Understanding the “Internet of Things”

internetThings1According to Gartner research vice president Chris Howard, consumerisation and mobility will continue to be the top trends driving technology in 2014 and beyond, along with the continuing growth of the ‘Internet of Things’ which extends the human-machine relationship.

But what really is the ‘Internet of Things’? In what’s called the Internet of Things, sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects—from roadways to pacemakers—are linked through wired and wireless networks, often using the same Internet Protocol (IP) that connects the Internet.

These networks churn out huge volumes of data that flow to computers for analysis. When objects can both sense the environment and communicate, they become tools for understanding complexity and responding to it swiftly. What’s revolutionary in all this is that these physical information systems are now beginning to be deployed, and some of them even work largely without human intervention.

internetThings2      internetThings3

Pill-shaped microcameras already traverse the human digestive tract and send back thousands of images to pinpoint sources of illness.  Looking through Google Glass, a mere pair of spectacles is transformed into a tool for taking photos and videos, recording and displaying data all controlled by the eyes. Billboards in Japan peer back at passersby, assessing how they fit consumer profiles, and instantly change displayed messages based on those assessments.

None of this is news to technology companies and those on the frontier of adoption. But as these technologies mature, the range of corporate deployments will increase. Now is the time for executives across all industries to structure their thoughts about the potential impact and opportunities likely to emerge from the Internet of Things.

Blog Post by Farai

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