HIoT and IoTH : Human in the centre of the next technologic revolution

HIoT and IoTH are two different but interesting concepts about how humans interact with IoT.

They both share a futuristic approach of how Internet of Things could evolve. I thought it could be interesting to treat them in the same topic as they are both visionary perspective of how human and IoT interact together.


HIoT describes how mankind might evolve into bionic humans with sensors under our skins, smart glasses or bionic legs and arms. Bionic arms are actually a good entry to the world of HIoT.  The first cases of cognitive neuroprostethics are already success and disabled people can already control devices such as wheelchair or bionic-arms with their thought. Nothing will prevent us in the future to enlarge this technology at a point where the human brain act as a central  piece in our connected world [1]. In other words, we could get rid of classical user interfaces by controlling everything with our brain. In this futuristic perspective, it is very clear that it will give people an unfair advantage.

Ray Kurzweil predict that by 2030 technology will be developed enough to connect our brains to the cloud[2], enabling to use more memory for example, and to combine biological and non-biological thinking. As scary as it can be I share his thought on this fast and crazy imminent evolution of mankind. The director of engineering at Google also warn that by 2045 artificial intelligence would surpass human intelligence in every areas.

A point of view shared by Elon Musk who recently declared that AI is indeed our “biggest existential threat”.


IoTH is a less futuristic and scaring vision of our changing world through internet of things. But still the idea behind the concept evoked by Tim O’Reilly is very interesting.[3]

When you think of Uber you don’t intuitively think IoT right ? But imagine that in the near future Uber replaces its VTC by self-driving cars connected to humans by their smartphones, then you have a very sophisticated deployment of an IoT network across our cities. If you are familiar with the Lean Startup principles by Eric Ries you can probably understand why I would describe Uber actual version as a concierge minimum viable product, a way to emulate complex software comportment by humans to learn and minimise the risks.

This way of thinking of the IoT is at the centre of IoTH philosophy. Instead of trying to create new use cases and reinvent our world, IoT designers should focus on how to improve a job we do already with the help of connected devices.

To give you a better understanding of what IoTH pattern is, here are a few examples of how humans can be at the center of complexe IoT solutions.

Google self-driving cars for example are learning patterns from humans who have driven the same roads with the Google street view cars.

Robot-assisted-surgery is a collaboration between a human expert and multiple extremely precise robotic arms.

Internet Of Things is often described as a smart combination of sensors, cloud infrastructure and intuitive UI. But such clever fully autonomous solutions can not be built in one day. And a good way to iterate to create a good solution is to invent combinations of humans, sensors, UI and cloud system. When you think of Internet of Things you should think of the complex interaction between humans and objects that could help to do things differently.

The fascinating BBC series “Black Mirror” is a series in which every episodes is a new story reflecting the side effects of growing technologies. They gave us their own version of “Human at the centre of IoT” in their absolutely hypnotizing christmas episode last year. The illustration picture of this blog should actually give credit to this series and I deeply recommand this special episode.

See related articles

[1]Will the next age be the Human Internet of Things?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.controldesign.com/articles/2015/will-the-next-age-be-the-human-internet-of-things/. [Accessed 14 December 2015].

[2]Ray Kurzweil: Human brains could be connected to the cloud by 2030. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ray-kurzweil-human-brains-could-be-connected-cloud-by-2030-1504403. [Accessed 18 December 2015]

[3] #IoTH: The Internet of Things and Humans - O'Reilly Radar. [ONLINE] Available at: http://radar.oreilly.com/2014/04/ioth-the-internet-of-things-and-humans.html. [Accessed 16 December 2015].

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