The Basics: What is the Internet of Things?

Technology is a force that’s ever present in our lives. Whether it’s garbage disposal, TV, or a microwave, we have come to not only take advantage of it, but rely on it. Perhaps one of the most influential uses of technology is its ability to let us communicate; but now, with communication being so simple, why not allow machines to talk with one another as well? Alexa can turn your lights on or off, and your phone can connect to bluetooth devices. The idea of an interconnected web of machines and technology is something that’s slowly becoming less foreign to us – and it’s incredibly handy. Despite an estimated 26 billion devices already being connected to the Internet of Things, however, not many are aware of what exactly it means, both in a literal sense, and also for the future.

The Internet of Things – IoT for short – is an innovation used in most people’s lives. Devices can send signals to each other, passing on information and even telling each other what to do. Your car’s GPS may be using map data from a satellite, and your watch might be tracking your steps as you exercise, sending that info to your phone. If a device is connected to a wireless network, it’s part of the Internet of Things.

Smart devices in particular are a great example of how IoT can affect our everyday lives. Checking the weather online, an action that takes seconds to do, is one of many processes that is reliant on the usage of IoT. A meteorologist may use equipment to record data on the air humidity, temperature, and wind speed, then relay that to a computer that stores that information. From there, it’s possible that other machines may draw from that data, to automatically update the weather forecast on a website, or on your phone. The useful part about this process is that it’s fully automated – a person doesn’t need to manually update the weather in the database every time it changes.

IoT has its uses within industry, too. Assembly lines benefit greatly from IoT, being able to completely automate factories, and predict when parts will become broken so that they can be fixed beforehand. Agriculture reaps the benefits of IoT when it comes to jobs that previously required manual labour, such as picking the fruit off of trees. In healthcare, devices such as heart rate monitors can constantly watch over the physical state of a person, so that if an accident occurs, the ambulance can be immediately called without the need for a carer. This is an innovation that is not only saving time, but also lives.

Looking into the future, it is clear that IoT is only going to become more prevalent in our lives as time goes on. It’s predicted that by 2025, over 75 billion devices will be connected; so more than ever, it’s urgent that people understand this technology, and how they can take advantage of it for their business and wellbeing.

Are you interested in exploring the possibilities that the Internet of Things can provide you? Don’t get left behind – contact us! We would love to have a chat with you.

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