This series is commissioned by UPS. Imagine a world where everything in it sends information to other objects and to you.\u00a0 Everyday items \u2013 from furniture to appliances, from toys to tools -- would be tagged with tiny RFID (radio frequency identification) tags and wirelessly connected in an open network to transmit information. As the Economist blog Babbage notes: \u201cRunning out of milk, losing the car keys or forgetting to take your medicine would be things of the past. The ability to locate anything, anywhere, at anytime, would cause crime to decrease, stores to remain stocked, healthcare to be improved, road accidents to be reduced, energy to be saved and waste to be eliminated.\u201d Dubbed the \u201cInternet of Things,\u201d to some this vision of a world in which everything is tagged and communicating sounds like utopia \u2013 where information enables us to live better lives and avoid problems.\u00a0 To others, the idea of everything simultaneously and continuously transmitting information is a 1984-Big-Brother nightmare that promises to subject us to unwelcome surveillance and intrusion into our privacy. No matter how you view it, the fact is that we\u2019re years \u2013 decades \u2013 away from achieving such a vision in a widespread way.\u00a0 Without a doubt, small forays are being made here and there to tag individual items with RFID tags.\u00a0 But if you just think about all the individual items in your home or office, it doesn\u2019t take long to realize what a mammoth undertaking it would be to tag each and every item and implement some giant open network to transmit information about those items. A recent GigaOm report suggests a number of technological reasons that the Internet of Things has not yet become a reality.\u00a0 The report \u2013 \u201cThe Internet of Things: What It Is, Why It Matters" \u2013 notes, for example, that the current Internet protocol supports only 4.3 billion unique addresses and many many more would be needed for an Internet of Things. While there are any number of technological limitations getting in the way of The Internet of Things, it still boils down to need and justification. What has always bothered me about this vision of the Internet of Things is \u201cwho\u201d and \u201cwhy\u201d? Who would want to bother tagging a child\u2019s toy or a chair or a bottle of shampoo? And why \u2013 what would be the motivating justification to go to all that expense and effort? In the past 5 years businesses and government have made progress toward adding RFID tags at the case and pallet level, to improve supply chain and demand chain efficiencies.\u00a0 Led by initiatives by organizations such as WalMart and the U.S. Department of Defense, some businesses have implemented RFID to track shipments, decrease inventory losses, prevent product tampering and/or counterfeiting, and for other solid business justifications.\u00a0 But tagging of individual items is hardly widespread today, for many reasons, not the least of which is cost and the lack of a clear ROI justification for manufacturers and retailers. It costs money to add RFID tags to goods; and the benefits to be gained today do not override that cost. So it brings us back to the question:\u00a0 what\u2019s the overriding motivation and justification to track all these miscellaneous items in our homes, offices and communities?\u00a0 Today there isn't an overwhelming motivation that outweighs costs. No matter how exciting the concept of the Internet of Things (and it is exciting), we\u2019re just not there yet \u2013 and won\u2019t be for many years to come.