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The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept of connecting every device to the internet and to each other. We already see a rise in “smart” devices and home automation with coffee makers, thermostats, and refrigerators already internet capable. Basically, if it has an on/off switch, it can be part of the IoT. The leads to people-people relationships, people-things relationships, and things-things relationships.
So why do we need this? Think of those times when you’re on your way to a meeting. Your car could have access to your calendar, meeting location, and GPS to show you the best route to take. Real time traffic updates could avoid congested routes, or send notifications to your party that you’ll be running late.
We can already set the timer on our coffee maker to brew before we’re out of bed, and we already have vacuums that clean on their own. What if our printers could order more ink when they’re running low? What if we applied this thinking to transportation networks? Smart Cities could reduce waste and improve energy consumption.
The possibilities are quite limitless. For now, educating ourselves about the many smart devices and internet ready capabilities available to us is the best place to start. One thing is certain, the Internet of Things will impact our daily lives and could change how we work and live. We just have to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.