Everything You Need to Know About Internet of Things
The Internet of things refers to the ability for devices to connect to a network and/or each other.
Cars, refrigerators, desks, cameras, pants, credit cards, and everything and anything else you can think of will have the ability to connect to a device and a network to share information wirelessly.
Today, the Internet is largely dependent on people to provide information, but what if devices could provide information independent of human contribution? The idea is that we could track, count, and analyze anything and everything we wanted.
Imagine your refrigerator knowing when you are out of milk and then it automatically reorders it for you. What if your clothing was telling you that you needed to lose weight or go exercise? Imagine your alarm clock telling your coffeemaker that you are about to wake up and that it should start brewing coffee.
General Electric, Whirlpool, and Samsung already make and sell several “smart” appliances, which include washers, dryers, dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators. These devices can all be accessed via an application on virtually any device so you can actually see and control what they are doing.
As more devices become smart they will start to share more with each other and with you.
One of the companies on the forefront of creating “smart homes” is Schneider Electric, which recently launched “Wiser Home.” Once the system is installed in a home it can be used to manage energy ranging from controlling lamps and appliances to the thermostat or almost anything else. This can all be done whether you are inside the house or miles away from a mobile device.
Similarly, imagine you are on your way to work for a meeting and your car notiﬁes your colleagues that you are going to be late because of trafﬁc. With the Internet of things your company will know where everything is all the time.
FedEx, the shipping and freight giant, is already enabling the Internet of things by using sensors to track packages, but it also looks at things such as temperature, humidity, and when the package was opened.
In the workplace, this means your devices “know” you better than you know yourself.
Where you like to go lunch, when you have meetings, when you are most productive, who you work with, and who you should work with, when to leave and arrive to avoid a busy commute, and every other aspect of your workday will all be known, planned, and optimized based on the “things” that are communicating with each other.
All of these things are a part of the Internet of things. By 2020 analyst ﬁrm Gartner4 predicts that there will be 26 billion units that have the potential to connect to each other and to the web, and this doesn’t include PCs, tablets, or smartphones. Cisco predicts that the total number of connected devices will exceed 50 billion by 2020.
This concept is still at the very early stages for most organizations and there’s still a lot we don’t know about the impact that this will have on our lives (both professional and personal).
However, this is still a trend worth mentioning as we certainly appear to be moving toward that direction.
The Internet of things is helping to create the vast amounts of big data. Devices will be able to “talk” to each other and to people on their own without human intervention or activation. This has the potential to make our lives and workplaces easier and more streamlined as well as help us to better understand ourselves, how we work, and how we live.