‘Internet of Things’. Basically, it refers to the concept of connecting everything to the Internet in some way or another: from smartphones and tablets (normal), to cars and fridges (emerging). IoT is about how tools, services, applications can all be connected to the Internet to make them more useful, and there’s really no limit to what can be connected to the Internet.
One of the key ways in which IoT will improve lives is in the way in which it makes sharing data a whole lot easier: IoT will help simplify our lives and take away some menial tasks in the long run.
- Health monitors: IoT means that a person with a health condition can have their health levels monitored at all times. Issues can then be diagnosed in real time and serious problems averted entirely. If something goes wrong, healthcare professionals will be notified right away.
- Self-driving cars: Have you heard of these? They’re connected to the Internet and have access to a constantly updating database of maps to make sure that they know the best routes to your destination. They’re aware of other self-driving cars and use special sensors to detect things on the road. They’re actually safer than human-driven cars (believe it or not).
- Smart farming: To borrow an example from a previous IoT article, farmers can also benefit from this technology. They can use special sensors to tell them when their crops need to be watered (and exactly how much water they need) and they can then implement a system that will provide that exact amount of water required automatically, while the farmer works on other things.
- Handheld smart devices: That flat thing with a touch screen that you use to order your shopping. Being able to do your shopping on an easy-to-use tablet is IoT in action. (So is being able to see all those photos I sent you and being able to make those video calls to faraway family members).
- Smart homes: Google Home is a cool piece of artificial intelligence that you can speak to directly. It can manage all of the electronics in your home, including heating, lighting, etc. You can even get it to order groceries for you! Can Google Home be your new assistant at home?
- Safety: IoT is used to help keep people safe. For example, let’s look at the mining industry – historically an industry where accidents and injuries among workers were very common. IoT can help with predictive maintenance, which means that maintenance is always carried out before any issues arise and in the areas where it is needed the most.