Picnic 08: How Rafi Haladjian plans to connect everything the internet

Rafi Haladjian, a pioneer of Minitel, the French precursor to the internet, gave a thought-provoking presentation on the Internet of Things, on the second day of Picnic 08, and how his company, Violet, plan to connect everything on the planet – and he means everything – to the internet.

Violet is about to market a device called the Mir:ror, a wireless RFID reader and a corresponding set of RFID stamps that you can stick to household objects. The idea is that you stick a stamp on something like a bottle of pills, and then use the Mir:ror to record every time you take your medicine. Alternatively, you stick a stamp on your weighing scales, and the Mir:ror connects the results to your computer so you can record your weight over time.

Haladjian used the analogy of electricity to describe how ubiquitous the next-generation internet is going to be. He said that when electicity was invented the only thing you could use it for was for lighting. The same company that supplied you with the electricity also supplied the light bulbs. He says that the Mir:ror is like the second phase of electricity, when people bought general-purpose electric motors and connected them to non-powered appliances. He says that the phase beyond that is like electricity today, when a myriad of household items are powered without us really thinking about it.

In the same way, he says, the internet will just be a commodity, like electricity is today. “The internet of things is inescapable,” he said. “It is just going to happen.”