What is the Internet of Things?
For many of us, understanding advances in technology can feel intimidating. While these new technologies are intended to make business, healthcare, communications and many other aspects of our lives easier, they are sometimes simply too complicated to understand.
We hear phrases such as, “The blockchain is going to revolutionize how monetary transactions are made by utilizing a decentralized and encrypted means of communication…” and really have no idea what they mean. While it all sounds quite impressive, and like the world is on the verge of some sort of cutting-edge technology that will improve all of our lives, it’s easy to simply sit back and think that it’s not for you.
However, this mindset, while understandable due the sheer volume and pace of new technology, can actually have negative consequences for your business and personal life. We have compiled a simple and clear overview of how a relatively new type of technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), is rapidly changing our lives. We hope this primer will serve as a useful resource for developing a basic understanding of IoT and show that while this new technology can seem complex, it is well worth the effort it takes to understand.
The Internet of Things, or IoT for those in the know, simply refers to the increasingly prevalent electronic technology that is becoming part of everyday items, such as watches, home thermostats, health monitoring devices and smart cars. The IoT technology provides these devices with data and other types of real-time information so that the device itself, or person using the device, can modify its behavior.
IoT, essentially, is meant to enable these various devices to make decisions based on the information they receive. As a simple example, smart cars have begun to utilize IoT technology to provide real-time monitoring of cars’ functions while they are in motion and to help predict when they will require maintenance.
Another example, this time from the medical field, is the hope that “wearables” such as smartwatches can begin to detect people’s vital signs and monitor their individual health concerns, alerting them before an emergency occurs.
In short, IoT is simply a way of connecting people, machines, appliances, etc. to other devices in order to optimize decision-making and the rapid processing of information. IoT is especially helpful because it mitigates, and often eliminates, the need for human interaction to send information, process details, and make decisions.