The Internet of Things
Have you ever seen somebody turn on the lights, open the blinds and adjust the temperature in the room – all from their smartphone?
What you’ve witnessed is an example of the internet of things.
And that’s just the beginning.
What is the internet of things?
IoT is the idea that any device – from your car to your washing machine – can be connected to the internet.
We’ve all witnessed our phones getting a whole lot smarter over the last few decades, and with increasingly easy internet access, the other machines and devices we use will soon be connected too. (Ones you probably never even dreamed of calling ‘smart’).
According to analyst firm Gartner Inc., there will be over 25 billion connected devices by the year 2020. That’s a huge number of individual connections – not just between people and things, but between things and things as well.
The potential value of having all of our many devices communicating with each other is still yet to be fully understood. Forbes paints a nice little picture of the IoT future with the below:
“Say for example you are on your way to a meeting; your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more?”*
It’s clear that the impact could (and will) be massive, but is it all beneficial?
Is it risky?
This gigantic shared network gives companies the opportunity to collect huge amounts of information, and that immediately raises red flags about potential security breaches.
With literally billions of devices being linked together, there are certainly concerns that one device breached could have consequences for many. There’s a small (and strange) chance that someone could hack into your banking details through something as mundane as your coffee maker.
Companies will have to work to find a safe way to store, track and analyse the sheer quantity of data that the IoT will generate. These challenges, along with the opportunities, will continue to be studied as more and more devices join the network.
If you’re interested in a career in technology, Martin offers a great starting point. Get ahead (and stay ahead) of the tech curve with the Diploma of IT Systems Administration (ICT 50315).
* Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/05/13/simple-explanation-internet-things-that-anyone-can-understand/#79035b006828