In  a previous article, “Disruptive Technologies Poised to Drastically Alter Small-Business Landscape,” I reported the “Twelve potentially economically disruptive technologies” as identified by the McKinsey Global Institute.

The third item on the list, “Internet of Things,” was new to me. (If it’s new to you as well, Wikipedia provides a thorough explanation.)

In a recent McKinsey & Company article/interview, the authors state the following:

“In what’s called the Internet of Things, the physical world is becoming a type of information system—through sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects and linked through wired and wireless networks via the Internet Protocol.

“In manufacturing, the potential for cyber-physical systems to improve productivity in the production process and the supply chain is vast. Consider processes that govern themselves, where smart products can take corrective action to avoid damages and where individual parts are automatically replenished.”

In the piece, the two interviewees, Siegfried Dais, the deputy chairman of the board of management at German engineering company Robert Bosch GmbH, and Heinz Derenbach, CEO of Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, claim the Internet of Things is poised to spark the world’s fourth industrial revolution.

Pretty cool stuff.