to hide from it. In the comments to the book, some of our scientists said that yes, there is such a danger, but it will be possible to launch in advance a certain number of satellites or something else disguised as debris that, on command, will fill the near space with shrapnel that will sweep away all the satellites. both strangers and theirs. This is me to the fact that you can always develop methods to counter any threat, you just need to set a goal for this. Any apparatus that will be created in the near future will have a feedback loop and it will always be possible to influence it with varying degrees of complexity. Absolutely autonomous devices are dangerous for the manufacturer itself and will never go for it, there will always be a possibility of influence, for control. And any control systems are vulnerable. In addition, all equipment has a resource and after its expiration it fails - you can develop special impact systems that will reduce this resource, for example, sprayed aerosols to combat drones, etc.
  4. Gorinich
    Gorinich 29 January 2014 10: 45
    Any advanced technology only serves those in power. If money-grubbing and thieves are in power, then they will serve them, if bureaucrats are in power, they will serve these ... Ordinary people just get a "dry residue."
  5. user
    user 29 January 2014 11: 01
    All these modern technologies do not consider methods of counteracting such systems anywhere. And not at the level of the Papuans or Alkaids, but a serious opponent. Well, for example, for today, one airborne nuclear explosion over the United States is enough to disable all electronics, well, maybe except in Alaska, of course it will be restored, but not everywhere and not soon. There are still a thousand different methods and capabilities of electronic and not only counteraction (of course, all this I will repeat in the fight against a serious enemy), remember how Iran put Raptor at its airfield or taking its electronic devices from a killed or captured person, you get the opportunity to master all the enemy’s information (all of these electronic passwords and access systems are easy to set and quite hacked, and if you put a serious security system, a simple soldier will not be able to quickly work). Therefore, all these technologies will be used in very narrow areas with very complex, expensive and requiring quite serious engineering training of personnel, which by the way does not exclude breaking the system and intercepting information.
  6. Sadikoff
    Sadikoff 29 January 2014 12: 30
    The next step of man is industrial 3D printers and programs for them that change the structure of life in general, not just the economy.
  7. shelva
    shelva 29 January 2014 12: 36
    The world of machines, the Internet of things in the information age is no longer just a "machine in the service of man", but a threat to the existence of humanity.
    1. Astrey
      Astrey 29 January 2014 15: 31
      Humanity is a society united by human values. Values ​​are gone - there is no humanity. There is some kind of society, but he doesn’t give a damn about himself. Do not worry about him. I found a solution from Don.
  8. goody
    goody 29 January 2014 12: 56
    The future does not begin today, but yesterday. hi Have a nice day
  9. shurup
    shurup 29 January 2014 14: 07
    If the electronics of my AK starts chatting on the Internet with the M-16 electronics, then I will tear out the electronics block and make a false target out of it.
    1. chunga-changa
      chunga-changa 29 January 2014 14: 14
      Quote: shurup
      and make him a false goal

      If every thing is connected to the Internet with a cable, then yes, it will be a jerk. And all these ethereal pranks are easily suppressed, or even used to their advantage. As the previous speaker correctly noted.
  10. oSeR
    oSeR 29 January 2014 18: 07
    If each button starts to go online, for example, via a radio channel, then how saturated will the ether be? This is what kind of electro-magnetic field we will live in, then not only all the cockroaches will die)))
  11. max702
    max702 29 January 2014 18: 12
    The question is, who will develop and produce all this, and repair and service it in the future .. recently, there has been a tendency for education to decline around the world, and after that, stagnation of science and, as a consequence, technological decline, WHO? will all this do? The system is by no means self-adjusting and not self-restoring, all by hand, and before that by brains, robots are very rigidly programmed today, there is no question about any AI, there is not even the slightest understanding of how science (AI) should work in a dead end on this direction since 50 years, we hoped for the speed of electronics, it turned out that nifiga thinks fast, can’t think .. The slightest change in the external conditions that a person does not even pay attention to, AI puts into a stupor .. and the whole complexly turned system becomes inoperative.
    1. Monster_Fat
      Monster_Fat 29 January 2014 19: 55
      You’re right, colleague, in order to push human society towards development, eliminate various crises, unemployment, and so on, you need to launch and stimulate all kinds of new Wishlist for the whole people of the earth and especially for investors, you need to always move forward, you need to make everyone want something new, underwater, flying cities, exploration of the Moon and Mars, new types of dwellings and services, etc. If this is not done, then society will forever suffer from crises of overproduction, unemployment, inflation, etc.
  12. Old scoop
    Old scoop 29 January 2014 19: 51
    Are you afraid of losing control of your own iron? A certain algorithm of actions for all kinds of electronic tripe will be prescribed and the final decision will be made by the person. Electronics has been flying planes for a long time, but for some reason this doesn’t scare anyone. Or didn’t you know?
  13. Ivan.
    Ivan. 30 January 2014 13: 46
    In this regard, the “Internet of Things” promises to expose any potential adversary in full. And this, in turn, raises a number of questions: what will be the methods and form of warfare? How to increase their intensity and transience?

    In the future they plan the absence of sovereign states.
    Currently, the Internet of things is not limited only to communication with things that have special RFID tags

    They will be marked and people as things (of course, except for the owners), this is already in full swing. That is, the technological base as well as the legislative one is constantly being improved in order to accelerate the achievement of total control in the context of globalization.