The Internet of Things or IoT is all about the interconnection and interaction of digital and physical devices, systems and services using the Internet. And this whole notion of connecting “things” to the Internet is sure to impact on the way we live our lives significantly in the future. Imminently, we’re about to see our homes being automated more and more; our health being monitored differently and our businesses altered significantly.
For any tech innovator, the IoT is a hot topic and in this article, I want to share with you my 7 predictions for areas of our lives are likely to be most affected by the application of IoT in the not too distant future:
Both health and fitness are areas of our lives that are likely to be drastically affected by the application of IoT as time marches on. Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike and Misfit are fitness wearables that have pretty much become household names over the past 18 months or so and don’t need much introduction here. It’s the development of this sort of technology that will see us carrying out things like ECGs, EMGs and EEGs as well as monitoring blood pressure, respiration and pulse in the years to come. In fact this sort of health screening is not far off and will take the fitness monitoring technology that we know today to a whole new level.
There’s no getting away from the fact that home safety and security is likely to be significantly affected by IoT. The likes of Canary, which is controlled entirely from your iPhone or Android device and is labeled the “world’s first smart home security device for everyone” enables video surveillance, motion, temperature and air quality control to help you protect your family and your home when you’re not around. Alerted by everything from fires to intrusions, you are constantly in contact with what’s happening in your home even when you’re not there. One knock-on effect of this sort of application of IoT in the home is how assurers will start to view domestic risk as well as how we control energy use in our homes when we’re not there.
Even taking driverless cars out of the equation, it’s reasonable to expect that smart cars that can, for example, find parking spaces aren’t so far away thanks to the developments being made by the automotive industry working with IoT innovators. This sort of application, together with in car monitoring devices are again are likely to impact significantly on both road safety and the calculation of insurance premiums.
Anyone who buys online won’t need me to tell them how this whole area is already being affected by IoT. Even today, all you need to do is search for an article a couple of times and you’ll get personalised ads on pretty much every screen you open online thereafter. This level of targeting is only likely to increase with time, and things like smart fridges that automatically populate grocery lists when supplies are running low could even see hands off housekeeping just around the corner.
The days of someone going round a building last thing at night to switch off the lights are thankfully already gone in most buildings. However, truly smart buildings are still some way off. Buildings where computer terminals, light, heat and security can all be controlled remotely or automatically thanks to IoT will mean that energy costs can be significantly reduced and efficiency significantly increased. As a result, no matter whether architects and builders are involved in constructing a new building or renovating an old building, automation is likely to be high on their agenda right now.
IoT is likely to affect how businesses, towns and cities look on the management of how resources are controlled as well as environmental consequences. Innovative projects like smart parking in Barcelona mean that city air pollutants could be reduced and smart streetlights in Amsterdam enable the saving of energy. Albeit both are in the experimental stages right now, this use of IoT in this way could become an integral part of all our lives very soon.
Already accustomed to hopping online to book flights and hotels, we’ve taken a significant step away from High Street travel agents already. Thanks to IoT, everything from potential travel delays to accommodation that ticks all your wish list boxes and even where you can access the little things you need or like best when you arrive at your destination will be pretty much a given in less time than you can imagine.