As of Friday I had heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) but had never looked into anything or really known much else about the subject. Over this weekend I have become completely engrossed in the idea and practice of essentially having everything working together in a connected world.
The usual searches on Twitter got me a few sources of information (@Things_Internet has been a good source) and from there my interest has snowballed. After initial readings it became apparent that security issues were very prominent – I’m not going to talk too much about that as it’s a hurdle and I’m more interested in the possibilities of the technology. I’ve never really understood why anyone else would want to know what temperature your Nest is set to!?
“The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or ‘things’ embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.” Wiki
The main thing to take from the emergence of this ideology is that many mundane tasks could potentially be automated which will help make life a little easier for those with little time to complete such tasks – for me that would be opening/closing blinds and turning lights on and off.
As well as the laziness aspect, there are millions of life-enhancing ideas – many ideas for those who suffer from poor memory or dementia e.g. connected medication caps – GlowCaps. A great list of possibilities are available here.
The worries about security will surely slow the adoption of these technologies for the general consumer, the big adoption, in my opinion, should come from businesses and industries. Much like when computers first came about, business will benefit greatly from adopting these technologies – where a household may save £100 over the year by fitting a connected thermostat a multi-site business may be able to save hundreds of thousands of pounds in energy saving – good for business, good for the environment.
Once products are created and mastered for big business, it should be happily and easily adopted by the general consumer. Innovation Hub’s podcast on the subject, discusses the need for a simple user interface to encourage users to adopt. I could not agree more with this. I’m a great believer in keeping technology as simple and as unintrusive as possible.
I’ve been deeply engrossed in researching the potential and emerging ideas that come from the IoT but i have also realised that the IoT is basically what got me interested in learning web design. I’ve always thought that one day everything would be connected and when new technology is created I’ve always thought of how else it can be used. I have a strong understanding of how people interact with their surrounding and the technology they have available to them – I’ll continue to read into the developments of the IoT and hope to plan and create a system that will incorporate everything I have (yet) to learn.