What is the Internet of Things and why is it the coolest trend of the world of digital right now?
I have long ben fascinated by the Internet of Things. At first, I was fascinated by the term: what does it mean and how can I get one? As I familiarized myself with the concept of the Internet of Things, I realized that it was even more interesting than the name alone. (Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post.)
The Internet of Things: What Is It?
As the title of this article suggests, the Internet of Things is the coolest thing in the world. If that isn’t enough of a description for you, then I guess I can get a little more specific.
Image Credit: Shutterstock. Used under license.
The Internet of Things is the concept of connecting everyday things – from your watch to your city’s street lamps – through a connected network allowing them to share, send and receive data. So, put simply, you have a smart phone, a smart TV, a smart watch – imagine a smart city, or state, or country or world? That’s the direction in which the industry of the Internet of Things is headed, and in some cases it already exists.
Corey, Can You Provide an Example?
Back in January of this year (2014), Google acquired Nest Labs for a measly $3.2 billion. Nest Labs has really been a frontrunner in the home automation sphere (hence Google’s acquisition).
The idea with Nest’s products is smart, connected home automation. Their flagship product, the Learning Thermostat is designed to connect to your smartphone and learn your habits in order to automatically maintain your ideal temperature at all times. They have also begun expanding in security and fire protection.
Products like this are prime examples of the Internet of Things: a network is being created in order to create a smart home, whereby everything you own is working as one, cohesive unit in order to improve your living standard.
Pretty cool stuff.
Where We’re Headed
Maybe the most exciting video I’ve seen to date when it comes to the Internet of Things has to do with Cisco’s Smart City project.
Imagine a world that ran as efficiently as possible; this is the hope of the backers of the Internet of Things.
We may not be there just yet. This is a pretty advanced concept and it won’t come about overnight. Though we are starting to see this kind of connectivity in home, and, as the video above shows, cities are starting to adopt a mentality that embraces these kinds of applications.
Slowly but surely, the Internet of Things will become commonplace. It’s starting with the trend of wearables (e.g. smart watches) moving into homes and soon enough, we’ll be more connected than we already are (if that’s even possible).
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