I’m sure almost everyone of this era has a pretty firm grasp on the internet, right? The internet of people I’m sure. But what do you know about the Internet of things? What is Iot? Well, the IoT refers to everyday objects, other than computers and smartphones, being connected to the internet, being recognized by other devices and contributing to a database of information. Well, why should anyone be bothered about that? I have my smartphone stitched up into my sleeve and my laptop on “sleep” on my bed. That’s about everything in my radius of interest tech-wise.
If you are even remotely close to the person described above or me from a few days ago, then this article is for you.
With each passing day, human lives and technology entwine tighter and closer. And thanks to ever-growing cheaper and faster processors and wireless connectivity, anything from a pill to a train can be added into the IoT. Cars, home appliances even heart rate monitors. And as the Internet of Things grows, more devices will continually be added to that list.
An example of IoT devices
How does IoT work? Any physical object can be transformed into an IoT device if it can be connected to the internet and controlled. The term ‘IoT’ is mainly used for devices that you would not usually expect to be connected to the internet and communicate with a network independent of human actions. The easiest example of IoT is Google Home or Amazon Echo. Or your wearable fitness devices for example. It can tell your location, if you are in motion, what pace you are going at, your heart rate, if and how well you’ve slept etc. The goal with IoT is that the device takes all this information and shares it across a network of your other devices making for a more interactive experience.
IoT and You
Let’s talk about wearable devices for this scenario. The band on your wrist communicates with the lights and air conditioning in the room letting it know when you enter or leave the room, allowing them to switch on or off based on your presence. Now accounting for human negligence that is better energy saving right there. This band on your wrist can detect surrounding conditions as well. Say you fall into a deep sleep and it is the middle of the night. Temperatures may fall and this device can signal the thermostat to adjust the temperature according to your level of comfort. Google has Nest, the learning thermostat and Samsung has SmartThings.
IoT and Healthcare
There are technologies that have already been developed capable of carrying out said actions. While they may not be deployed just yet, they are where the future is at. So imagine you are back in the aforementioned deep sleep state. Your wrist vibrates heavily jerking you awake. You have been woken up to be informed that you have high blood pressure and your heart rate is spiking. The band on your wrist reports to you that your vitals have been recorded and sent to your doctor. Your doctor assessing your condition has sent an ambulance to your location. Although it may sound like fantasies, these are technologies that exist and are expected to be available for consumption by the year 2020. Needless to say IoT is expected to play a major role in the healthcare industry in the very near future.
Big businesses including Google, IBM, and Samsung are investing heavily in IoT. Google is to acquire Nest Labs for $3.2 billion getting a head start in IoT technology, ahead of its rivals like Microsoft and Apple. With big businesses buying into the concept it should be safe to expect incredible advances in the near future.
Written by Amana Iftekhar