The Internet of Things
Connected Devices for All
The Internet of Things is a term that is becoming widely used each day. The Internet has gone from simply running a dial up modem to being capable of transporting data at speeds of over 100 Gbps. We have seen devices go from simply large computers to small laptops, tablets, phones, and even watches. But is this as far as connectivity will go? Some researchers believe that by the year 2020, there will be over 20 billion devices connected to the Internet. That number may sound surprising, but it isn’t as shocking when you really think about it.
Tablets, watches, phones, computers. These are all normal devices that would be connected to the Internet. Some new devices that have been connected to the Internet include mirrors, dishwashers, coffee machines and diapers. Yes, you read that correctly, diapers.
The diapers, developed by startup 24eight, feature an embedded chip that sends a text to the parents when the diaper is dirty. No longer will parents have to be embarrassed in public when they have to perform the “sniff” test. A quick vibration of your phone lets you know it’s changing time.
Devices of all sorts have the potential to be connected to the Internet. Let us paint you a picture of what a day coming home from work could look like in the future:
When you leave work, a sensor in your car pings your home and tells your thermostat to turn on the AC since it is warm out. As you get close to your house you get a text from your refrigerator telling you that your water filter needs replacing. You decide to swing through fast food for a quick bite and you pay by waving your hand over a box outside the window which connects to a ring on your finger that can authorize purchases. You make it home and walk inside right at 5:30. You hear your dog’s food automatically being dispensed by its smart food bowl and she comes running down to eat her dinner.
After relaxing for a bit you begin to get ready for bed. You brush your teeth, but not before looking down at your connected app to see which areas of your mouth your toothbrush suggests you focus on. You lay in bed and it automatically senses your presence and adjusts itself to achieve an optimal sleeping position. Upon waking up, you check an app on your phone to see how you slept and your day begins all over again.
Some of that may sound a bit crazy, but the craziest thing is: These products are not in the distant future. In fact, many of these products are already available. So what does this all mean? As you have learned, devices of all sorts will soon develop the potential to be connect to the Internet (if they haven’t already done so.)
The idea of devices being connected to the Internet doesn’t necessarily give way to the IoT though. These devices will all be communicating with each other. Phones will talk to dishwashers and dishwashers will call a repairman while simultaneously checking the calendar on your phone to see when you are available for an appointment. The interconnection of these devices is what gives the Internet of Things so much potential to grow and create a world that is even more connected than it is today.