•Once all that information is moving around and available, and once every device can tap into it, the pressure for a really good standard interface to the liveware is going to be tremendous. If the machine world is going to be like being surrounded by wise, understanding, and kindly servants, we need them all to speak the same language (as much as possible, ours). After all, in the old days, Lord Blithering-Twit of Blithering-on-Endlessly didn't have to learn a different language for the gardener than he used for the butler or the upstairs maid. "Or I will fire you and you will starve," and "Thank you, that will be all," worked equally well on all of them. Furthermore, though individual servants had individual capabilities**** , the forms and rituals for telling them what to do were very similar***** with no regard for who they are. (The point of servants, whether human or mechanical, is always likely to be that you don't need to know who they are, which is why certain personalities find the idea so attractive, and should be watched carefully).
So in Internet of Things 2.0, my prediction is that all the internetrons will understand the same basic command syntax. You'll command, "House, raise living room temperature two degrees," using the same basic structure as you do for "Vacuum cleaner, remove snack spill from family room, shampoo and dry rug as necessary for bare foot standard," or "Car, take me to that hotel I like in Bennington, use sleep en route protocol, arrive before ten. Phone, secure reservation at destination, ask car for details. Bank account, authorize funds for car for long drive, and phone for hotel reservation." Large parts of the population already think naturally in that sort of syntax, thanks to object-oriented coding; eventually it will be the second language of First World children, and then perhaps of everyone.
•Smart materials are so much in their infancy that it's pretty hard to tell exactly how many ways they will manifest, but smart materials will mean that the Internet of Things 2.0 is capable of many things that we don't even know we want yet. At the very least, we might look forward to things like patches that can swim like a swarm of manta rays through the bloodstream to a point directed by an MRI or ultrasound and stop a stroke, hemorrhage, or thrombosis in progress are real possibilities. And why stop at your arteries? Maybe your house will be cleaned by self-propelled smart rags that scoot along the floor and give themselves a static charge to pick up potato chip fragments, or if they find Kool-Aid crusted on the counter, they'll climb into the sink, ask it to wet them down, go back and wipe the sticky spot up, and then go get into the queue for the washing machine. Eventually the cat and the baby will get used to being followed around by them.
•Not least at all, the Internet of Things 2.0 will not just be one where the internetrons are recording big data, but where they can query it and use it. The self-reshaping bracelet on your wrist, always trying to please you, might ask you in the morning if you'd like it to see what the other 150,000 people in your demographic are wearing today, and reshape itself instantly so that it fits you, your outfit, and your clique together in the way most to your advantage. Every time a self-driving car has a near escape from an accident, it can (if we design and permit it) call up all the other self-driving cars, discuss the near accident, and work out a mutual protocol.
•Fourth and most importantly in the long run, in the Internet of Things 2.0, we're going to need internetrons that appear to have feelings -- or let's just admit that it will only work if we aren't able to tell they don't. Emotional signals are how humans let others know that a situation is serious and how serious it is. Our visible feelings communicate when we're complying with what we're sure is a mistaken request out of loyalty. A human-like interface plus access to an immense reserve of data about what humans like, and algorithms to process that huge amount of experience with pleasing people into protocols for talking to them, means that one way or another, they'll have to have feelings.
No, the scariest thing is that Internet of Things 2.0 might eventually shame us all, as it becomes populated by internetrons who are more humane than humans. Some future Kipling (the classic example of a writer who could see so much that was wrong and couldn't imagine a way for it to be otherwise) may well find him/herself writing,
"Though I've smashed and overloaded you,
By the AIs that encoded you,
You're a humaner being than I am, Hunk of Tin."
"Right, so that's a Mongawhacking 'Tacoma Airport Special Roast' Neutrocino No Dairy Unsweetened in an Ecofriendly Tree Preserver. Sorry, we're out of those. We're having a special on the Tomato-Hamburger Double Espressazzatta, though, can I get you one of those?"
** ALBERT: Mr. Burns, I assure you that --
MURRAY: Look here, buddy, you don't assure me one bit. In fact you make me damned nervous.
-- Herb Gardner, A Thousand Clowns.
***Here an expla,
There a nation,
Everywhere an earworm ...