21 May “Internet of Things”: What is it and how will it change our lives?
The “internet of things” (IoT) uses the ultimate connectivity to merge real life objects, technology and people together. Objects such as household items with an on and off switch can be linked to multiple devices. This is essentially an attempt to integrate technology into your everyday routine, making our lives easier and more efficient.
Forbes contributor, Jacob Morgan, describes the IoT experience as the connection between “people-people, people-things, and things-things.” For example, General Electric recently announced they will be designing lighting that is iPhone compatible, allowing users to turn lighting on and off through voice activated Siri commands. IoT is a hot topic in the technology industry and brands such as Microsoft and AT&T are already taking advantage of the business opportunities IoT offers.
How will this impact us?
By 2020, it is expected that there will be over 26 billion connected devices. As the amount of devices and people in IoT grow, there will be more integrated devices developed to help people in the home, office, on the road, and even in businesses such as airplanes or oil rigs.
Although a car sending notifications to your preferred contacts of your estimated arrival and having the ability to access your work calendar from your home television is a step in an efficient direction, IoT does come with concerns. The more objects and data are shared and connected, the more attractive it becomes to seasoned hackers. Safety is a major concern with the development of IoT, since hacking a person’s network could mean access to even more personal data or worse, access into homes, cars, and businesses.
IoT operates through gaining a users permission in advance so permission for certain actions may not always be needed once devices are connected. This gives hackers the luxury of hacking into one system and gaining access to almost your whole life. However, since this is an obvious main concern companies, technical engineers and developers are paying close attention to the data security aspect of IoT.
Rest assured, this is not a new concept but an ongoing innovative idea that has been developed over years. Digital innovator, Kevin Ashton, envisioned how the “internet of things” would be back in 1999 and stated:
“If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things – using data they gathered without any help from us – we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best”.
If fully embraced and secure, the “internet of things” can lead the way in the creation of a “smart world”.
Author: Eveline Pierre