The Internet of Everythings

You most likely have heard the term IoT, or Internet of Things. This has been a hot topic and upcoming technology trend that has been hyped for 10+ years, as the concept of a “connected everything” continues to be talked about with the promise of billions of intelligent devices that will be connected, probably tomorrow. What does this all really mean? How does it impact you and me? In my opinion, until these connected devices add value to our lives, we will continue to wait until tomorrow. But now as we see more and more machines that do add value, it begs the question: what is “value?

The answer is likely different for everyone. For me, value is machines that make decisions for me and take action or automate simple tasks. For example, my new Internet-connected sprinkler controller will automatically turn itself off if it rains more than a quarter of an inch within the previous 24 hours without asking me. I can set my garage door to close automatically after five minutes. My thermostat knows when I leave and when I come home and adjusts accordingly. Even little things, like automatic vehicle headlights and windshield wipers that engage when it rains without any action on my part are things I perceive as adding value.

As processing power increases, pricing for wireless devices, components decreases, and Internet availability grows, we seem to be reaching a tipping point. Having a connected home that thinks and takes action for you is no longer out of reach. For example, automating your home’s lighting is typically less than $100 to get started and can potentially enable lights to be turned on and off based on sunset times, your own programmed times, or even manually from your smartphone. Beyond your home, the health and wellness sector is seeing wearable devices that record your sleep, activity and heartbeat, and the next day will tell you when you need to go to bed and how much exercise you need to stay healthy. And unique connected devices like Google Glass provide a wearable camera and augmented reality that
is always on, voice-activated and connected—allowing users to get information quickly while capturing photos and video on demand.

What do you think the IoT will look like? What information or automation would add value to your life? Here is what I do know: we are going to see more and more connected machines and ever expanding technology that simplifies our lives. Resistance is futile and eventually we all will assimilate.

Related Posts