The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the newest trendy terms being used as a topic of conversation in industry articles, online tech groups, and your backyard BBQ. Wait, what?
The IoT has the potential to impact how we work, but also how we live. Intermingled in the complexities around IoT are some useful and important conversations – if you understand what they are talking about. Many people are still just trying to grasp the foundation of what the heck these conversations are about.
The IoT refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet collecting and sharing data. Thanks to cheap processors and wireless networks, it’s basically possible to turn anything, and I mean anything, into part of the IoT. In fact, the term IoT is mainly used for devices that wouldn’t usually be generally expected to have an internet connection.
The IoT was initially of interest primarily to business and manufacturing where its application is sometimes known as machine-to-machine (M2M). But now the craze has caught on and it is literally filling our homes and offices with smart devices. This results in an object transformation into something that’s relevant to almost everyone.
The IoT promises to make our environment – our homes, offices and vehicles – smarter, more measurable, and chattier. Think Siri, Alexa, etc.
Smart speakers make it easier to play music, set timers, or get information. Home security systems make it easier to monitor what’s going on inside and outside, or to see and talk to visitors. Meanwhile, smart thermostats can help us heat our homes before we arrive back, and smart light bulbs can make it look like we’re home even when we’re out.
Most of these uses feel a little vain and pretentious, but there are some very beneficial uses that impact more than the users. Looking beyond the home, sensors can help us to understand how noisy or polluted our environment might be. Autonomous cars and smart cities could change how we build and manage our public spaces. The applications are limited only by the different type of objects that exist.
The IoT bridges the gap between the digital world and the physical world – whether that is a good thing or not.
Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.