From hairbrushes, scales, toasters to fitness trackers & dog collars, consumer and industrial devices are having chips inserted into them to collect, communicate & manage data. Currently, there is a push for energy devices such as boilers, electric/gas meters and lighting control being connected to the internet.
Here’s everything you need to know about the increasingly 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 phone to do it remotely, your IoT home devices will ‘learn’ your habits and preferences. Whilst monitoring temp, daylight, weather forecast, gas and electricity prices, it will provide your ideal environment at the most cost-effective price. It is an entirely automated process, revolving around real-time communication of accurate intelligence based on analysis of big data – and it all takes place without you having to think about it.
IoT includes everything connected to the internet, but it’s increasingly being used to define objects that “talk” to each other. Simply, the Internet of Things is made up of sensors attached to home devices all communicating to analyse usage and offer improved use.
By joining IoT devices to automated systems, it’s possible to learn from a process to create more helpful actions. Internet of Things brings those networks together creating a much 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 will need to be made 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. Unbridled observation, access to personal data and targeted unwanted engagements would all have to be considered before they make it onto the shelves.
At the centre of creating a vast, reliable IoT network lies one significant and wide-ranging issue: compatible standards.
For IoT devices to be beneficial, they need to be able to transfer and share what the recorded data. The current different standards are making the communication between these devices quite difficult.
Standardisation of connection technology is currently 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 webcam to check stock 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.