20 May The Future of IoT: What is Yet to Come?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is already here. And it is changing the way we live our lives in very significant ways. In more ways than one, the Internet of Things has made our lives better and more convenient. It has also changed the way we use our appliances, and the way we take care of each other. As well as the way we travel.
Despite the already significant changes that have been brought about by the Internet of Things, the future of IoT still offers us with vast possibilities and potential changes that we can only imagine. The interconnection of physical devices and software programs has basically made almost every task much easier.
Communicating with one another and pinpointing our locations are just a few examples of how much things have already changed. In just the few years that have passed. Back in 2009, the number of devices that were connected to the internet infrastructure officially surpassed the entire human population. This meant that there was basically one electronic device capable of communicating. This is through the internet for every single person on the planet.
It is being predicted that by 2020, there will be more than 21 billion connected devices. These devices won’t just include our smartphones, tablet, computers, and laptops. But also potentially all our appliances, our clothing, our cars, and even entire cities.
That trend has actually already started with the proliferation of smart gadgets such as smart watches, smart home security systems, smart wearable devices, medical implants, artificial intelligence-equipped virtual assistants, and other similar emerging technologies. Anything that is able to connect to the internet, send and receive data, and is able to communicate with other things and people, is considered to be part of the Internet of Things.
The Internet of Things is an emergent concept. Brought about the invention of more interconnected devices.
The entire internet network was initially just comprised of people and the data within it contained data created by people to share with other people. Information such as books, videos, and pictures was uploaded into the internet infrastructure, which were basically data created by us. The “Internet of People,” as it is currently being referred to. Laid the foundation for an internet now being utilized by our very own creations.
As more and more devices started to have the abilities to “sense” their own surroundings; the Internet of Things started to grow.
To put it into a perspective that will be easier to understand, take a smartphone as an example. Typical smartphones actually contain a myriad of sensors, which allows it to “sense” it own surrounding and then gather the relevant data it requires to function. A smartphone is technically able to detect its own location within the planet by communicating with satellites orbiting in space. It is also able to detect its orientation using built-in gyroscopes.
A smartphone is also able to detect several other parameters, including a room’s ambient temperature, WiFi signals, and touch inputs. While the smartphone may be an obvious example, other items in our homes and cities are also now starting to get these types of “senses.” Automatic doors are now able to detect when a person is nearby so that it can close and open automatically.
Coffee makers can automatically turn on and brew their owner’s coffee without any inputs. Locks automatically open when they detect their owner’s presence. Even smart appliances are starting to catch with refrigerators now being able to detect the content inside of it.
Which is then used to inform its owners if he or she needs to buy more eggs or if he or she needs to throw out expired milk. These are of course just some examples of just how the Internet of Things will drastically change the way we live, but it has to be noted that the future of IoT has several more practical applications.
Business and Industry
The Internet of Things and interconnected devices have long been used for industrial applications. It has so far driven businesses and manufacturers to produce better results through increased efficiency and inter-connectivity. In agriculture, for example, smart sensors placed within the soil can now detect moisture content and nutrients, which it then uses to tell automated water delivery systems to provide the right amount of water at specific times.
Automated harvesters and planters also use this information to know when the opportune time to plant or harvest will be based on various parameters. This has of course significantly increase crop yields, which will, in turn, benefit everyone involved. Cities and companies have also greatly taken advantage of this technology, which has ultimately saved them a lot of time and money.
Efficient Applications for Monitoring
Companies that have taken advantage of the Internet of Things can more efficiently track their worker’s progress among other applications. Smart cities will be able to automate most of their functions likely waste management and street illumination. By utilizing various sensors, smart street lights, traffic lights, kiosks, surveillance systems, and public transportation systems can function more efficiently with minimal human inputs.
By collecting data from different sensors, cameras, and other systems, interconnected city infrastructures can act accordingly, which will, in turn, make cities more livable. The future of IoT may even soon bring with it further advances to businesses and governments that we just can’t really imagine for now.
Retail and Healthcare
Tracking and Cataloging made easy.
With various online and offline activities constantly being tracked and cataloged, companies can now more efficiently track their target customers’ purchasing behavior. Things that people are searching for on search engines and online shops are now constantly being tracked and collected by big data firms, which is then used by advertising companies to more properly target their intended audience. Simple things like looking at a specific product or clicking on a specific post on social media can actually tell a lot about a person’s wants and needs.
Quick Data Management
Companies can use this information to customize their ads for any given person, which can then be shown on the different platforms that he or she uses. These data gives merchants real-time insights into their customers purchasing patterns. Aside from targeted advertisements, smart stores and retail shops can also better serve their customers through the use of interconnected devices. This of course can be very advantageous to both retailers and customers alike.
Health Management and Medical Diagnosis Advancements
One of the biggest industries that will likely have the most advantage through the use of the Internet of Things is the healthcare and medical industry. The future of IoT is poised to drastically revolutionize the process of treating and diagnosing different illnesses and diseases.
Through the use of devices that can keep track of people’s health conditions, doctors and hospitals will be able to find patterns and other data to combat different conditions. We of course already have some of the software and hardware to achieve this feat. Smart wearable devices and other gadgets are already able to detect some of our bodies’ important signals.
Smart watches for example are already able to keep track of our heartbeats, blood pressure, and body temperature. Soon smart urinals will be able to automatically analyze our urine and then relay that information to our doctors. Other devices around the house can also detect our own well being at any given time. There may come a time when our own appliances can call for emergency response when they detect that something is wrong with us.
Medically implanted devices are also already getting traction in some countries as well. Embedding sensors into patients will allow healthcare professionals to more effectively keep track of their patient’s health and condition. Remote patient care may also soon be a practical option for some families. Thanks to the integration of different Internet of Things devices. That can be placed around the patient’s home or implanted directly into his or her body.
The Ultimate Future of IoT
Majority of the software and commands that are being used by the various devices connected to the Internet of Things are currently being written and placed by humans. However, there may come a time where all of these things will be handled by an ultra-smart artificial intelligence. The precursor to this type of technology is of course already here in the form of machine-learning devices.
Smart homes, lights, coffee makers, and thermostats already gather their own information. This is basing on the user’s habits and patterns. Which they then use to make their own decisions. Through machine learning, computers and computer systems eventually “learn” by themselves without any sort of additional programming from human beings.
This type of learning process may one day drastically evolve. In the form of artificial intelligence that we can only dream of. This type of software could essentially take over all of our menial tasks and decision. Which will, in turn, give us time to focus on other more important matters. The devices of the future may soon fade into the background. As they silently help up live better and more efficient lives. These devices will integrate themselves into our daily lives seamlessly and without us even knowing it.
Learn more about IoT and what is to come at xyzinternet.com.