The Internet of Things is the idea of a web of data provided by things like real-world devices and sensors. It’s something we’ve covered in great detail here at ReadWriteWeb because where there is data, there is a platform for services and mashups. When that data is intimately tied to our real lives off-line, that’s exciting. The Internet of Things offers a whole new world of opportunities for improved decision making, innovative services and (unfortunately) social surveillance. It’s loaded with implications to consider.

Whether you’ve got 5 or 30 minutes to spare, check out the two following videos (one short, one long) that both do a great job of explaining where the Internet of Things is at and why it’s so exciting.

Last week industry thought leader Tim O’Reilly, the man widely credited with popularizing the term Web 2.0, gave an opening keynote talk about the Internet of Things at his organization’s MYSQL conference. Some readers here might assume that a MYSQL talk is too technical for them, but this was a speech that anyone could appreciate. We’ve embedded below two videos. The first is a great 5 minute explanation of the Internet of Things from IBM. The next is O’Reilly’s 36 minute keynote. We highly recommend you check both out for a great picture of where the future is headed.

Above, from IBM’s Smarter Planet. Below, Tim O’Reilly at the O’Reilly MYSQL conference.

Of course it’s not all peachy keen. As O’Reilly explains at the 18 minute mark, there is a battle over control of all this data the web is being flooded with.

“You see increasingly the giants of the internet are trading for their own account, they are building a platform in which all roads lead back to themselves. Now there is a contervailing force for openess, but we have to wary, we have to be aware of that, we have to work for openess in that web.”

What do you think about the Internet of Things?

Caption image from the Internet of Things 2010 Conference coming up in Tokyo this November.