The Internet of Things is vastly changing our world, whether this is at home, in the car, at work or even in the street. Gartner has predicted that by 2020 20.8 billion devices will be connected and some are even saying it could be as many as 50 billion! As our lives are becoming more centred around technology and being seamlessly connected to one another we look at what impact IoT has on our daily lives.
The home is the most obvious of places where we can see the Internet of Things happening. The term ‘Smart Home’ is becoming a reality to many. A lot of the devices around the home are to make life easier and make everything connected, allowing you to control your home from a smartphone. With devices such as Hive or Google Nest homeowners can adjust the temperature and hot water settings remotely from their smartphone without even being at the house.
Within the home the kitchen seems to be the most developed with devices able to connect almost all your appliances together. From smart fridges which can tell you when you are running low on a certain product and even order it for you in some cases, to coffee machines which can be activated via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth meaning you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time in your smart living room.
Integrated cities are being developed by cities and councils across the world, as some are already implementing devices to ease congestions and understand traffic better the possibilities of IoT in the city appear to be endless. With sensors being placed in traffic lights so they can automatically change the waiting time depending on congestion, councils are able to better understand traffic management. The public themselves can also become connected to the city with apps that can tell them where the nearest parking space is to avoid having to drive around.
But is driving around for a parking space a thing of the past? Google were one of the first to start the self-driving car phenomenon, as they continue their testing more car manufacturers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes are jumping on the trend. Although it might be awhile until we actually see self-driving cars on the road will the future of our commute be purely automated?
The Internet of Things is changing multiple industries from manufacturing to healthcare, it won’t be long before IoT is affecting and improving almost every industry. Through the Internet of Things we are able to connect all our devices seamlessly meaning more people will be taking their work on the road and less time will be spent in offices, this also makes it easier to share documents with others.
Some companies are introducing IoT devices at entrances to track who is entering and leaving the business, it has also been reported that previously companies have used tracking devices at employer’s desks to track how long and how often they take breaks, however this does offer the question of employer privacy and trust in the workplace.
These are just a few of the ways the Internet of Things is changing our lives, and with more devices being created and more ways for them to be used it will be interesting to see what direction IoT will take in the future.
How is the Internet of Things changing your world? Do you think our lives will become completely connected in the future?