The Internet of Things (IoT) is a major turning point in the history of modern technology. Internet connections are swiftly moving from classical computing systems and being integrated into millions of everyday devices such as toothbrushes and doorbells.
IoT is a raving topic of interest, both at work and at home. It’s a revolution that is changing our personal and professional lives. But what is the real meaning behind all of the craze and fuss? What effects will IoT really have on our lives, if any? There are a lot of complications and “expert” opinions surrounding the evolution of the “Internet of things,” but in this article we will try to stick to the basics. We will look at the principles of this significant concept, and how its future can potentially change our world.
What is IoT and how did it get Here?
Before we get started, let’s examine how IoT arrived at our doorsteps. It all began with the widespread availability of high-speed Broadband Internet. Connecting to the web has become easier and more cost-effective in recent years, and as a result, the market was hit with a sudden emergence of Wi-Fi enabled devices. The rise of the mobile world has skyrocketed beyond imagination, and technology costs are steadily going down. All of these ingredients mixed together gave birth to the Internet of Things.
IoT, simply defined, is the concept of connecting any device to the Internet. And by any device, we mean things like lights, headphones, cell-phones, doors, cars, watches, windows, glasses, lamps, and almost anything that one can think of. This powerful idea takes the amazing usefulness of the Internet, and it applies it to anything that it can get its hands on, from the engine of a car to the jets of an airplane.
Kolibree, a new smart toothbrush with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities allows users to record how long they brush their teeth for, as well as what areas they need to work on. A doorbell called Chui can notify users of who is ringing their doorbell by the use of an integrated webcam and an Internet connection. These are just some examples of how IoT is being implemented into our everyday lives.
What is the Future of IoT?
The Internet of Things is estimated to impact a wide array of markets. It will influence equipment crucial to the success of many business, consumer and government industries. The IoT is projected to connect around 9 billion devices by the end of 2018.
According to a report from BI Intelligence, we are currently undergoing the transition of insert-devices like cameras with SD cards, into sensor-active intelligent devices that can communicate with other gadgets wirelessly. The consumer market is seeing many products that have already taken advantage of the IoT, including home appliances, transportation, and personal hygiene items.
All around us, more and more things are being connected to the Internet.
How will it Impact You?
It appears that in the recent future most of the devices in our homes and workplaces will be connected. This can have a very significant impact on our lives. For example, if Joe Smith is on his way to a business meeting, then his car could be synced to his work-calendar, and it can provide him with the best route to take to work. In addition, if there is a traffic jam, the vehicle might even have the ability to send Joe’s boss a text-message saying that he is running late.
Imagine if your alarm clock could wake you up at 8AM, and then notify your bathroom to fill-up your hot tub with water while at the same time telling your coffee machine to make you fresh coffee. That is the magnificent potential of IoT. On a wider scale, IoT can be implemented into massive networks such as city transportation grids. They can help us achieve smarter bus routes, and assist in the reduction of waste and energy consumption.
IoT will open the doors to many opportunities, many of which we can’t even began to imagine at the moment. This is why there’s so much hype surrounding the subject. However, the benefits of IoT will also bring up several issues –security being the biggest concern. The more devices that are connected to our networks, the more opportunities hackers have to exploit our data. Someone might be able to hack a rice-cooker and have access to all of the pictures in a notebook hard drive. Another issue, which might impact companies, is that with the integration of the connected devices will come massive amounts of data. Businesses will need to find efficient ways to analyse and track that data without spending a fortune.
The Internet of Things in Today’s Business World
Red Robin Restaurants recently ran a test on a new style of hamburgers across their chain. To do this, they placed mobile devices on the hands of their waiters, which gave them the ability to quickly input customer feedback about the burger. A classic test like this would usually involve about a year of work and data analysing, but with the connected devices the company was able to receive feedback and implement changes in just 4 weeks.
In the healthcare industry, a hospital in Kissimmee, Fla., deployed a location-based system that tracks and monitors all of their medical equipment. It monitors refrigerator temperatures throughout the hospital, and collects data on hygiene compliance from its staff.
The IoT movement is gaining traction quickly. Just a year ago experts were mostly dreaming about the possibilities IoT — today, companies are actually using this network of connected devices to conduct everyday business.