The Internet of Things. What is it?

In our blog last month, we focused on Smart Cities. The Internet of Things or IoT was mentioned and is a critical part of a cities ability to become smarter. In this blog we will go into more detail about what the IoT is and how it will affect our everyday lives, both now and in the future.

As the name suggests, the Internet of Things is a very broad term covering many aspects of technology which can be connected to the internet. Any physical device, vehicle, building, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity falls under the IoT spectrum. In turn these items can store and share data via the internet. And it is a lot of data that is shared.

So, what is the whole point of it? Data can be used in ways we could not have imagined even 10 years ago. By gathering this information, it can be analysed and then create an action to help someone with a particular task, or learn from a process.

This will mean improved efficiency, accuracy and personal/economic benefit.

It’s only the beginning for the IoT

There are various products and innovations for the consumer now available due to the Internet of Things. Some of these are:

Smarter homes

Hive for starters, smart technology allowing you to control your heating and lighting from a mobile app. The Amazon Echo is another. You can control connected home devices, order an Uber or make a shopping list.

Wearable technology

All wearable technology, which includes smart watches, fitness trackers, VR headsets and more, generates a ton of data that businesses are just beginning to understand the possibilities and potential applications for.

Environment

Our planet is struggling. Through climate change and other factors, the data clearly shows what is happening. Technology can also help us understand what is going on with a particular species. There has been a lot of talk recently about bees and their place in the ecosystem. This article explains how bees can be tracked and scientists can help their survival.

Business and IoT

Technology has always been at the forefront of a successful business. With the current pace of technological advances, those who adapt in business to the IoT are the ones who will survive and thrive in the future.

Inventory Tracking and Management

A business that relies on manufacturing or storage can use remote scanners and similar high-tech devices to help their workers keep track of inventory item by item.

Remote Work

Due to business needs and flexibility, home working has become popular in recent years. With multiple devices all wired into the same network, remote working employees will be more connected than ever before. They can accomplish new types of tasks by tapping into devices in an office or factory floor.

Speed and Accessibility

Since consumers will have access to new forms of devices due to the IoT, the buying cycle will likely shorten in length. Consumers will, with a handful of spoken phrases, be able to find and order exactly the product they’re looking for. For suppliers and logistics providers, they will all have similarly advanced technology at their disposal, meaning customers will get products faster.

Efficiency and Productivity

IoT developments will allow workers to accomplish large-scale tasks faster and with greater precision. A business may need fewer staff members, so could scale operations in new areas that allow a business to expand.

Whether the IoT reaches the heady predictions of 50 billion connected devices by 2020 remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, the IoT is growing and will continue to grow into 2018 and beyond. This article explains some of the predictions for the IoT next year. Watch this space………

 

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