Learn about the Internet of Things, or IoT, and how these objects are becoming commonplace in an increasingly connected world.
The Internet of Things (IoT), refers to physical objects, which didn’t used to connect to the internet, but do now. These devices collect and share data, as cheap processors and wireless networks give us the ability to turn almost anything into part of the IoT. Thus, merging the digital and physical worlds.
IoT is affecting all of our lives, in surprisingly routine ways. Great examples of these are central heating, lights and security alarms controlled via apps. However, IoT devices are not only for the household, they can be in driverless trucks and even jet engines. Engines are filled with thousands of sensors, collecting and transmitting data – optimising efficiency and preventing faults. However, even though PCs and smartphones are crammed with sensors, they are not considered IoT devices. Although, a smartwatch or fitness band might be.
The IoT is already massive and expanding quickly, with more connected devices than the 7.53 billion people in the world. Most of these are smart TVs and speakers found in China, North America and Western Europe. Additionally, in business smart electric meters and commercial security cameras are most used.
Consumer products use sensors to transmit performance data, which helps identify things that are likely to fail and cause damage.
Companies can also use the data generated by these sensors to make their systems and their supply chains more efficient because they will have much more accurate data about what’s really happening.
The IoT makes our environment – our homes, offices, and vehicles – smarter, more measurable, and chattier. Just take a moment to think about how many people you know who already use Amazon’s Echo and Google Home to make it easier to play music, set times, control lights and get information.
Home security systems make it easier to monitor what’s going on in/outside of your house and potentially see/talk to visitors before letting them in. If you want to be conservative with energy, smart thermostats can help us heat our homes before we arrive and if you forget to turn a light off before leaving, don’t worry as you can turn if off using a smartphone app.
Sensors and processors will continue to drop in price, expanding the IoT and making our lives easier. These devices will reform luxury, productivity, and most importantly health. We do have to consider the security and privacy trade-offs we pay for using these products, I assume some will welcome the third wave of the internet and others will long for the days a watch was simply a watch.
Jamie - Web Developer