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Wozniak warns on the "internet of things"

Two people founded what is now known as Apple.     Steve Jobs, one of them, had a high profile until his untimely death a while back.    His co-founder, Steve Wozniak, has never been in spotlight as Jobs was.   

Speaking in Sydney on the "internet of things" Wozniak issued a sober and timely warning....

"Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has warned the burgeoning industry springing up around the so-called "internet of things" is already showing signs of being a bubble.

Mr Wozniak said he was excited about the industry sector, which aims to commercialise the explosion of internet-connected devices and appliances, but said he was worried the hopes and plans of founders could outstrip technological capacity.

The internet of things could comprise appliances such as a fridge that reminds its owner to pick up milk via their smartphones as they pass a supermarket, or a self-governing airconditioning system that tracks online weather forecasts and modifies its own settings.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has warned that the burgeoning industry springing up around the 'internet of things' is showing signs of being a bubble.

A 2014 report by international research company Markets and Markets estimated this industry will be worth $US290 billion ($377 billion) globally by 2017 and would continue to grow by 30 per cent each year.

But Mr Wozniak compared the burgeoning internet-of-things industry with the dotcom crash of the late 1990s, when excitement and vision were accurate but the technology was not commercially ready.

"I feel it's kind of like a bubble because there is a pace at which human beings can change the way they do things. There are tonnes of companies starting up," Mr Wozniak said.

Since finishing up at Apple in 1987, he remains as an "honorary employee" but spends much of his time educating people about technology and innovation.

Speaking at the World Business Forum in Sydney, Mr Wozniak reflected on his life before, during and after the rise of Apple and spoke of the trends that would most transform technology and life.

"The most important thing for the future, which all of the leaders of our time with brains like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk and Bill Gates are talking about as the biggest threat to humanity, is that once machines have intelligence and can think themselves, that's a turning point," he said.

Continue reading this piece from the Sydney Morning Herald here.


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