During the last two decades, a “third wave of computing” has emerged: a move from a model of accessing the Internet and other internetworks almost exclusively via a desktop computer to alternative forms of distributed information technologies, such as smartphones, wearable computers, and sensors and microprocessors embedded in everyday objects. This paper undertakes a critical review of the literature that offers and discusses definitions of this “third wave”. Not surprisingly in an area of innovation, definitions are evolving, overlapping and inconsistent. This paper analyses and consolidates the literature in order to identify the key aspects of this new phenomenon. We have coined the term “eObjects” for the central element of the “third wave”. The paper presents a framework for legal, business and social research into the technologies and their implications, distinguishing core from common attributes, and identifying categories of inter-device interaction.
This article was published in Computer Law and Security Review in 2015.