As part of MOD's defence science and technology engagement team, I am currently involved in work to understand the internet of things which is set to change the way we live our lives in the future.
With more objects gaining the ability to communicate, the resulting information networks promise to create an Internet of Things – embedded sensors and actuators communicating together - that could change the way in which we live. The Blackett Review is looking at how government should anticipate this connectivity between devices and how it will evolve, recognising the current speed of innovation in the private sector and society will influence its development, to inform government research programmes and policy.
MOD is already looking into how emerging technologies have a role to play in future military operations, such as radically improved battlefield visualisation, but this review also focuses on how the application of the internet of things could revolutionise the energy, transport and healthcare sectors. In the not so distant future, we may be living in a world of autonomous cars and self-healing power grids and government needs to understand how the internet of things will evolve to be able to stimulate the private sector and remove barriers to innovation, driving growth as well as enhancing UK security.
Taking their name from Nobel Prize winner Baron Blackett (a renowned British physicist who was pivotal to the development of operational research during World War II) Blackett reviews are made up of a panels of world-leading experts from outside government who identify and assess future opportunities and risks that will impact government and provide recommendations to address these risks. Previous Blackett Reviews have explored topics such as wide-area biological detection and high impact, low probability risks.
The review will be presented to a National Security Council meeting before publication later this year.