The Internet of Things. Ask an average person on the street to define the term, and you might get a curious look staring back at you. Although many people don’t use the term "Internet of Things" (or #IoT in Twitter speak), people with smartphones, tablets, and PCs already use it on a regular basis. If you believe the experts, it’ll soon be tracking and monitoring just about everything we do, including our bodily functions. As part of this month’s feature on IoT, we’ve pulled together some of the most interesting content from around the Web about this emerging technology.
The Biggest Thing Since Sliced Bread
What’s that? You thought the smartphone was the biggest thing since sliced bread? It’s time to tell tablets and smartphones to step over because according to data from BI Intelligence, the Internet of Things is expected to surpass each of these devices. In fact, it’s already controlling what happens to that sliced bread in some households. Analysts predict that by 2018, there will be 9 billion devices controlled by the Internet. When that happens, the total amount of Internet enabled "things" will be the same as smartphones, televisions, tablets, wearable technology and PCs combined.
A Philosophical Approach to IoT
The proliferation of Internet-enabled devices has created a rift between generations. Kids today will never know a disconnected world. Their grandparents can still remember what it was like to chop wood to heat a home, read a newspaper to get the latest information, and use a notepad to keep track of what’s needed from the grocery store. Thomas Wendt became especially aware of this when his father retired and returned to chopping wood to heat his home. This article from UX Magazine provides a philosophical background about how generations can adapt to the Internet of Things. Spoiler alert: In order for IoT to be really successful, products must have purpose built into the design.
Can Plugging More Things In Allow You to Unplug?
As people become increasingly obsessed with their mobile devices – and anything with a screen -some people (such as Thomas Wendt, above) fear that more connected devices will lead to a greater dependence on technology. Not true, according to Duncan Lamb, creator of Aether Cone, a device that takes data and turns it into a playlist so you never have to look at your phone to decide what to listen to. Goodbye distractions from work emails, hello real-world relaxation with friends and family!
Politicians Are Jumping on Board
As consumers continue to adapt to this new technology, politicians have taken notice. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron recently came out touting the impact the Internet of Things will have on consumers and the world as we know it. According to VentureBeat, Cameron believes so strongly in the potential for this new industry that his office announced the British government is making £45 million in funding for new research toward expanding IoT. Think investors are taking note? You bet!
It’s Time for Businesses to Adapt
With continued innovation, more funding for research, and more investors putting their hand in the IoT pot, many businesses wonder what they could (and should) do to keep up. There is a lot to consider when moving into such a connected environment, including security and infrastructure. This article from IT Portal gives businesses a few clear tips on what to do before diving into this popular arena.
Still, What Does It All Mean?
Even though billions of devices are expected to be connected to the Internet, people still struggle to envision what this really means. This article answers a few of those questions.