The Internet of Things (IoT) has been labeled as “the next Industrial Revolution” because of the way it will change the way people live, work, entertain, and travel, as well as how governments and businesses interact with the world. In fact, the revolution has already started.
That brand new car that comes preloaded with a bunch of apps? Internet of Things. Those smart home devices that let you control the thermostat and play music with a few words? Internet of Things. That fitness tracker on your wrist that lets you tell your friends and family how your exercise is going? You get the point.
Broadband Internet is become more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them, technology costs are going down, and smartphone penetration is sky-rocketing. All of these things are creating a “perfect storm” for the “The Internet of Things” (IoT).
The “Internet of Things” simply put, is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.
How Does This Impact You?
The new rule for the future is going to be, “Anything that can be connected, will be connected.” But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other? There are many examples for what this might look like or what the potential value might be. Say for example you are on your way to a meeting; your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late.
What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more? What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working?
The era of the “Internet of Things” is already here, and its here to stay. Connected lifestyles driven by IoT present lots of opportunities and lifestyle changes that are designed to make our lives, better, more comfortable and help us to become more productive. As these technologies bring lots of opportunities, at the same time, they come with lots of challenges. Privacy and security are the main challenges we will have to contend with as more personal information about us, resides on the internet. So as IoT becomes mainstream, develop a culture of of continuous learning so that you can make informed decisions.