Simply put, Internet of Things (aka, IoT), quite literally is the connection of all things. Although there are so many components to this drastic change of how we use the internet, we are going to break it down to understand the general idea of how this will affect us on a daily basis. Obviously, most people use the internet every day. Whether you’re connected through wifi on your work computer or browsing social media on your phone, you’re pretty much always connected. Now we have watches, glasses, exercise bracelets that connect us as well. But what happens when it becomes so much more than that? The way we use the internet, or maybe the way the internet uses us, changes with a swift complexity.
It’s hard to say, and all speculation at this point, but analysts are all estimating between 20-60 billion devices will be connected to the IoT by 2020. Although that’s a large range, everyone is still getting their footing on this massive internet change. The reason this number is so huge is not because of computers and cell phones, naturally those are included, but it is because of the number of other “things” that will be connected. This includes but is most definitely not limited to; phones (obviously), cars (same), coffee makers, lights, alarms, engines, etc. But, eventually it will start to include things like crops, traffic, parking spaces, the possibilities are endless. Not only will you be connected to these things, they will be connected to you, and they will be connected to each other. Essentially, all making your life easier and maybe more complicated at the same time. Think Alexa (Amazon Echo) is crazy in all she can do and the way she connects your devices? She is just the tip of the iceberg.
Just kidding, well, kind of. Everyone will have plenty of time to understand IoT more and adjust accordingly to what it can do for us personally and in our work life. Clearly, this isn’t a small feat, this is going to take plenty of discussions, technology, and strategy to implement but eventually will be a part of our everyday lives. Understandably, this movement is so vast that its actually not completely understandable quite yet. Some examples of how it will affect us; you may have a date scheduled with a friend on your calendar. On your way, your phone connects to your car and realizes that there is heavy traffic going to your date location, your phone will then notify you of the heavy traffic as well as your friend who may wonder where you are when you haven’t arrived at your scheduled date time. Pretty awesome, slightly scary. If you’re a farmer, your crops can tell you when they are dry and need to be watered or they can tell you when an insect is attacking the crops and potentially detrimental to the farmer’s living (this actually is already being used on a smaller scale). Your everyday life will definitely be affected, but IMO for the better. You can connect your phone, lights, coffee maker, all the things you regularly use in the morning to work with your schedule. You alarm goes off, your light turns on, your coffee maker starts brewing, maybe even your shower turns on and gets to the perfect temperature for you to just jump in. The possibilities are so endless but it is pretty incredible. Clearly, all of these are very different scenarios but that’s how different the IoT will be in everyday life. Right now, the IoT is being implemented in Copenhagen on their public transportation. If the bus is running late, information is collected on how many people are waiting, it is sent to the data center and then forwarded back to the bus to help get the driver there faster. We could go on all day about what the IoT can do, but these are just a few small examples.
Happy connectivity everyone! It will be a few years before this really hits us hard but in the meantime, enjoy the small changes we will inevitably start seeing.