Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Trevor Parsons, Esmeralda Swartz, Carmen Gonzalez, Ivan Antsipau, Paul Speciale

Blog Feed Post

This Week in the Future: Religion & Tech: A Match Made in Heaven

On December 12, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI tweeted. The spiritual leader of the Catholic religion sent out this message:

In the wake of the Pontiff’s 140-character message, it seemed fitting to look at the future of religion in our technological world.

Religion is a tricky thing. It is something that is uniquely human, and no matter if you are a follower of Judaism, Christianity, Islam or any other of the world’s faiths, I find it to be a fascinating window into who we are as people. Even if you don’t believe in a god at all, it’s telling about who we are as humans and it’s a fascinating lens through which to think about our technological future.

The Pope’s presence on Twitter is a big deal because the Pope is a big deal, and because the Pope is a big deal the media went a little crazy:

  • “Pope’s first tweet.” (Fox News)
  • ”Pope blesses his Internet followers in first tweet.” (AP)
  • “Pope Takes First Cautious Step On Twitter” (TechCrunch)
  • “Was the pope’s first tweet worth the wait?” (The Guardian).

It seems so odd to hear, “The Pope tweeted.” It’s a phrase that would have sounded like Dadaist poetry if you’d heard someone say it a decade ago, and still improbable if you’d heard it when Twitter first launched in 2006.

Pope Benedict XVIIn less than 24 hours, the Pope had over 1 million followers. This also seems an odd thing to say. According to the Catholic Church, there are over 1 billion practicing Catholics around the world. Saying that @Pontifex only has 1 million followers when Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) has almost 32 million followers feels odd.

“It’s a sign of the times,” my friend Byrd said to me when I read him the numbers. But what is it a sign of? What is the future of religion?

Cell Phones that Point to Mecca

When commenting on the Pope’s tweet, it would have sounded less exotic if we’d said, “The Pope used technology to connect with his followers.” That’s not so strange. Religions have been using technology almost as long as there religion and technology have been around. Innovations and advance have been tightly linked to religious practices.

In the 1450s, German printer Johannes Guttenberg made 48 copies of the Bible using a radically new process that would change the future of the world. The Gutenberg Bible was the first book created in the West using the movable type technique, which kicked off a publishing revolution that would bring information and knowledge to people who had never had access to it before.

A colleague of mine, Dr. Genevieve Bell (@feraldata), has spent years exploring the intersection of people, technology and religion. Genevieve is a cultural anthropologist and uses her research to understand people so that she can develop better technologies to make their lives better. She is a social scientist at a technology company and sees religious practices as a powerful and important part of who we are, and is fascinated about how we express this through technology. One of the interesting things she told me was how cell phones not only remind Islamic worshipers when it is time to pray, but also use its GPS system to point the person towards Mecca during prayer.

Live from the Internet, It’s Yom Kippur!

Rachael, a friend of mine who lives in Los Angeles, watched her Yom Kippur services this year live streaming from the Central Synagogue at Lexington and 55th street in New York City because she prefers the Cantor Angela Warnick Buchdahl. (Buchdahl is the first Asian-American ordained as a rabbi and cantor.)

“You can also follow them on Twitter,” Rachael told me with pride. “They’ve been doing these things for years. I remember years ago you could call in for services if you couldn’t make it in person. They’re great. They’ve always embraced technology.”

How Holy Can a Tweet Be?

Religious use of technology is nothing new. It expresses who we are as humans though our technology. The thing that feels strange about the Pope’s tweet is the apparent frivolity of it. Is a tweet important? In a world where @justinbieber has thirty-two times more followers than @Pontifex (granted it’s only been 24 hours since the Pontiff’s first tweet), it can feel like the communication has been cheapened. Is a tweet as important as an email or a written note? If the Pope tweets a prayer, is it any less holy?

Like Byrd said, “It’s just a sign of the times.” Just as Twitter became a credible and incredibly human way to track the devastating impact of the Hurricane Sandy Catastrophe, so too has the social media arena become platform for our faith. What’s the future of religion?

The future of the religion looks pretty good. It’s been around for quite a long time, and I think we can bet on the fact that it’s going to be around for a good bit longer. Religion is just one expression of our humanity.

Whether it’s the Gutenberg Bible or @Pontifex sending 140 character blessings, we will always use technology as an extension of our faith. Technology is not something separate from us. Technology is a tool and, as such, it’s an extension of who we are and an extension of our own humanity.

The mingling of technology and religion will only continue. That means having the Pope in your Twitter stream is, in reality, having the actual Pope that much closer to you as an individual. If you’re Catholic, that’s pretty awesome.

**********

DISCLAIMERI am Intel’s futurist. I am currently on sabbatical from Intel.  My thoughts, observations and analyses are mine personally and I am not speaking on behalf of Intel.

**********

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...