If you are like me and have been gradually immersed in technology, then the “Internet of Things” or “IoT” is probably a major part of your life without you even realising it. By this, I mean that I use a fitness app to track my morning run, calculating the distance, time and calories burnt. I also use a range of mobile apps throughout the day; until at night I track the quality of my sleep using another mobile app. Consequently, from early morning until last thing at night I am submerged in the “IoT” without really noticing it. Having said this, there is a lot more to the IoT than just the smart applications on your mobile.
For example, a doctor can now be brought into your home via Skype, which enables you to carry out a real-time virtual consultation, and in Paris there are now driver-less subway trains where sensors are used to open and close doors by monitoring when members of the public have finished getting on and off the train.
These are just a few fairly simple examples of how IoT is already making a difference to our day-to-day lives.
So what is it, really?
Gartner defines IoT as: “The network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.”
In other words, the IoT means that we now live in a world where objects are able to communicate situational information to one another. This sounds impressive, and it is, but what is even more impressive is what we are able to do with that information.
If we go back to the example of Paris’s automated subway train, where sensors monitor whether people have finished getting on or off the train, these sensors also use that information to judge how busy the train is and monitor which station the train has arrived at compared to its schedule. This means that staff at stations down route can be prepared for particularly busy days or schedule changes in advance of the train arriving.
So, without us really realising it we have arrived in a world where machines communicate with each other to enhance our daily lives.
- This blog series is going to examine the benefits of the IoT to vital industries and how it is changing the world we live in, without you even noticing. I will be looking at: Telemedicine
- Smart cars
- Smart cities
- Smart Logistics
- Wearable devices
- Energy consumption
- Smart cards and real time billing
Watch this space for my next blog.