The internet of things (IoT) is simple; it’s about connecting devices over the internet. It’s a term that internet users have been bombarding search engines with; trying to find out what it means and how it affects them.
These ‘smart’ devices can be anything from mobile phones, fridges, washing machines to wearables, medical equipment or jet engines.
It’s certainly not new, tech experts have been discussing the ideas for decades. Recently smart homes and smart cities have been the centre of conversations. We’re gradually becoming more and more efficient, storing and linking data in order to automate processes.
In Britain the most common use of IoT services can be seen in energy: specifically, home heating. This enables consumers to control their home heating from their smartphone, laptop or tablet. It even has the ability to turn off when no one is home by detecting whether your smartphone is in the house or not. Smart meters can help consumers better understand their energy usage and at what time energy is more expensive so they can be more savvy with their own usage of energy.
The downside is security – can it keep up with the IoT? All these devices that are connected collect a lot of personal data about people and it’s shared with other devices and held in databases by companies.
Experts say that manufacturing is perhaps the furthest ahead in terms of IoT; farmers have also been turning to connected sensors to monitor both crops and cattle, in the hopes of boosting production.
The examples are endless, and all we can predict is that connected devices will likely creep into most businesses, just the way computers and the web have!