By Richard Mortier “Things” are, well, “things”. Stuff. Objects. Everything from your light switches to your car tyres to your yoghurt pots. Imagine sitting at your desk in the office and controlling the appliances in your home ready for the end of the day. You could switch on the heating or find out what’s in the fridge for dinner. When you arrive home and sit down in your favourite chair while your partner is travelling on business, they might be able to give you a hug through the chair. When you leave the house for a run, you’d be able to check that you really did lock the front door without having to return, and you can rely on your trainers to tell you how far you’ve run in a day or how many calories you burned doing it. Your car might monitor its performance, notifying the manufacturer when it begins to behave outside its expected performance envelope. After consulting with the manufacturer, it might even go so far as to look at your online calendar and book itself in for a service at a convenient time. Current estimates suggest that if there are around two billion people online, there are around ten billion things online, and this will grow to 50 billion things by 2020. The internet is the global network connecting computers in every country, whether through optical fibre, ethernet, broadband or wireless. The Internet of Things might be better named Things on the Internet: it is not a precisely defined term, but usually refers to the ability to track and perhaps control things connected via the internet. It gives computers the ability to monitor and manipulate the physical world, blurring the distinction between the virtual and physical, and potentially moving the bulk of internet communication from human-human communication mediated by computers, to computer-computer communication mediated by humans.