IoT or the Internet of Things is going to change the way we do everything.
Well, that’s what everyone seems to be claiming, and as with any new tech hype, some of it is true.
The concept is simple – extend the internet and all of your current “smart” devices to… anything and everything. Link together devices, buildings, vehicles – all loaded with sensors and monitors – for the ultimate connected world.
The most sited example of this is the humble refrigerator – Make it IoT enabled by connecting it to the internet, and it will be able to monitor the usage of items inside the fridge (currently, no one is quite clear on how this bit actually happens), and take care of ordering replacement items before you run out.
Amazon have taken this concept one step further with their “Dash Button”. A £5 device (with a fixed battery – good for 1000 pushes) that is connected to the internet via your home WiFi network. When you run low on your favourite products such as cat food, washing up liquid or toilet rolls, the ‘dash button’ will automatically order a pre-programmed replacement item at the push of a button. Taking their one-click web experience to a completely new – physical – level!
The toilet roll example is not massively useful (until high speed drone delivery to the bathroom door makes an appearance!) but there are better, real world examples for things that aren’t quite as urgent, such as placing a ‘dash button’ in your pet food cupboard. These opportunities start to make sense and you can see how this automated order process could easily be incorporated into our daily lives to save time.
It would be great to see a future scenario where your GP could provide you a similar thing for your medical cabinet, that places prescription orders when you are running low on important medicine. The possibilities do seem endless.
The main focus of the IoT seems to be around automating and connecting all aspects of our lives, to make things simpler and save time. In a world where we are all time poor, IoT is going down pretty well with a lot of people.
There are still many technical (and security) challenges ahead which will need to be ironed out, but IoT has landed and may even be hiding in your bathroom.