Technology has come a long way since Super Mario Brothers dominated my afternoon timeslot and it’s about to go even further. If you’re not yet aware of the Internet of Things
(IoT) revolution, it’s time to read up. The IoT is obsessed with making everything ‘smart’. An Internet of Things definition would tell you the phrase is a reference to an expanding network of interconnected internet-enabled devices. Sounds a bit ambiguous, right?
What it means is that Internet of Things devices communicate with each other by collecting, storing and transferring data. Let’s say you’ve left for a holiday, but you accidentally forgot to turn the lights off before you left. IoT devices can detect whether there is any movement in your house and can be programmed to turn devices off after a period of time. While IoT is still in the early stages of its product life cycle, it is forecasted to boom in the coming years. Gartner forecasts that approximately 20 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020
. Many companies have seen IoT as an area with potential. At its Worldwide Developers conference, Apple introduced Homekit
– an Internet of Things platform that will coordinate various third-party home automation accessories, allowing you to unlock your doors or turn on your lights via your iPhone.
Don’t picture IoT devices as some futuristic technology that looks like it belongs on the set of Ironman. In fact, don’t picture IoT devices at all. What differentiates these devices, is their invisibility. They do not include a screen or keyboard like most smart devices. As a result, they weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life through their size and scale. One important aspect to note is that you shouldn’t be concerned with the device itself. The real value and insight comes from the data that these devices provide. By capturing and transferring data, the devices are talking to each other. Picture your house telling your lights that no-one’s home and they subsequently turn off. Data empowers us and we’re only just discovering what is possible when it comes to data extraction.
But is IoT too intrusive? One of the more controversial concepts is smart toilets. This incorporates IoT technology to sample your stool and provide health related insights. Your toilet could then inform you whether you’re pregnant or whether you have a bacterial infection. Perhaps surprisingly, survey results suggest that 70% of people would be willing to share data from their smart toilet
if it led to healthcare savings.
Some people remain sceptical, holding the belief that we will become too reliant on the technology. Whether or not you’re a fan, the future of IoT looks promising as it’s poised to initiate a tech revolution. To learn more about the Future of IoT
technology check out the WorkingMouse blog.