From hairbrushes, scales, toasters to fitness trackers, home and business devices are becoming smarter to collect, communicate & manage data. There is a push for energy devices such as boilers, electric/gas meters and lighting control being connected to the internet. Internet of Things is a group of home technology devices designed to make life easier.
Here’s everything you need to know about the expanding connected world.
What is the Internet of Things?
Take the simple task of controlling your household lighting and heating. Rather than doing this manually, or remotely, your IoT home devices will ‘learn’ your habits and preferences. Whilst monitoring temp, daylight, weather forecast, energy prices, it will provide your ideal environment at the best prices. It’s an entirely automated process, around real-time communication of accurate intelligence based on analysis of big data. All this takes place without you having to think about it.
IoT includes everything connected to the internet, but it’s being used to define objects that “talk” to each other. Simply, the Internet of Things is made up home devices with sensors all communicating, analysing usage and improving use.
By joining IoT devices to automated systems, the service offers more helpful actions. Internet of Things brings those networks together to create a more connected world.
Why do connected devices need to share data?
A case has been raised that just because something can be connected to the internet, doesn’t mean it should be. Each device collects data for a specific purpose which is normally beneficial to a buyer and wider community. Industrial sensors on product lines can increase efficiency and cut down on waste. A lot of manufacturers are using data from smart sensors within their set-ups already. They are used to keep lines running optimally, reject imperfections and to check quality of products.
IoT will offer us the opportunity to be more efficient in how we do things, saving us time, money and often emissions in the process. Allowing companies, governments and public authorities to re-think how they deliver services and produce goods.
The quality and scope of the data across the Internet of Things generates an opportunity for much more responsive interactions with devices to create a potential for change.
Where does IoT go next?
IoT is still in it’s infancy with the numerous smart home products available – from lightbulbs, switches, smart speakers, TV’s to motion sensors. These products still have connectivity and significant security issues that need to be addressed. The need to secure every connected device is critical and to avoid the danger that technology is running ahead of the game. Billions of devices need to be secure by their manufacturers. IoT, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will rapidly evolve in a way we’ve never seen before.
What about privacy?
Anything that’s connected to the internet can be hacked, IoT devices are no exception to this unwritten rule. VTech losing video & pictures, Google glass with surveillance issues & CIA developing security exploits for Samsung TV’s, there’s plenty of issues to be addressed. Open monitoring, access to personal data and targeted connections would all have to be considered before they make it onto the shelves.
At the centre of creating a huge, reliable IoT network lies one major and wide-ranging issue: compatible standards. For IoT devices to be beneficial, they need to be able to transfer and share the data. The current different standards are making communication between these devices quite difficult. Standardisation of connections are being considered by major organisations and when this is agreed, it will open up the number of interconnected devices.
Whether it’s finding a car park space, linking your home systems or using your fridge to check food on the way home, it’s certainly exciting times. There are still some unknowns as to what will be coming but one thing we do is the potential to have a major impact on our lives.
Contact PC Kings for support on all of your home technology. Please see the Wikipedia page for more information.