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New & Noteworthy
Article Type: New & Noteworthy From: Library Hi Tech News, Volume 31, Issue 5
NYPL, Coursera collaborate to bring digital learning students into library spaces
The New York Public Library (NYPL) has announced a partnership with Coursera, one of the leading providers of free online education, to support their curriculum of online courses through their Learning Hubs program. Several branches will provide users with weekly in-person class discussions with trained facilitators, in addition to Internet and Wi-Fi access. The partnership builds on the Library’s strong community role in providing learning options for New Yorkers. “Online courses can be a boon to increasing learning, especially when students engage with each other, keep each other focused, and have access to advice and further options for study”, said NYPL President Tony Marx. “The Library is proud to be joining this experiment by providing Coursera students with a place to gather, support each other and delve into the library for more information to help them persist and learn”.
Over the past two years under Marx’s leadership, the NYPL has greatly increased its educational programs to support the needs of local residents, including NYPL TechConnect technology classes, ESOL and literacy classes through its Adult Learning Centers and NYPL’s recently launched series of free after-school programs, which promote student advancement. NYPL is also one of the leading providers of free Wi-Fi and computer access in New York City at 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.
Starting this summer, the Library will begin offering the free discussion classes in conjunction with several popular Coursera courses at locations in the Bronx and Manhattan. Students and Library users alike can also enjoy the Library’s exhibitions, lectures and book discussion groups to enhance their learning experience. “Over the past 6 months, Learning Hubs have introduced a collaborative learning paradigm to students in 30 countries across 5 continents. We’re delighted to welcome eight new organizations into our growing network, including the prestigious New York Public Library System”, said Lila Ibrahim, Chief Business Officer at Coursera. “Learning Hubs empower organizations across the globe to offer students quality online education enhanced with local support and mentorship, be it a refugee camp in Kenya, a USA embassy in Seoul or a public library in the Bronx”.
In the beginning of November 2013, Coursera announced the launch of Learning Hubs with partners across the globe including the US State Department. With >50,000 Coursera users located in the New York City area, the Library’s Learning Hubs will serve a city that shows great demand for online learning opportunities.
More news about Learning Hubs on the Coursera blog: http://blog.coursera.org/post/84322385012/new-learning-hubs-locations-hosted-by-the-new-york
Ingram’s Vital Source and edX collaborate to deliver content for MOOCs
Ingram’s Vital Source Technologies, Inc. recently announced that edX, the non-profit online learning initiative, has selected the VitalSource Bookshelf® e-textbook platform to distribute publisher content for its massive open online learning courses (MOOCs). EdX is a non-profit venture offering >170 free, open, online courses from 47 academic institutions, non-profits, corporations and international organizations worldwide.
Vital Source will distribute e-textbook content from leading publishers to the students who participate in edX courses annually. In a pilot of three participating courses offered by Harvard and MIT, tens of thousands of students collectively viewed >500,000 e-textbook pages delivered by Vital Source from John Wiley & Sons, Inc., a global provider of content and content-enabled workflow solutions. Through the integration of edX with the Vital Source Bookshelf® platform, students and educators can interact with course content seamlessly and can share notes and highlights with fellow students. “Developments in distance education through MOOCs are opening new doors to learning for people around the world, giving unprecedented access to college courses with the only prerequisite being Internet access”, said Kent Freeman, Chief Operating Officer, Vital Source Technologies, Inc. “EdX shares our mission of improving learning experiences worldwide, and now more students will have access to first-class curriculum and content from the world’s leading professors and publishers. We are pleased to have a role with edX and this emerging education model”.
The VitalSource Bookshelf platform is a widely used e-textbook delivery platform in higher education. It uses current technology to enhance the learning experience through e-textbooks and digital education. Content from hundreds of the world’s top academic publishers is available to VitalSource Bookshelf platform users, including those living with disabilities, on a variety of operating systems and devices. More than 6.5 million e-textbooks were delivered by Vital Source in 2013, and recently, Ingram expanded its digital textbook offer with the acquisition of CourseSmart.
For more information about Vital Source Technologies, visit: http://www.vitalsource.com
Thomson Reuters, Cornell’s Emerging Markets Institute collaborate on research portal
In April 2014, the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters announced a collaboration with the Emerging Markets Institute at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management to power a unique academic research portal through their Web of Science™ platform. “When first establishing the institute, we recognized that our partners needed a means to access this broad body of academic knowledge, and sought to find a solution”, said Javier Perez, Research Director for the Emerging Markets Institute. “We developed a portal to provide our corporate partners with the same valuable resources which we have here in the university”.
The portal provides access to 50 academic journals with articles covering 43 emerging economies across the past five years. The portal Web page also contains timely blogs about recent publications and trends in academic publishing about emerging markets.
This collaboration highlights Thomson Reuters’ commitment to spotlight regionally relevant scholarly literature and identify influential authors and research within rapidly developing research centers. The organization recently integrated the SciELO Citation Index, which includes approximately 700 titles and >4 million cited references from Open Access journals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Venezuela, into the Web of Science.
Thomson Reuters Web of Science: http://thomsonreuters.com/thomson-reuters-web-of-science/
Established in 2010, the Emerging Markets Institute was founded at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management to promote the research and study of emerging economies. The Institute provides a private forum for lively exchange among corporate leaders from emerging and developed markets and leading researchers.
More about the Emerging Markets Institute: http://www.johnson.cornell.edu/Emerging-Markets-Institute/About.aspx
Wellcome Library, NLM agree to make biomedical back issues freely available online
Representatives of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), a component of the National Institutes of Health, and the Wellcome Library have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to make thousands of complete back issues of historically significant biomedical journals freely available online.
The terms of the agreement include a donation of £750,000 ($1.2 million) to the NLM that will support coordination of the three-year project to scan original materials from NLM’s collection at the article level, and the Wellcome Library’s work to secure copyright clearances and permissions for electronic deposit from publishers. NLM will undertake conservation of the original material to ensure its preservation for future generations. NLM is authorized to accept donations in support of its mission.
Key journals charting the development of modern medicine over the last 150 years will be digitized in their entirety and made available on the National Institutes of Health life sciences repository PubMed Central (PMC) and its European counterpart, Europe PMC. The project builds on the Medical Journal Backfiles Digitization Project (2004-2010) and will contribute substantially to the current PMC archive of >3 million articles from medical journals.
Part of the project will concentrate on mental health journals, supporting a major archive digitization program also being undertaken by the Wellcome Library. Journals to be digitized include:
Mental Hygiene; and
the Journal of Psychological Medicine and Mental Pathology.
Other journals have been selected for their general relevance, such as:
the Indian Medical Gazette;
the British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review; and
the Transactions of the Epidemiology Society of London.
Donald A. B. Lindberg, Director of the NLM, said: “This is a wonderful step forward in our continuing partnership with the Wellcome Trust to preserve and make freely available important biomedical literature for research, education and learning. It is an example of a truly useful collaboration, and NLM is grateful to the Wellcome for its generosity”.
Simon Chaplin, Head of the Wellcome Library, and Jeffrey S. Reznick, Chief of the NLM’s History of Medicine Division, worked together to arrange the partnership in cooperation with their respective teams. “We are delighted to partner with NLM to make these important archives freely available to users across the world”, said Chaplin. “It is crucial that digitised content can be found and used easily, and PubMed Central, and its European counterpart, Europe PMC, are at the top of the list for anyone searching for biomedical journals”.
In addition to images and searchable text, NLM will also create article-level citations for PubMed. Digitization is expected to start in late 2014 and to be completed by 2017. Material will be added to PMC and Europe PMC as it is digitized.
Full press release: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/Media-office/Press-releases/2014/WTP056252.htm
Unglue.it launches new program for eBooks with Creative Commons licenses
On April 30, 2014, unglue.it officially launched its “Thanks for ungluing” program. From their announcement:
“Great books deserve to be read by all of us, and we ought to be supporting the people who create these books. ‘Thanks for Ungluing’ gives readers, authors, libraries and publishers a new way to build, sustain, and nourish the books we love”. “‘Thanks for Ungluing’ books are Creative Commons licensed and free to download. You don’t need to register or anything. But when you download, the creators can ask for your support. You can pay what you want. You can just scroll down and download the book. But when that book has become your friend, your advisor, your confidante, you’ll probably want to show your support and tell all your friends”.
Books participating in the program include:
John Sundman’s 1999 underground hit Acts of the Apostles, a novel about a Silicon Valley messiah, his cult following of brain hackers, and the convergence of biological and digital technologies. It was the second book ever to have a Creative Commons license. (The first was Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.)
Open Book Publishers (OBP) of Cambridge, England, is offering two titles from their list of academic titles in “Thanks for Ungluing”. The first is The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture, which brings together academics, librarians, entrepreneurs, activists and policy makers to address the apparent paradox, whereby digital technology has made culture more accessible than ever before, while the norms regulating culture’s use – copyright and related rights – have become increasingly restrictive.
OBP’s second title, The Classic Short Story, 1870-1925: Theory of a Genre, is the only study to focus exclusively on the heyday of short story writing – the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – across French, English, Italian, Russian and Japanese writing. Focusing particularly on the stories of Guy de Maupassant, Henry James, Giovanni Verga, Anton Chekhov and Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Florence Goyet shows that these authors were able to create brilliant and successful short stories using the very simple “tools of brevity” of their period.
Moebius Noodles is a delightful book that helps parents teach math to preschoolers. How do you want your child to feel about math? Confident, curious and deeply connected? Then Moebius Noodles is for you. It offers advanced math activities to fit your child’s personality, interests and needs.
Jim Bower’s Green Comet imagines … life on a comet. Jake Hartnell’s 23rd Century Romance extrapolates romance into our plugged-in future.
Unglue.it expects to have more “Thanks for Ungluing” books soon. Any ebook published with a Creative Commons license is eligible, as long as the rights status and technical quality can be verified.
Complete announcement: http://blog.unglue.it/2014/04/30/thanks-for-ungluing-launches/
Wright American Fiction project at Indiana University updates encoding, delivery
The Indiana University Libraries have announced the launch of an updated version of the Wright American Fiction project. The Wright American Fiction project was conceived in 2000 under the leadership and editorship of Perry Willett, and with active participation from several Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Libraries that contributed to the digitization and encoding of the nearly 3,000 titles in this online collection.
The Wright American Fiction project draws from the comprehensive bibliography compiled by Lyle H. Wright, librarian at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Wright listed a total of 2,923 titles in adult fiction, including “novels, novelettes, romances, short stories, tall tales, tract-like tales, allegories, and fictitious biographies and travels, in prose” (from the introduction), and inventoried 18 American libraries for holdings. This compilation is part of his three-volume set listing American fiction from 1774 through 1900, and is considered the most comprehensive bibliography of American adult fiction of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
American fiction was still in its infancy in the years 1851-1875, but this period saw publication of works by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Dean Howells and Herman Melville. Many of these authors, especially Twain, Harte and Howells, had just begun their writing careers during this period and went on to write their best-known work later. However, most of the authors contained in the bibliography are little known. This period – a momentous one in American history – provides the foundation for later American literature, and this digital collection of 2,887 titles allows insight into American literature, culture and history otherwise unattainable.
The Wright American Fiction project is heavily referenced and often sought for data mining and textual analysis. In continuing the support of readers and researchers, the project was recently migrated to ensure ongoing, optimal access to the digital content. In 2012, the Indiana University Libraries began the migration of the Wright American Fiction project to an updated version of the text encoding, TEI P5, and to a new delivery platform, California Digital Library’s eXtensible Text Framework. Due to limited resources, functionality, facsimile page image and text encoding, improvements were not actively sought, except for those original files that did not include full text as part of the original Web site. Optical character recognition (OCR) software was run against these facsimile page images to generate uncorrected OCR. The Wright corpus is now full-text searchable in its entirety, comprising edited, mid-level encoded texts and unedited, minimally encoded texts. Bibliographic searching is also possible as is browsing by author, title and publication year indexes.
Explore the new Wright American Fiction: http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/wright
To learn more about the technical details surrounding the new Web site, visit the project information page, where specifics about text encoding and technical implementation are provided: http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/TEIgeneral/projectinfo.do?brand=wright
UC Berkeley completes Japanese American internment digital archive project
Backstage Library Works recently completed a large-scale digitization project as part of the development of Berkeley’s Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Digital Archive. Digitization of 100,000 original manuscript items included daily journals, field reports, life histories and extensive correspondence between staff, evacuees and other individuals.
Beginning in 1942, University of California (UC), Berkeley, researchers sought to document the mass internment of Japanese Americans by embedding Nisei social science students recruited from the Berkeley campus into selected internment sites.
With an interest in providing online access for their massive collection of research materials, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library arranged for Backstage to digitize the entire compilation of loose and bound items. Teams in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, went to work using area array cameras and 180-degree book cradles to photograph each item. Archival TIFFs digitized in color at two different resolutions were used to create JPEG access images and PDFs. XML files containing technical and custom metadata along with TIFFs, JPEGs and PDFs were then loaded onto hard drives and delivered to the library.
The digitization and presentation of the materials in the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Digital Archive were generously supported by a grant award from the National Park Service as part of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Additional funds were provided by the UC Berkeley Library.
The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Digital Archive can be found online at: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/jais/
Backstage Library Works: http://www.bslw.com/
EBSCO’s Metapress transitions to Atypon’s Literatum platform
Atypon Systems, Inc. and EBSCO Online, Inc. recently announced that Atypon has acquired the Metapress business from EBSCO Online, Inc., which has made the decision to discontinue the Metapress platform. Atypon and EBSCO will work together to transition Metapress clients to Atypon’s Literatum platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Metapress, a comprehensive Web publishing solution for publishers of scholarly journals and electronic books, will continue to service its current clients through the transition. “Atypon’s leading platform Literatum meets the complex and evolving needs of over 200 professional and scholarly publishers worldwide, and it will be a strong fit for Metapress’s clients”, said Georgios Papadopoulos, CEO and Founder of Atypon. “We look forward to helping the Metapress customers take advantage of our innovative technology to drive their business strategies and increase user engagement”.
Atypon delivers innovative solutions that revolutionize the way publishers do business. Literatum, Atypon’s flagship SaaS ePublishing platform, provides all of the functionality that professional and scholarly publishers need to compete in the digital world, including advanced search and information discovery, access control, e-commerce, advertising and business intelligence.
EBSCO announces new metadata sharing policy; ExLibris responds
In April, EBSCO Information Services announced a new policy to make EBSCO content available to third-party discovery systems. As stated in a message from EBSCO on the new policy: “Our policy is intended to facilitate greater collaboration among library resource vendors, and ensure an improved overall library discovery experience for end users. Our policy specifies the EBSCO content that will be made available to third-party discovery systems in the context of a partnership. Our policy aims to ensure that libraries have both the content and applicable OPAC resource integration – regardless of the discovery service that the library chooses”. The policy is available at the EBSCO Web site at: http://www.ebscohost.com/metadata-sharing-policy
Soon after, the Ex Libris Group, a provider of library automation solutions, issued a press release in response to the EBSCO policy update announcement. According to their statement, ExLibris is “pleased that EBSCO has started to address the growing concern of the library community regarding the discoverability of the EBSCO content that the libraries license. EBSCO’s policy also responds to current industry initiatives, such as the recently published draft LIBLICENSE Model License (clause 5b), which requires that the licensor makes available the licensed materials through the licensee’s discovery service of choice, and the draft [National Information Standards Organization] NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) report, soon to be published in its final form. The ODI report recommends that ‘content providers should make available to discovery service providers metadata and underlying full-text/original content for complete offerings, for the purposes of indexing to meet licensed customers’ and authenticated end users’ needs’. … We welcome the new EBSCO approach to sharing and collaboration”.
However, the statement from ExLibris also expressed some reservations about the EBSCO policy: “… we are concerned by the fact that EBSCO only selectively complies with the above industry standards and that only some of the EBSCO collections will become discoverable as a result of the new open policy – EBSCO is not applying this policy to many of their collections, and in particular their subject indexes. … The current EBSCO policy does not yet address the full breadth of content desired by libraries”.
Read the full ExLibris press release: http://www.exlibrisgroup.com/category/EBSCO_Response
NISO open discovery initiative: http://www.niso.org/workrooms/odi/
Innovative releases Encore Duet discovery solution
In April 2014, Innovative Interfaces Inc. announced the availability of Encore Duet, which provides a complete discovery solution that blends books and eBooks, digital collections, institutional repositories and articles from EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS). Library users can easily discover their library’s local collections as well as EDS articles with specialized facets for deeper searching. Formerly the product was called Encore with EDS.
Encore Duet is the outcome of a partnership with EBSCO Information Services that continues to evolve. New Encore Duet features will be introduced in June, such as an improved EDS merging algorithm, additional EDS Advanced Search options and EDS alphabetical facet sorting.
“Encore Duet is the result of our outstanding partnership with EBSCO representing the ‘perfect harmony’ between discovery and content”, says SVP of Global Marketing Gene Shimshock. “We have seen adoption of Encore Duet by both public and academic libraries that recognize the power of this pairing, which is based on Encore’s proven search features and the depth of indexing and content that only EDS can provide”,
More information on Encore Duet: http://www.iii.com/products/encore
Sweden’s LIBRIS joins WorldCat with Creative Commons license agreement
After seven years of negotiation, the National Library of Sweden (KB) signed an agreement to join WorldCat, one of the world’s largest library catalogs, operated by Online Computer Library Center, Inc (OCLC). During the entire negotiation period, KB maintained that data in LIBRIS should be freely available under the Creative Commons open license (CC0), and in February 2014 OCLC and KB finally signed an agreement regarding open licensing. The important agreement on open licensing will enable KB and the affiliated LIBRIS libraries to become members of WorldCat.
The Swedish membership means that Swedish research and Swedish publishing become more visible in the international context. For Swedish LIBRIS libraries, the agreement also means that they can now more easily download catalog records for material they purchase, particularly for non-Swedish material.
The Swedish union catalog LIBRIS is based on voluntary participation and cooperation between libraries. KB started negotiations with OCLC in 2006, and the agreement with OCLC is a milestone in the Library’s work on transparency. KB has previously signed similar agreements with the Library of Congress and three European national libraries: the British Library, the National Library and the Deutsche Bibliothek.
The agreement takes effect September 1, 2014. Until then, technical preparations will be made; the LIBRIS database will be loaded into WorldCat, and update routines will be developed.
OCLC releases WorldCat Works as linked data
OCLC has made 197 million bibliographic work descriptions – WorldCat Works – available as linked data, a format native to the Web that will improve discovery of library collections through a variety of popular sites and Web services.
Release of these data marks another step toward providing interconnected linked data views of WorldCat. By making these linked data available, library collections can be exposed to the wider Web community, integrating these collections and making them more easily discoverable through Web sites and services that library users visit daily, such as Google, Wikipedia and social networks.
“Bibliographic data stored in traditional record formats has reached its limits of efficiency and utility”, said Richard Wallis, OCLC Technology Evangelist. “New technologies, influenced by the Web, now enable us to move toward managing WorldCat data as entities – such as ‘Works’, ‘People’ and ‘Places’ – as part of the global Web of data”.
OCLC has created authoritative work descriptions for bibliographic resources found in WorldCat, bringing together multiple manifestations of a work into one logical authoritative entity. The release of “WorldCat Works” is the first step in providing linked data views of rich WorldCat entities. Other WorldCat descriptive entities will be created and released over time.
“With this release of WorldCat Works, OCLC is creating a significant, practical contribution to the wider community discussion on how to migrate from traditional institutional library catalogues to popular Web resources and services using linked library data”, said Neil Wilson, Head of Metadata Services at the British Library. “This release provides the information community with a valuable opportunity to assess how the benefits of a works-based approach could impact a new generation of library services”.
As a worldwide library cooperative, OCLC is at the forefront of linked data activity. OCLC is designing and implementing new approaches that re-envision, expose and share WorldCat data to increase the visibility of library collections in the Web world. The project to release WorldCat Works linked data involved OCLC research, data services and engineering staff around the world.
WorldCat Works: http://www.oclc.org/developer/develop/linked-data/worldcat-entities/worldcat-work-entity.en.html More about OCLC’s work with linked data: http://www.oclc.org/developer/develop/linked-data.en.html
Library of Congress releases BIBFRAME Editor
The Library of Congress has announced that a BIBFRAME Editor (BFE) is now available from the Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME) Web site. This tool is a front-end input tool that can be integrated with a back-end datastore to create original BIBFRAME descriptions, store them and recall them for editing. It is expected that this tool will help experimenters create implementations that will test elements of the BIBFRAME model and vocabulary, in addition to linked data aspects of the BIBFRAME initiative. They see the use of this basic tool as a component of experimental systems that others build, and look forward to a sharing of enhancements. Implementers are encouraged to join the BIBFRAME Testbed.
The download version enables implementers to take the tool, add a storage back-end, adjust profiles for local needs and create and edit BIBFRAME descriptions. This is the primary purpose of the tool. Implementers should read the technical documentation before attempting to download. The profiles’ specification is especially important if adjusting the input templates to include elements needed for types of cataloging, and types of resources will be part of an investigation.
The demo version supports input utilizing the current BIBFRAME vocabulary. It does not include a datastore capability but that will be an enhancement investigated in the future.
For newcomers to the BIBFRAME initiative in general or the BIBFRAME vocabulary in particular, the Web site has many documents including the current model, vocabulary and tools for transforming MARC records to BIBFRAME descriptions.
BIBFRAME Web site: http://www.loc.gov/bibframe/
BIBFRAME technical site: http://bibframe.org/
The challenges of stewardship at scale: new talks by Cliff Lynch
Recent talks on stewardship at scale by Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, have been made available online.
Lynch presented “Challenges of Stewardship at Scale in the Digital Age”, an address to the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing Distinguished Speaker Series, in January 2014: “Over the centuries, we have developed a very complex system for managing and preserving our intellectual and cultural record. This system is now under enormous strain and trying to respond and adapt to changes in how we communicate and the ways in which technology can represent various modes of communication. We are recognizing that, particularly for digital materials, much more active stewardship is required; this has given rise to a major focus on data curation in the scholarly world. In addition, many stewardship institutions are no longer economically sustainable or stable, and for a number of reasons we are entering an era where I believe transitions of stewardship responsibility from one organization to another will become increasingly commonplace. My talk will examine all of these developments in contexts that range from management of research data to art collections, and will consider social, economic and technological forces reshaping the landscape”.
View the recording at: http://youtu.be/rfvLlQ2nZj0
Lynch also delivered the keynote address, “Sharing and Preserving Scholarship: Challenges of Coherence and Scale”, to the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California 2014 Annual Conference on March 10: “Scholarly practice in all disciplines – humanities, sciences and social sciences – increasingly relies upon high performance computing, novel and advanced distributed sensor systems, high-speed networking and massive data resources. Our cultural and intellectual record broadly, not just the record of scholarship, is taking on new dimensions and characteristics and now exists largely in digital form; this record is essential evidence for future scholarship as well as a memory for our society. We are also seeing a series of societal changes that are placing a much greater emphasis on public access, transparency and reproducibility in these large-scale records of scholarship and society. A central challenge facing the higher education, research and cultural memory sectors is how to develop the necessary strategies and supporting infrastructure to deal with these demands effectively, affordably and at the requisite scale. In my presentation, I will explore the specifics of these challenges and briefly outline some of the responses that are emerging”.
Video of the CENIC 2014 keynote address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfJBcX9–is
Digital life and the Internet of Things in 2025: expert opinions in new research from Pew
The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025 is the latest research report in a sustained effort throughout 2014 by the Pew Research Center Internet Project to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (The Web at 25). To a notable extent, the experts who contributed their opinions to this report agree on the technology change that lies ahead, even as they disagree about its ramifications. Most believe there will be:
a global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases and massive data centers in a world-spanning information fabric known as the Internet of Things.
“augmented reality” enhancements to the real-world input that people perceive through the use of portable/wearable/implantable technologies;
disruption of business models established in the twentieth century (most notably impacting finance, entertainment, publishers of all sorts and education); and
tagging, databasing and intelligent analytical mapping of the physical and social realms.
This report is an analysis of opinions about the likely expansion of the Internet of Things (sometimes called the Cloud of Things), a catchall phrase for the array of devices, appliances, vehicles, wearable material and sensor-laden parts of the environment that connect to each other and feed data back and forth. It covers the >1,600 responses that were offered specifically about our question about where the Internet of Things would stand by the year 2025. The report is one in a series of eight Pew Research and Elon University analyses to be issued in 2014 in which experts will share their expectations about the future of such things as privacy, cybersecurity and net neutrality. It includes some of the best and most provocative of the predictions survey respondents made when specifically asked to share their views about the evolution of embedded and wearable computing and the Internet of Things.
Survey respondents expect the Internet of Things to be evident in many places, including:
Bodies: Many people will wear devices that let them connect to the Internet and will give them feedback on their activities, health and fitness. They will also monitor others (their children or employees, for instance) who are also wearing sensors, or moving in and out of places that have sensors.
Homes: People will be able to control nearly everything remotely, from how their residences are heated and cooled to how often their gardens are watered. Homes will also have sensors that warn about everything from prowlers to broken water pipes.
Communities: Embedded devices and smartphone apps will enable more efficient transportation and give readouts on pollution levels. “Smart systems” might deliver electricity and water more efficiently and warn about infrastructure problems.
Goods and services: Factories and supply chains will have sensors and readers that more precisely track materials to speed up and smooth out the manufacture and distribution of goods.
Environment: There will be real-time readings from fields, forests, oceans and cities about pollution levels, soil moisture and resource extraction that allow for closer monitoring of problems.
Expert respondent Patrick Tucker, author of The Naked Future: What Happens In a World That Anticipates Your Every Move?, provided a nice working description of the Internet of Things, writing: “Here are the easy facts: In 2008, the number of Internet-connected devices first outnumbered the human population, and they have been growing far faster than have we. There were 13 billion Internet-connected devices in 2013, according to Cisco, and there will be 50 billion in 2020. These will include phones, chips, sensors, implants, and devices of which we have not yet conceived”.
Tucker went on to forecast the benefits of all this connected computing: “One positive effect of ‘ubiquitous computing,’ as it used to be called, will be much faster, more convenient, and lower-cost medical diagnostics. This will be essential if we are to meet the health care needs of a rapidly aging Baby Boomer generation. The Internet of Things will also improve safety in cities, as cars, networked to one another and their environment, will better avoid collisions, coordinate speed, etc. We will all be able to bring much more situational intelligence to bear on the act of planning our day, avoiding delays (or unfortunate encounters), and meeting our personal goals. We are entering the telemetric age – an age where we create information in everything that we do. As computation continues to grow less costly, we will incorporate more data-collecting devices into our lives”.
Others cited in this report are less sanguine about the surveillance and tracking that is involved in making the Internet of Things work. Their views are also extensively covered in this report.
This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals: Prof. Janna Anderson, Director, Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center; Lee Rainie, Director, Internet Project; and Maeve Duggan, Research Assistant, Internet Project.
More details and a link to the full report: http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/05/14/internet-of-things/
Find related reports about the future of the Internet at: http://www.pewinternet.org/topics/future-of-the-internet/