Traditionally if you think of devices that are connected to the Internet a few things come to mind: phone, laptop, game console, computers.
“The Internet of Things” (IoT) is the concept (already being made real) of connecting anything to the Internet, and to each other. Appliances, luggage, parking spots, light poles, benches, cars and so on.
Billions of things connected to the Internet, and talking to each other.
“The IoT is a giant network of connected ‘things’ (which also includes people). The relationship will be between people-people, people-things, and things-things.” – Forbes
Sensors will allow inanimate things to generate data, and be monitored and controlled via the Internet.
Oh and it’s not just inanimate things…even the human body can be monitored with sensors. Have you used a Fitbit?
So what are the business applications of this technology? Have a look…
- A sensor in your warehouse sends an alert to your phone when the humidity reaches a certain (problematic) level.
- Sensors track shipping containers for location, vibration, temperature. Monitoring via a web or Smartphone app.
- Sensors monitor available parking spaces in your city. Data is sent to a Smartphone app that citizens can use to quickly find a spot = reduced congestion.
- Sensors monitor moisture levels in soil (such as a golf course) and trigger the irrigation system only where and as needed.
- Flood monitoring – monitor the water levels in rivers, lakes and flood prone areas. Alerts can be sent to Smartphones.
“The Internet of Things will be the largest device market in the world. We estimate that by 2019 it will be more than double the size of the smartphone, PC, tablet, connected car, and the wearable market combined”. – Business Insider
The recent State of IoT Global Developer Survey provides further evidence that IoT is the “next big thing”. Most respondents expect mass adoption of IoT apps within the next five years, and 45% report they are currently developing IoT apps. This compared to wearable apps, which only 21% have definite plans to develop this year.