I have often in technology based conversations and forums heard the phrase the Internet of Things and wondered what it was. Technology is an area where we often use industry terms and phrases expected those around us to understand what we are talking about. As I had to look into this I thought it might be useful to share what I found out.
The Internet of Things or IoT is the connection of physical devices over networks. The physical devices could be devices, vehicles, buildings and other items that are equipped with electronics, software systems, sensors and network connectivity to enable all these devices to collect data as well as exchange data with each other.
I know it all sounds very technical but I am sure that most of you have heard about the ability to control your heating potentially from your mobile phone whilst you are out of your property. This is just one example of how these technologies are helping people every day to create efficiencies. Other current market examples include home automation (also known as smart home devices) such as the control and automation of lighting, heating (like smart thermostat), ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and appliances such as washer/dryers, robotic vacuums, air purifiers, ovens or refrigerators/freezers that use Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.
As the technology and uses are enhanced I am sure that we will see a creation of smart towns and cities where lots of things are interoperable and can be controlled by relevant and appropriate people via a smart phone or other device on a network. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.
If you find it difficult to imagine uses for this just think about advances in health care and the opportunities for health monitoring implants or as I saw on a TV programme recently the ability to add biochip transponders to farm animals.
As well as this expansion of Internet-connected automation into a plethora of new areas of application, IoT by it’s very nature is going to generate large amounts of data from diverse locations, this in turn will mean that systems and software will be needed for quick aggregation of the data, and an increase in the need to index, store, and process such data more effectively. I think this gives the technologically savvy amongst us some real opportunities potentially to come up with new ideas on how to not only use these advances in technologies in fields that we haven’t before but also looking at future uses for the amazing amount of data that will be able to be collected.
With all the technological advancements it will be exciting to see what 2020 and beyond will bring us.
This article is written by Rebecca Fearn with help from Compatible SFP. Rebecca is a Yorkshire lass who dreams of outdoor living in sunnier climbs.