Vice President, Rational Smarter Product Development
IBM Software Group
This video report from 1981 explores the potential and the reality of distributing news content over the internet long before anyone used a browser. It is easy to laugh when you look at the text based interface (before the term UI had any meaning), when you imagine the performance of using an acoustic coupling modem, and when you consider the cost of distributing a single newspaper digitally ($10!). It was a crude demonstration of how we would interact with the world once we are all networked.
If you fast forward to today, you can see similarly crude steps towards the Internet of Things. There are competing standards (z-wave, zigbee, etc), there are custom made components (Rasberry Pi, Ninjablocks, etc), performance and security is unproven, and the costs remain high ($250 for a thermostat). But, it is the promise that has everyone's attention. And, like the internet before it, fortunes will be made as companies solve the issues and create new business models.