The Internet of Everything from Cisco is the latest repackaging of the Internet of Things, with “Every” added to “Thing” based on the US economy and infrastructure. First used by Kevin Ashton, the Internet of Things stemmed from Bruno Latour’s idea of a Parliament of Things in We Have Never Been Modern. In an Internet of Things, humans and objects are independent agents in the distribution and communication of knowledge. In other words, people interpret, synthesize and communicate their perceptions of the world through technologies like smartphone, tablets or a connected community of sensors in this instance.
Examined by reporter Nick Baker in a three part documentary for BBC Worldwide, the internet cafe is now in decline in most western countries. It is, however, thriving in the developing world, where it is helping to shrink what is known as the digital divide. A term used to describe the division of global knowledge and wealth based on access to computers and other forms of information technology “IT”. Internet cafes continue to evolve and survive beyond their San Francisco based origins. Known as SFnet in the City by the Bay, the internet cafe connected a network of coffeehouses via a terminal based system.
From internet cafe to cybercafe
The internet cafe emerged from the coffeehouses of San Francisco in 1991. Refined in Berkeley by Wayne Gregori, SFnet was a text based terminal system connecting people through a 33-MHz 486 microprocessor introduced by Intel. Internet cafes subsequently got refined and rebranded as cybercafes by artist Ivan Pope in 1994. This London based venture was the next logical step – enabling customers to experience full internet access and video gaming with their coffee. Cybercafes turned into actual meeting places for gamers, which still continued after online gaming in the home became popular.
In developing countries the internet cafe still places an emphasis on internet access and the connectivity it brings. It still follows aspects of the business model presented in the CNN report for SFnet, which predated the video game scene now prevalent in western society. For the latter, cafes like 8bit Cafe in Japan and Loading in London have become the inspiration for drinking establishments all over the world.