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Welcome to the Internet of Things

Digital Flow

Things around us are getting smarter.

Phones have turned into computers, cars have GPS navigation and even our music players can double as calorie counters!

But the next step is just around the corner and has the potential to revoutionise the way we all work, rest and play.

Welcome to the Internet of Things

What if these objects could talk to each other?

What if they could share useful information?

And make decisions based on your routine and preferences?

When everything (or just about) is connected to the Internet, there’s a whole world of possibility to make our lives seamless as we move from one place to another.

Making a difference to everyday life

You know when you travel overseas with your smartphone, how it automatically adjusts itself to local time? That’s really convenient. And smart. You didn’t have to do anything. It just knew (from local phone networks) where you were and sensibly adjusted its settings. So in your jet lagged state, when you set the alarm that night, it woke you up the next morning at 6am London time (not 6am Perth time) and you didn’t miss your taxi to the airport.

It’s difficult to describe how powerful this can be, because the boundaries really are endless. But I think the best example, is your own personal digital concierge. An entity that knows what you want, when you want it and exactly how you like it.

So maybe we should be calling it “The Internet of My Things”.

Here are a few examples.

  • Your air conditioner turns on when your car is just a few kilometers from home.
  • When you arrive at the supermarket, your fridge reminds you that you’ve run out of milk.
  • The cat flap at home only opens for your cat (and not the one that lives next door).
  • Your reticulation system automatically adjusts its schedule when it rains.
  • The outdoor lighting at home adjusts according to the time of year.
  • When you wake up: the curtains open, your favourite radio starts playing and the coffee machine brews you a fresh cup.

And it’s not just at home. When traveling overseas, your hotel room will already know your favourite music, TV shows, set your preferred temperature, stock the mini-bar with your favourite healthy snacks and set your wakeup call – all without you having to lift a finger.

But how could it work?

Each device has sensors collecting simple information from its environment. The power of the Internet of Things comes when multiple devices share information with each other.

When certain events are triggered (Natalie enters the room) the devices talk to each other (Natalie’s phone lets the stereo know she’s here) and an action is performed (start playing Sabotage by the Beastie Boys).

The number of devices that are connected to the Internet will continue to grow. And we’ll only be limited by our imagination as to how we can make our lives more connected, seamless and fun.

Over the coming months we’ll be exploring and sharing more ideas about the Internet of Things right here on the iiNet Blog…. as well as some very cool things that we’re working on too.

Photo credit:  Enkhtuvshin’s 5DmkII

5 comments

  1. stuart says:

    the positives are exciting …the negatives are scary …what have we gained by letting smart devices run these parts of out lives.

  2. James says:

    @staurt uh… We’ve gained… the exciting positives? What a weird comment.

  3. Steve says:

    Hi Natalie, the concept is inevitable, BUT, until there are multiple redundancies right throughout the networks, we will all simply seize-up when another fibre-optic cable/Cell tower/power utility etc gets damaged. Remember your last major power outage?
    Total automation also gets confused when more than 1 person’s preferences are being considered by networked appliances in the same space: ie 22 degrees vs 26 degrees, & Beatles vs Beethoven. Manual control is best!

  4. Mike Elliott says:

    My only concern with these new labour saving devices is that it is making us, and more importantly our children, even lazier, which will only serve to increase levels of obesity and more of our couch potato lifestyle.

  5. Andrew says:

    A smart watch that locks / unlocks my external house doors, motel room and car with proximity. Ability to control devices around home with voice commands like, “Kitchen lights: 20% illumination. AirPlay The Jazz Groove in bedroom. Commence downloading latest Suits episode and stream my Vevo playlist in living room.” Health alerts like: may need to consider antibiotics as flu conditions worsening and vitamin D levels are extremely low – recommend 30 minutes in sun.

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