According to research, the term ‘Internet of Things’ is something 87% of people haven’t ever heard of. Today I hope to rectify that. As we march into yet another year of technological development, the phrase is going to start cropping up more and more, both in workplaces and in the home. But what impact is the Internet of Things going to have on your day to day life, if any? Before we launch into the explanations, lets set the scene first. Broadband Internet has become widely available over the past few decades, with 22.5 million homes (86% of the population) in the UK having access to the Internet. In 2015 the Internet was accessed every day by 78& of adults, with 96% of adults aged 16-24 having access to Internet ‘on the go’. We are now using the Internet to shop, communicate and do business. More and more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capability built in, and the costs of these devices is decreasing every year. Almost every adult in the UK has access to a smartphone or tablet device and uses them on a regular basis. All of this has created the ‘perfect storm’ for the explosion of The Internet Of Things.
There are a few different ways people try to explain the Internet Of Things, but the simplest and clearest for me is this. The Internet Of Things is the concept of connecting any device with an on/off switch to the Internet, and/or each other. This doesn’t just stop at your phones, computers and tablets. The Internet Of Things spreads to coffee machines, washing machines, lamps, lights, televisions, kitchen appliances – anything you can think of that is powered by electricity. This also applies to the components of machines, like a jet engine or a drill. Basically, if it has an on/off switch, it can be connected to the Internet Of Things.
Put simply, almost anything. The new status quo for the future will be ‘anything that can be connected, will be connected.’ And while this is a great concept, it can be difficult to visualise how this will affect your day to day life, so we put together a few examples.
If you are on your way to a meeting, the navigation in your car would have access to your calendar and know the best route to take you (who knows your car might even be able to drive for you). If you hit heavy traffic on that journey, your car could send a text to the people you are meeting with telling them you are going to be late. Another example – when your alarm goes off in the morning, it can also notify your coffee machine or kettle to start making coffee. If you are about to leave work and have had a hard day, you can programme your bath to be filled and warm for when you get home, your kettle can be boiled ready for your cup of tea, and you could even set your favourite music to play from your sound system when you walk in the door – all with a few taps on your mobile phone. It’s not just your home life that would be affected either. The Internet of Things could help you keep on top of things at work, replacing some of your more menial tasks. For example you could set it to track your office supplies levels and auto order when they are getting low. Your main computer could be tracking when and where you are most productive, and share that information with other devices you work on. It all sounds very futuristic, doesn’t it? The Internet Of Things makes a whole host of previously impossible scenarios very plausible, and is paving the way for a new chapter in our lives.
The Internet of Things is obviously a bit more complex than this, but the idea of this post wasn’t to give you an in depth analysis of how it’s made up and how it works. Instead, think of the Internet of Things as the next step in human evolution, and one that could make your life more comfortable and convenient, if you like technology! If you don’t, or you have any questions about preparing or implementing some changes in 2016, just give us a call for a free consultation.