When speculating about the future of the Internet, one of the most prominent visions is the Internet of Things.
The concept of the Internet of Things is just as the name suggests: everyday objects or “things” connected to the internet and thus to each other. The term is sometimes used more broadly to describe simply connecting things so they are able to communicate to one another, with or without an actual internet connection. Sensors will also be important to creating smarter, more connected objects.
In the future with the Internet of Things it won’t just be your laptop or smartphone with a connection or sensor, but your car, your clothes and even your bed! And it doesn’t stop with objects in the home. The Internet of Things is expected to create smarter cities by giving traffic lights, waste systems and power grids a connection. Homes, businesses and even whole cities will be transformed into technological ecosystems able to interact with their surroundings.
So what are the benefits of connecting devices and allowing them to communicate with one another? Picture this: your alarm goes off in the morning and sends a message to your coffee machine telling it you’re awake and it’s time for coffee. Sensors in your thermostat detect movement and also that the temperature is kind of chilly, so it turns itself on to warm up the house for you. It’d be a lot easier to drag yourself out of bed with the promise of a toasty warm house and a freshly made coffee waiting for you.
The Internet of things won’t just affect your life at home, it will also influence the way we work. The world with the Internet of Things is one that is data driven. Masses of data are created from every intelligent device meaning businesses and decision makers will have a lot more information to work with. They can use the data to become smarter, more targeted, more efficient and more adaptive.
Though the future with the Internet of Things looks bright, sadly, anything that goes digital opens itself up to the potential danger of being hacked. A virus can be a nuisance to get on your computer, let alone on every device in your home! Security and privacy will be massive challenges for the Internet of Things: as more data is produced, more data will need to be protected. And who will own that data? And where will it all be stored? These are just a few of the many issues that will need to be considered in a future with the Internet of Things.
As an employee of an ISP that initiates and embraces positive change, and a tech addict in general, I welcome the advancements the Internet of Things could bring. Especially if it comes with robot maids that can sense when the dishwasher needs emptying, the laundry basket is full and the floors need mopping.
If you’d like to take an even deeper dive to learn more about the Internet of Things, check out this TED talk, which is available along with many other TED talks on the iiNet Freezone.
What things would you like to see connected with the Internet of Things? Let us know in the comments below.