“Hey, Fridgy, I see you are running empty of milk and cheese.”
“Hi Siri, you’re right! And according to the eating habits of our owners, I’ll run out of eggs soon too. It’s that time of the month.”
“True. I’ll place an order right away.”
Soon this might be the everyday conversation between your phone and your refrigerator, all made possible by the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). Through the internet, electrical devices will be able to communicate with each other giving birth to smart homes and smart cities. You can picture it as one big virtual network connecting our physical objects.
Or to put it more simply: Before smartphones were invented, mobile phones couldn’t do much more than text, call and perhaps take a shitty photo. Today, our phones have access to maps, to every song in the world, to movies, to books, to social media, to weather services, etc. all because they’re connected to the internet. Imagine your life if you had a pre-smartphone phone. Well, similarly your current life is a pre-smart-everything life.
The Future of the IoT
The goal of the IoT is to automate the mundane, repetitive tasks we currently do, such as grocery shopping, switching lights on and off, cleaning, and controlling our indoor environment in terms of air quality and heating. And so much more. So much time, energy, and money would be saved with the introduction of IoT, and our lives would become a lot more comfortable, efficient, and free.
You can read more about the topic of connectivity here or watch this video explaining the Internet of Things in a bit more details:
The internet of things has become possible because the technology needed has gotten so much cheaper. Installing a blue tooth device or a wi-fi sensor in objects is no longer a matter of millions, but a matter of cents. We might still need a widespread 5G network to make this work perfectly, but we’re slowly but surely getting there.
This could truly revolutionize our homes, our living quality, and the infrastructure of our cities. Let’s look at a few examples of how IoT will change our lives.
IoT & Our Lives
Here are a few of the many topics that will be influenced by IoT:
- IoT & Health: With sensors placed everywhere around us, our health data will be up-to-date on a moment-to-moment basis. How much we sleep, what we eat, how physically active we are, and what kind of supplements or medicine we take all influence our health, and the IoT will be able to track all of it. This would help us live healthier lives, which in turn would give us the energy to do more epic shit.
- IoT & Transportation: With a large-scale network of sensors, self-driving cars will become the new normal. These cars will not only drive autonomously but also automatically check for faults and damages, so they can be repaired before anything serious happens. This would mean that our daily commute could be used productively to either work, be social or even sleep.
- IoT & Chores: With every object in our homes connected to the internet and tracking our habits, we would no longer have to grocery shop, clean, remember important appointments, or stress about the daily tasks. Our kitchen would order what we need before we notice we need it, would know when we have guests and are in need of a cold bottle of wine, and would prepare popcorn whenever we sat down to watch Netflix.
- IoT & Security: With everything being connected online, we’ll need new systems for keeping our private data safe. Companies will have a great interest in the data collected by our home applications, so the question of privacy will gain importance. Hackers are also posing a threat. Blockchain technology might be able to solve this challenge, but
The global energy management could be optimized as lights would turn on and off depending on the actual need and not on whether we remember or not – and not just in our homes, but also on our streets and in our public spaces. The same goes for heating, ventilation, and timing your energy use to avoid peak times that are more expensive. For example, you could set your dishwashing machine to start at 4 AM when electricity is at its cheapest. A lot of money could be saved over the long run in this manner.
In Scandinavia, for example, it’s not only companies that are thinking in terms of IoT, but actually the states themselves. Several countries are working towards becoming smart nations, where the entire infrastructure is based on IoT. That would bring the benefits of IoT to a whole new level, potentially turning it into an exponential technology. Watch this video to get an idea of what that might look like:
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It’s coming, and it’s coming fast!