Broadband internet is widely available on a global scale, plus the costs associated with setting up Wi-Fi and managing them, using sensors have all gone down. Not to forget smartphones are not more capable than ever before. The setting for IoT is already there, now you have to understand what it really is.
So, What is IoT?
Internet of Things is basically a concept that dreams of connecting any device with any other device using the Internet. Just as smartphones help us stay connected with the entire world, Internet will become a living and breathing environment for all accessories, equipment and machines regardless of ownership.
Anything that you use such as wearable devices, headphones, washing machine, coffee makers, cellphones and more will be connected 24/7 with each other. It even includes machine components, take for instance the engine of a jet plane or the drill on an oil rig. Naturally, this provides the human participant a remote on/off switch and that’s where the benefits start arising. Think of an oil rig drill and how many lives can be saved in the event of a catastrophe if the entire rig is IoT enabled and controlled offshores with just a maintenance crew onboard.
According to analysts from Gartner, by 2020 nearly 26 billion devices will be connected with each other and IoT will no longer be a pipedream but a reality. That is when the lines between people-people, thing-thing and people-thing relationships will completely dissolve.
How Will It Impact You?
Basically, anything that can stay connected, will be connected. Question is why would anyone want everything connected to each other and talking? Well let’s take simple examples in our daily lives. Think of your car and if it were privy to your calendar then it knows where you are driving today, thus can begin planning the best route there before you even get in the car. It can look up traffic beforehand and decide on the route or make last minute changes based on your appointments afterwards. What if your alarm clock wakes you up and then immediately signals to the coffee maker that it is time to brew a cup? Imagine your printer self-aware of the paper quantity and placing an order for itself without your knowledge?
Basically, IoT on a grander scale can work on several different things. It can help build smarter transportation grids, smarter cities, reduce waste and above all increase efficiency. Fact is, the opportunities for IoT are just endless. In fact, we can’t even begin to imagine where the end of IoT would be. There are several ideas yet to be thought up, challenges yet to be solved and while security is a big issue, there will always be ways to improve on that.