Internet of Things

Checking in on the Internet of Things

The Internet’s evolution stretches outside our devices, networks and screens.

Wireless technology has met micro-electromechanical systems on the Internet. This convergence has enabled devices to connect with each other and share data. If our devices could, why not our appliances? If our appliances can, why not animals? And if animals can, why not humans?

And that’s how the Internet of Things came to be.

What is The Internet of Things?

It’s a vague, yet all-encompassing notion that devices can send and receive data from other devices.

You’ll find plenty of this machine-to-machine communication in your everyday life. When your car’s sensors detect your brakes need replacement or tire pressure runs low, it’ll tell you. That’s part of the Internet of Things. Here are some other examples:

  • A sensor your baby wears to protect against SIDS
  • Mood lighting you control with your smartphone
  • A smoke detector for your home that speaks to you

These bits of the Internet of Things beckon to space-age ideals. It’s all very George Jetson. What direction might the Internet of Things head, though, in the grander scheme?

Will its utility extend beyond cutting steps out of our daily routine?

Data that Drives Business Decisions

Our appetite for data doesn’t appear to have a lid. Nor should it, when even simple application of intel can drive decisions that impact a company’s ability to thrive.

Company vehicles – single or by the fleet – send telematics data. It gives details about everything from fuel economy to system efficiency. When you crunch these numbers, you’re on the way to better gas mileage and improved operating costs.

Data taken from an elevator can predict when the tenants of its building might need additional office space. Or, it could forecast when a tenant might terminate a lease early. In this case, the asset itself – the real estate – generates data that drives its own management.

Where’s the Conversation Headed?

The Federal Trade Commission reports this data on the Internet of Things:

  • There are more than 25 billion web-connected devices on earth
  • Experts expect that number to double by 2020
  • More than 90% of businesses have plans to include the Internet of Things in the next few years

This trend points to a digitized business world.

This shifting landscape includes algorithms and autonomous or semi-autonomous factors. They process data and enact an outcome- such as drug cabinets that update prescriptions or bracelets that alert paramedics when a pacemaker fails.

Now, these might sound like no big deal, but neither did the Internet to some, when it was still developing. The Internet of Things’ potential reaches far beyond mood lighting and baby monitoring. It’s in that promising stage of development ripe for improved tools and increased innovation. It might not conquer the world just yet, but for now … dim the lights and appreciate a bit of the Jetsons’ life.