Welcome to the Internet of Things
You’’re on your way to the airport for that big winter vacation, but you forgot to turn down the heat at home. No problem! You whip out your iPhone and with a couple of clicks you’ve set the thermostat to 15 degrees.
Or perhaps you just got a call from your daughter who locked herself out of the house. Just as simple! Out comes the phone again, and the doors at home unlock themselves.
Or maybe you’re actually away on vacation but you want to know what’s going on at home. Easy as pie. Open the webcam app on your phone and you’re looking through eyes of the camera that’s built into the light bulb in your kitchen ceiling.
Do these sound farfetched?
These are all technologies you can buy today! Welcome to the Internet of Things!
The Internet was first conceived of as a way to connect computers so they could exchange information. But in 2015, what exactly is a computer, and what defines information?
Consider this: the average new car contains more computers than the average small office. And what we call “information” could be your Accounts Receivable listing, or it could be instructions telling your web-enabled doorlock to open.
The Internet of Things was created as a way to connect smart devices to the already-existing Internet, as a way of leveraging the communications technologies that we already have - like WiFi and TCP/IP - to control things that have absolutely nothing to do with what we traditionally think of as “computers.”
Today, smart devices include: Televisions, Refrigerators, Thermostats, Door locks, Camera systems, Baby monitors, Music systems, Security systems and many more.
The future suggests even greater promise. Here are a few of the innovations you’ll be seeing in the coming years:
- Instead of a “dumb” device, your pacemaker will relay health info to your doctor.
- When your bus is 5 minutes away from the office your smartphone will alert you.
- You use your smartphone and start cooking dinner before you get home.
- You’re about to run out of laundry soap. Just push the button on your washing machine and it will show up at your door the same day.
Most of us lead increasingly busy lives. Our free time seems to diminish every year, so the Internet of Things is a way of making mundane things in our lives more convenient.
In the years to come, even more creative uses of connected technology will continue to drive the growth of the Internet of Things.