Internet of Things is The Next Big Thing — Here’s Why
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a field primed to take off in the next few years. While the IoT as of now is nothing to laugh at, currently consisting of about 5 billion devices worldwide, the field as of now is simply learning to walk before taking off and running. Recent estimates by industry leaders, Cisco and GE, predict that by the year 2020 there will be more than 5 billion people connected to the IoT. Yes, go ahead and reread that. As in, well over two thirds of the world’s current population. These same estimates predict that these people will make use of more than 50 billion devices, contributing $7.1 trillion to the global market.
Now you may be wondering what exactly the IoT is. The Internet of Things is a development in which devices of all kinds share network connectivity so they can communicate with each other and continuously send and receive data. A well-known example is modern home security systems, which allow homeowners to use their phones to receive potential break-in alerts or view video from cameras inside their homes. In this case, there is constant communication going between the phone, video cameras and probably some form of motion detector. Though this is a fairly common domestic application of the IoT, ‘things’ included in the IoT can be anything from small sensors to track temperature to massive manufacturing machines that report production statistics to an employee’s computer.
So what is it about IoT that makes it such an emerging market? The IoT is, as of now, maybe the most hyped area in technology, and what makes it so is the potential it brings to completely change day to day interactions in both the business world and life at home. Sensors that collect data are able to send data to be stored and interpreted within short periods of time, allowing the machines receiving the data to react almost instantly, independent of any operators. In this process, businesses look to greatly benefit, as not only are reaction times set to be significantly quicker, but also the operator who would be required to monitor the machine is now freed to go perform other work. In the home, IoT devices can be used to maximize energy efficiency, automatically changing your house’s heating and cooling according to real time information about the weather outside. A homeowner could find their shades reacting to changes in sunlight and adjusting to keep levels of light inside the house exactly as desired. The IoT is set to bring an entirely new level of convenience and efficiency to the home.
While many years ago technology such as this may have seemed like some futuristic concept belonging with The Jetsons, each day it is becoming more and more a part of everyday life, reshaping the ways people go about their days. Though machine-to-machine communication has been around for some time, in the past, connections on such scale and with such ease were simply things of dreams. However, with technology in the place it is today and continuing to fly down this path, we can personally witness what was once just a source of optimistic thought become reality.