What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is a concept describing the direction in which technology is heading. This is tipped to change the way we experience modern life, and it’s happening right now. But what exactly is it?
If the Internet is a bunch of computers being able to communicate with each other through a network, then the Internet of Things or (IoT) could be thought of as the rest of our devices getting in on this networked communication. It’s all about taking everyday objects, and giving them the ability to talk to one another, and carry out actions based on what the objects know.
Sounds like the future? Well, right now we’re starting to see the beginnings of an Internet of all things. That activity tracker on your wrist senses your movements, and hands that information over to your smartphone. Your smartphone then shows you how you’re progressing throughout the day.
Now imagine what this would be like, to a greater scale.
Let’s say you’ve been running all morning. You’re a few hundred meters from home, so your smartphone talks to your fridge to tell it to prepare a glass of water. Your house senses the outside temperature is a tad hotter than expected so it cools the house just that little bit more in time for your arrival. As soon as you get home, your garage unlocks and opens for you, and your fridge has that glass of water ready.
Your activity monitor sends your exercise progress to your fridge, which then suggests to you a set of menus for the day that would aid in muscle recovery and optimal fluid intake. The fridge then makes an order online for apples and milk as you’re running low.
Your wardrobe suggests an outfit for the day based on the weather forecast, your day’s activities from your calendar, and the list of clean clothes you’ve got left.
As you leave home, your car reminds you of your day’s activities, and suggests the best routes for you to take depending on traffic. It has also told your house to close the garage door, lock up, turn off the aircon, and turn off all the lights, and has pre-ordered your coffee to pick up from your favourite café on the way to work.
The possibilities seem endless when all your things become ‘smart’. So what does this mean for the future of our families? Are we turning into The Jetsons?
We’ll be living in a world where we’d be guided more by our stuff, and they will do even more for us. Good thing that our kids will be learning to code, because programming these smart devices might be where a lot of the jobs are in the future. Who knows?
The future is shaping up to be quite interesting. I wonder which device will become ‘smart’ next?