Most people think the Internet of Things is a recent idea, maybe dating to around the year 2000. In fact, the idea is some 15 years older than that.
In 1985, the Internet was officially two years old. It linked up some 2000 hosts, and a handful of people used email. In that year, cellular phones were the size of bricks, and almost no one had one. And yet, in 1985, Peter T Lewis predicted the two could be combined, so devices could communicate over wireless links.
"I predict that not only humans, but machines and other things will interactively communicate via the Internet," he said. "The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the integration of people, processes, and technology with connectable devices and sensors to enable remote monitoring, status, manipulation, and evaluation of trends of such devices."
Listen to our podcast to find out how Lewis made this astonishingly accurate prediction, years ahead of his time. in a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in 1985. We also find out how his ideas were almost forgotten, and what he thinks of today's IoT.