The Internet of Things (IoT), is a new term that is being used by various technological industries. IoT is essentially a network of physical devices, with embedded electronics, software sensors, and network connectivity that enables these devices to share data throughout the Internet. For example, think of how a smartphone can connect you with people from all over the world by utilizing the Internet. Phones were one of the first “things” to get embedded with internet connectivity, now IoT is looking at building this connectivity into other physical devices.
Here are some industries that are expected to benefit from the upcoming IoT market:
If the IoT market takes off, which it very well is expected to, you may one day own a “smart washing-machine”. Your washing machine could be programed to know when you are running low on detergent based upon the frequency of your wash cycles, and can connect to Amazon to order more detergent. This is just one example of the various uses of IoT.
The farming industry could benefit from networked temperature monitors, to oversee the temperature that certain plants need to grow. A thermostat could be wired with network connectivity so that the user could get real-time temperature updates via text message or e-mail. Sensors could also monitor the overall health of the plant. This could save money by being able to prevent a potential loss in crops. The new market of IoT could be very constructive for companies looking for accurate reporting of energy consumption. By utilizing sensors on energy consuming devices, companies will have real-time data as to what usage of energy is taken up by the devices they utilize.
Not only is this useful for industrial and economic reasons, it can also be used for entertainment. The Amazon Echo is a voice-enabled wireless speaker system developed by Amazon. The device can do all things a smart phone can do, but it comes in the form of a cylindrical speaker system. The Amazon Echo sits on a surface of your home and can be moved from room to room. A user can simply talk to the device, and it will be prompted by your voice. The device is connected via Wi-Fi, and can give you real time information such as traffic reports, weather, find and play a specific song requested, or make a purchase for you online.
The Internet of Things is expected to take off in the next 2 years. We will be entering a whole new way in which we interact with and share data across the Internet. The physical world will become more directly connected to the Internet, thus improving accuracy in business, economic efficiency, and ease of business.
Interested in learning more? Check out the wiki on Internet of Things.