26 Jun The Most Popular Internet of Things Applications
When discussing IoT, visions of futuristic devices and the automated internet of things applications come to mind. While we aren’t quite at the level of the feats we’ve seen in movies like Star Trek yet. The interconnected nature of the internet of things tells us we aren’t too far off from that reality. And it blurs the line between science fiction and reality with every product released on the market.
What are the Internet of Things Applications?
First and foremost, what is the internet of things, and more importantly, what precisely are the internet of things applications? Well, at its most basic, the IoT is just a device that has smart capabilities. Common traits of the IoT devices including having a variety of sensors for many reasons and being able to connect to the internet, usually through an internet service provider or websites that offer said services such as www.xyzies.com. Typically, anything that can be considered as an IoT device should be able to be controlled through the internet as well.
Smart Devices Trend
It is understandable that this may be confusing. Especially when things like tablets, smartphones, and laptops have been around for a long while now. Note that these are not related to the IoT. Yes, they do make use of certain aspects akin to IoT but the manner in which they are used. Specifically, they require a lot of human interaction in contrast to the automated nature typically associated with the IoT devices.
Anything can be an IoT device, given they pass the requirements. Fortunately, the growth of technology has made it so that chips that necessarily make a device smart have their prices driven down due to the sheer influx of demand for products like these. Products as simple as light bulbs to more complicated machinery like automobiles can be made to have smart functions, but more on that later.
What we refer to as internet of things applications merely is the manner in which the device or service that utilizes the IoT is applied. We mentioned that Internet of Things devices needs to be connected to the internet and tend to use sensors. The sensors are there for a good reason, like when we use an IoT infused thermostat. Motion sensors are capable of knowing if anyone is present in the room. And therefore save electricity when it senses that no one is at home.
The Rise of Smart Homes
Are you familiar with the term smart home? Smart homes are the result of a group or connection of the IoT devices working together. When they are connected, think of these applications as devices that speak to one another to coordinate how each affects the other and how they may complement each other during daily tasks. With new products being regularly released, more and more capabilities are being added, ensuring a more seamless experience with every new iteration of a particular device.
One thing that may put off some users though is that these devices and applications collect data. Before you go off and throw your smart speakers out the window, they have a perfectly valid reason for doing this, and it does benefit you in the long run. The first reason is that they collect data in a way that studies your behavioral patterns. This data collection can include when you get home, when you take a shower, or when you want the lights on or off.
Connecting through Sensors
While it may sound like a potential horror film, they do this to work more efficiently. Having these sensors make sure that the lights are off when they need to be, the water is already warm to the exact temperature of your liking before you get in the tub, or when to sprinkle your front lawn.
On a more technical note, individual sensors can track the condition of its surroundings in real time. This is particularly useful when say, you add into concrete supporting a building. This potentially saves not only thousands of dollars but an accident just waiting to happen.
Another reason for collecting your data is for market research. By obtaining your preferences and habits, they make sure that they target the people that may want future iterations of the device, and in some cases, specific ads shown to you are relevant to you and what you may consider useful. In a way, it’s a win-win scenario.
What are some of the popular examples of these applications?
These are great in theory, but let’s dive into what you are more interested in. What are some legitimate examples of these devices and applications that you, the consumer, may find useful? Fortunately, the Internet of Things has been around for a decent amount of time. In the tech world, that’s enough time to at least polish some of the more popular products.
The most popular application associated with the IoTs, and probably the one you first heard of in this context, has to be the smart home we mentioned earlier. Note that this is not one thing, but a collection of items that makes a home smart, similar to other applications we will say later. A smart home is typically comprised of an intelligent speaker and intelligent appliances – that is, the kind of things you use now. Think refrigerators, microwaves, thermostats, water sprinklers, and all the good stuff, but smarter.
Imagine an air-conditioner that knows when the immediate area is hot, so it lowers the temperature to your liking to adapt. By collecting your data, it knows what you like, giving a more customizable and personal experience. While all these functions do sound like they come with a hefty price tag, I assure you, it doesn’t.
Smart homes are meant to save time, energy, and money. Leaving your water running when you take a quick walk outside can cost you. By having a smart home, keeping the lights on and other wasteful habits will be a thing of the best. Also, some products like smart refrigerators can tell you when you’re running low on certain things like milk or celery, given you’ve put in the time to set it up correctly. Think of it as an investment.
If you are a long time user of fitness trackers or smartwatches, then you may have been using the IoT longer than you might have initially thought. The leaders in tech have been pumping out smart wearables for a couple of years now, and due to its functionality, we can easily see why. In a general sense, these types of devices cover fitness and entertainment, as well as an added feature for smartphones. They are like extensions of your favorite mobile device.
While this isn’t the jetpack roller skates we were expecting for the future, these functions are feasible and neat. When we raise the scale and look at the bigger picture, smart cities are the long-term goal most manufacturers hope for. Imagine a utopia where things work efficiently, from public transportation to automated waterways, to environmental monitoring, to elevators. Crimes are also expected to go down due to smart surveillance.
The Future with Smart City
Sensors that can sense deep sea currents and pollution in the air can also improve on the overall environment. A more immediate effect people will feel individually is having sensors installed on parking spaces. Ensuring you get a spot when you reach your destination. All of these work hand in hand to form a smart city.
For smart cities to work, we need to count on the smaller components such as smart cars and other forms of transportation. While the industry has been focused on polishing the functions of the vehicles and optimizing tasks in the recent past, the attention is now shifting towards improving the in-car experience. The functionality is there, all that’s left is for people to jump in on the product.
The healthcare industry is also expected to get a much-needed boost in efficiency. Unfortunately, very few startups have worked on this front. What is essential, however, is that the potential is there. While big companies do benefit a lot from this, general welfare is also expected to improve with every breakthrough. An example of how this works is a product that can track your skin’s healing in real-time.
What does this mean to us?
These all seem daunting at first, don’t let the relatively steep learning curve fool you. Remember, Internet of Things applications are intended to simplify, not complicate your life. By learning your daily patterns and regular usage, you can bet it will only get more comfortable with time. And having devices that get regular over the air updates in comparison to more and more traditional models. Where you have to buy an entirely new unit will save you a couple of dollars in the long run.
All this technology makes everyone question whether or not the advancements are for our betterment or not. Regardless of the possibility of the latter, it is obvious that everyone is excited of the future to come.