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  • Writer's pictureTech Forecast Digest

Packetization of Things … Be Ready

“Packetization of Things” (objects, information, energy) over the next twenty years will transform life for humankind.

Free-space small-packet routing of information and physical items has proven to be most efficient and effective method for the transport and control of things.

Examples of packetization include:

• Modern wireless packetized (i.e., IP packets) telecom networks and access to wired


• Personal cars (i.e., “small packets”) – including shared rides – instead of buses and


The inherent advantage of free space packetization, for example, drives the ongoing desire for personal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) air vehicles, despite the operational challenges with deploying such vehicles. The impetus for small VTOLs is to transform “last mile” physical transport from the existing two-dimensional and conduit-confined environment of local road and rail routes to a three-dimensional, essentially unconstrained, free space environment.

This impetus is similar to the on-going evolution of telecommunications local access from a wired to a wireless environment. Technology has progressed such that small VTOLs soon will operate in free space with minimal risk of collision or other failures. The only deterrents to personal VTOLS will be noise management and government regulations. Time will tell if those deterrents can be resolved.

The so-called “Physical Internet” concept embodies packetization of containers for physical goods. It envision manipulating standardized networked containers and information to encapsulate these goods. The Physical Internet is similar in concept to the digital Internet that encapsulates unique elements of electronic information into standardized digital containers for transmission over telecommunications networks.

Software “containers” (i.e., packets) that are re-usable and have open and standardized interoperable interfaces provide for fast, easy-to-deploy and complex operation among the processes of different organizations. The initial releases of new software will have zero defects due to improvements that bring the design and development of software to the same level of rigor as other Technology engineering disciplines.

Collaborative automated software development includes built-in quality control tools. Visualization capabilities provide a direct link between process requirements and tools that generate code.

As another example, an individual applies for life insurance simply by authorizing access for the insurance carrier to her standardized personal information applications (SPIAs) to extract only her

personal demographic and health information necessary to complete the carrier’s application (that is designed to work with SPIAs). Both the insured and the insurer save time and avoid errors in completing and processing the application.

A SPIA contain a person’s or device’s key demographic, financial, medical and other information. Other systems are authorized to extract the elements of SPIA data they may need for access to and for usage of services.

Be ready for the Packetization of Things. Consider it as you plan for your organization.


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