Internet of Things often shows up in tech news publications these days. There’s a reason for its popularity — technology experts consider it one of the most promising trends for the future. If you haven’t been keeping up,, the term can be confusing. How can things use the Internet?
What is the Internet of Things, exactly?
Devices and computers on the Internet today don’t communicate with one other on their own — they don’t seek out information on the Internet on their own, and they don’t automatically generate data to publish on Internet. The information exchange seen on the Internet today, then, is almost entirely set off by people working on devices. If devices could be designed to connect to the Internet to engage in information exchange on their own, it could open up a whole new world of convenience and power. Endowing the objects that you use and with Internet connectivity, then, is what the Internet of Things is about.
What can you use the Internet of Things for?
Smart home appliances — home security alarms, smart thermostats, heaters and air-conditioners — are one of the most commonly seen forms in which the Internet of Things currently functions. When a smart home security alarm system senses an intruder, it can automatically get on the Internet and signal the alarm company for help. Smart home thermostats, heaters and air-conditioners are able to communicate with one other to make sure that a space is at the right temperature. This kind of implementation is only the beginning, though.
The future of the Internet of Things
At this time, smart appliances and machines only have limited ability using the Internet. For instance, it is possible today to install smart, GPS-enabled antitheft devices on cars, that automatically contact the police in the event of theft. Smart engine sensors are able to automatically contact the car company with defect reports and schedule appointments. In the near future, smart home devices will be able to do things like tap your cellphone for GPS location information on where you are and turn your home air-conditioning on only when you are 20 minutes away. Once sensors become affordable enough to use everywhere, though, the Internet of Things should change the way the world works.
Where the Internet of Things will probably head over the next 50 years
Scientists and manufacturers today have their eye on Internet-enabled sensors that are so cheap that they can go on practically every object on earth. Farms could have extremely cheap Internet-enabled health sensors stuck on every plant or on every animal, for instance. Information from these sensors can tell farmers about the health of their plants or animals. Car engines could have sensors on every critical part to help manufacturers keep an eye on failure probabilities. Every object in your life could suddenly gain a degree of smartness.