The Internet of Things (IoT), connected technology, smart products; these are all phrases that are bandied around with wild abandon in technological circles, but what do they mean to the man/woman on the street?
What is the Internet of Things?
The IoT refers to the connection of any device to the internet by use of an on/off switch. Those devices are interconnected, or “talk to” each other, and are identifiable through digital networks. This includes household appliances, machine parts, voice recognition devices, tablets, telephony, automotive parts and accessories – the list continues to grow in this fast-moving sector.
Gone are the days when talking in the home was exclusively the territory of its human occupants. Now, the resident equipment and technology are getting in on the act. The TV talks to tablets that talk to the heating system, blinds, lighting and so on. The consumer can operate all of these networked products at the touch of a button from the comfort of their chair, or from a completely different location.
Home automation has been in development since the 1970s and is now applicable to many appliances such as mobile phones, alarm systems, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lighting systems and wearable devices. Products supplied for, what is now known as, the Smart Home by manufacturers such as Nest and Hive, are driving the consumer market in this sector, but there are also plenty of other products available, and in development.
Previously the jewel in the millionaire’s crown, home automation is now mainstream, designed to make your life more convenient whilst bridging the socio-economic gap. This continually developing product line is saying to the average consumer that they too can have 21st Century gadgetry that is both impressive and practical.
What are the benefits of connected technology?
Should we be embracing the IoT tech revolution? Absolutely! Here is just a snapshot of its benefits:
- While you’re away from home, you have the added security and peace of mind that you can set alarms, close curtains and turn off appliances
- Home temperature adjustment can be done remotely which is particularly useful during the colder months, or when you forget to turn the heating off
- Voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri on our mobile phones, and stand-alone products such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, allow us to do so much more on the move or when we want to multitask
- Disabled or elderly consumers can use home technology to remain independent, whilst their families can use it to ensure they’re safe
- Wearable technology items such as the FitBit, Apple Watch and Samsung Gear keep us healthy and connected whilst exercising
- Automatic car diagnostics can save time and money and maximise driver safety. Through alerts they detect mechanical faults, whilst features such as tire pressure analysis can lead to safer and more fuel-efficient driving.
What does the future hold for the IOT?
A forecast from IHS Markit predicts that IoT will grow to reach 75 billion devices by 2025. Businesses and investors are eyeing up the need to fund IoT in the shorter term, so the future of this sector looks extremely interesting.
Holistic IoT have an extensive stock of products to bring you into the connected technology world. Please take a look at our website and contact us with any queries you may have. We’d be delighted to help you.