You might have heard the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ buzzing around the web for the past few months and wondered what exactly it is. Well, wonder no more. Syntax IT Support London is here to guide you through all you need to know about the Internet of Things (or IoT for short): the next big step in technology.
We’ll be answering the questions: what is the IoT? How will it change today’s technology? And, most importantly, what does it mean for business?
What is the IoT?
For months, Google has been filled with searches asking what exactly the IoT is. Well, at its core the idea is actually quite simple. It’s just connecting things to the internet.
By ‘things’ we mean stuff like home appliances and everyday tech. An example that’s been thrown around online is one of a smart fridge. Imagine being at work and getting a text from your fridge reminding you that you’re out of milk, or that the milk you currently have is past its Use By date. This is the kind of thing the IoT promises to make possible.
And it’s already started. You’re probably aware of the new wave of smart meters for controlling gas and electricity via your tablet or phone. This is currently the most common example of the IoT being put into practice, but the government hopes this will catch on with a whole host of other gadgets too.
Why does it matter?
So now that we know what the IoT is, why does it matter? What purpose does it serve and how will it change things?
The main reason why the government is so encouraging of the IoT is because it’s actually quite energy efficient, and could be a drastic step towards combat global warming and climate change. All the data and automated usage that comes with smart meters uses less energy than previous methods.
The other way the IoT matters is that it could change the fundamental way we live – relying even more on the ease of technology to improve our daily routine. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is up to you to decide.
Is it safe?
One of the main arguments against the IoT is the threat of increased hacking and malware being spread, as not only will you have to worry about hackers accessing your laptop, but your fridge too.
Well, there’s stock in that worry, as such a large usage of transferable data means a lot of personal information being shared. Smart meters could tell hackers when you’re home and, more importantly, when you’re not.
However, evidence suggest that hackers aren’t paying much attention to the IoT as of yet, so yes, it is relatively safe, though this could change.
What does it mean for business?
Different trades will be affected by the IoT differently – manufacturers will be able to track the usage and whereabouts of tools, machines and staff; agricultural industries can use connected sensors to monitor crops and livestock – but ultimately it’s designed to boost business productivity by keeping us all connected at all times.
Customer service will also be affected, as the IoT plans to make it faster and smarter. Being constantly connected to the web means being able to gather information about clients to help discern what you can offer that would best suit their lifestyle and needs.
The Internet of Things has been branded by some as the next Industrial Revolution, but the likelihood is it’ll be less of a revolution and more of a gradual integration into the business environment.