Let’s get the silly thing the Internet of Things (IoT) probably won’t improve out of the way first.
The Internet of Things probably won’t stop the use of buzz phrases, such as the Internet of Things.
Having said that, what if sensors everywhere heard when you uttered a buzz phrase and sent out a drone to tell you off?
What if those sensors were linked to your bank account and took out £1 per buzzword
Okay that’s one thing that probably won’t happen. Here are six brilliant things that probably will:
(And if you’re wondering where the term ‘Internet of Things’ came from home, Wikipedia has it that it was first used by a British technology pioneer called Kevin Ashton. In 1999. He used it to describe a system where the Internet is connected to the physical world by sensors.)
- Lots of things will be interconnected. Lots and lots and lots of things. 50 billion by 2020, according to Cisco. Happy, big number fans?
- You might know who’s knocking at your door when you’re at work. Just respond to that notification on your smartphone. When you do, you see footage from your door cam. Who’s that? What are they doing? Do you need to tell a delivery person what to do with your parcel? Tell a meter reader you’ll send your reading later? Call the neighbours or Police. Chances are, it won’t be the latter but some people may like to know if they’re about to be burgled.
- Security and privacy might not be such insurmountable problems. An interconnected device is a hackable device. But perhaps things don’t have to be connected to the Internet all the time. Perhaps devices can only transmit for milliseconds every so often, making them practically impossibly to hack them in such a short space of time.
- You could set your oven to be at the right temperature when you get back home, not 15 minutes later. Could fridges be smarter, too? Could they remind you when you’re running low on a particular item? Could they remind you when you’re passing a shop? Could they let you know if this item was available for less at another shop on your route? When things start to share their data with you, the possibilities are endless.
- Street lights will sense when no-one’s there and turn themselves off, saving energy and reducing light pollution. Data collected from these lights’ sensors could tell us about how people walk around our cities, and how we can build them better in the future.
- Energy use in general can become much better-monitored, so that we can use it more efficiently.
That’s just six pretty awesome things I found so every time you hear the term ‘Internet of Things’, take a deep breath and just think of the good things.