The Internet of Things is hard to track. As I point out in Pax Technica
, what makes it hard to estimate the size of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the fact that the addressing system for devices is changing. The Carna Bot found 1.3 billion devices with an IPv4 address in 2012. Engineers expect so many of these connected devices that they have reconfigured the addressing system to allow for 2 to the 128th power addresses–enough for each atom on the face of the earth to have 100 Internet addresses.

The IoT is developing now because we’ve figured out how to give everything we produce an address, we have enough bandwidth to allow device-to-device communications, and we have the capacity to store all the data those exchanges create.

Read more in The Brookings Institution’s TechTank.

Note: This post was originally published on the Political Bots research blog on . It might have been updated since then in its original location. The post gives the views of the author(s), and not necessarily the position of the Oxford Internet Institute.