Internet for the most part of its three-decades-long life has been a human-driven phenomenon. However, new technologies emerging today are making it a machine-driven phenomenon as well. Now the internet is not that of humans alone – it’s quickly becoming ‘Internet of Things’ too, a trend that’s being known as IoT in short.
IoT is based on the idea that “things” and objects should also be able to communicate over the internet without any human input, and that’s what technology companies are trying to achieve over the course of last few years. One by one almost all devices that we use in our day-to-day lives are getting the functionality to communicate over the internet without requiring human inputs.
This trend is leading to new, never seen before opportunities that have the potential to change our lives forever. And in this essay, we’ll see how. Let’s get started:
Internet connectivity, sensors, and software have collectively changed how we travel from one point to another. The most exciting development of this transformation is self-driving cars. These cars utilize sensors, cameras, radars, AI and other technologies to drive themselves with minimal or no input from the human drivers.
Internet connectivity is used to send driving data to the company so engineers can update the software of these cars to make their cars smarter. The hope is that these cars will help in minimizing accidents, saving time, relieving traffic jams and minimizing fuel consumption.
Power Distribution and Management
Smart meters are expected to revolutionize the power grid by providing more data about power consumption of customers, and smart appliances may help in the implementation of usage-based pricing. These systems collectively can also help homeowners sell extra energy that they’ve back to power grids.
E-commerce, Retail, and Logistics
E-commerce industry has already been utilizing IoT in many of its operations to maximize efficiency and efficacy. Those areas include inventory management, real-time promotions, next-generation vending machines etc. Logistics and supply chain may also benefit a lot from IoT as it can provide technologies for better fleet management.
That day is not too far when almost every item in our homes will be connected to the internet. We already have smart speakers, smart lights, smart refrigerators, smart TVs and smart cameras that can monitor our entire homes. In future even the doors in our homes may be connected to the internet through smart locks, always accessible (lockable or unlockable) on demand and not requiring any sort of keys to be stolen or lost.
Fitness trackers, smart glucose monitors, BP monitors and a variety of other health trackers, both wearable and non-wearable, have turned into a huge healthcare market. This market is expected to grow into a $25 billion opportunity over the course of next one-two years (by end of 2019). Modern smart and connected health tracking devices help in better tracking and analysis of health data, and also in suggesting when treatment is needed to prevent any medical complications. They can also help patients stay connected to their doctors in a better way.
Internet of Things (IoT) is going to revolutionize almost every aspect of our lives. While many of its applications are still in early stages of development and will require a lot of investment to bear any fruits, we can be certain of the fact that IoT is here to stay and to make our lives better with every passing day.