Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What Is The Internet Of Things?

By 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet. Jonathan Strickland takes us on a tour through a living room of the future to see how this "Internet of Things" (IOT) will impact our daily lives.

Your next refrigerator may know more about diet than your doctor.

How many objects do you have that are connected to the Internet? About a decade ago you probably would have said one or maybe two if you were an early adopter of smartphone technology. But today, oh, well I've got a work computer, I've got a personal computer, I've got a tablet, I've got a smartphone, I've got a video game console, I've got a media player, I've got a smart TV, I even have a smart refrigerator. Now extend this trend outward and what do we get? Well it's estimated by 2020 there will be 50 billion objects connected to the Internet.

Now that's billion with a "B." It's also estimated by the US Census Bureau that there will be 7.6 billion people alive at that time. So that means that for every person there will be 6.6 objects connected to the Internet. We're talking about a world blanketed with billions of censors. These censors are taking information from real physical objects that are in the world, and uploading it to the Internet. It's a world where your environment transforms as you walk through it, because technology that you may not even be aware of is monitoring your every move. It's a world that's constantly changing all around us due to these sensors and the Internet and we call it the Internet of Things.

Lets stroll into the living room of the future. Now immediately this room identifies you and taps into a cloud based profile of preferences like climate control, music, lighting and decor. Had a long day at work? The room knows based on the calendar app on your phone and biosensors that detect the stress via blood pressure and heart rate. So it turns off the rockabilly surf guitar you usually listen to, and switches to a more soothing classical music.

From environmental sensors outside and maybe even worn within your clothing itself, it knows it was snowing earlier, so the climate control begins to crank up the heat in anticipation as your walk through the door.

Now on the software side we're talking about algorithms that are so sophisticated, they may be able to predict what you want before you know you even wanted it. So when you walk to the refrigerator, it tells you not only what's in there, it tells you what you can make with the stuff you already have. And it's already telling you what's inside and what's the perfect meal based upon your mood, your activity level, and maybe even, well, your weight loss plan for some of us.

As for how many objects could be connected to the Internet? Well, consider this. The latest version of Internet protocol, IPV6, creates more potential address than there are atoms on the surface of the Earth. So we're going to live in a world completely filled with sensors with data reacting to us, changing every moment depended on our needs. I'm no longer going to be asking you "Hey, what's your favorite color? What's your favorite music?" I'm going to ask you, "What's your reality like?" I know what mine is when I walk into my house, how the world reacts to me. But how does it react to you?

This is more than philosophy. It's more than technology. It's altering reality as we know it. And it's all regulated by the Internet of Things.

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