Imagine a world where you couldn’t find the answer to a question in a matter of seconds. Technology not only makes data readily available, but it has more recently been integrated into a variety of everyday devices. This widespread availability of technology has led to a new phenomenon called “The Internet of Things.”
Companies call it “The Internet of Things” because many household items–from security systems to refrigerators, and everything in between–is beginning to incorporate some kind of wireless connectivity. These capabilities allow consumers to do things easily, quickly, and out of convenience. Not only do they save time, but some even help reduce costs.
The Internet of Things is being built right now by companies from startups to tech giants, and is already beginning to bring enhanced customer experiences to businesses, cars and homes. By 2018, 9 billion devices will be connected. And as sensors become smaller, cheaper and more versatile, companies are beginning to use them in electronic devices and everyday objects ranging from security systems to light bulbs–virtually any device that can transfer data over a network via a sensor, chip or monitor.
Those who have done extensive research on “The Internet of Things” highlight five main use cases. The first is people who use wearable technology to monitor body functions. Second is their homes; thermostats, and HVAC systems can be controlled remotely. Communities can benefit from more effective traffic monitoring, pollution level readouts, and even the delivery of water and electricity to homes and offices. Fourth, manufacturers can now electronically track their materials’ inventory and their shipping, or distribution. The fifth use case is the environment. Sensors and wireless connectivity will allow scientists to gather accurate data about forests, oceans, and cities, from their desks at work.
The ability to track data from afar is revolutionizing technology and businesses, and is making our homes smarter and more efficient. As the development of Internet of Things progresses, the years ahead bring new opportunities and challenges for customers and businesses alike. For companies, adapting to those changes can mean gaining market share; while consumers may gain insights on their homes, their bodies and the world around them. As it evolves, the Internet of Things will add another layer of convenience to our devices and our world.