The Internet of Things
What if all of the devices in your home or office could communicate with one another? What if they could communicate with you? While this futuristic concept sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, the idea of the Internet of Things was first identified in 2009 and today’s latest technologies are making the Internet of Things a reality.
Today many devices are connected the internet, these devices are also often tracking data. Through the integration of built in connections through WiFi, Bluetooth, and RFID (radio frequency identification) these devices can begin sharing the data they are collecting. Because a growing number of devices and machines can be connected to the internet and to one another new devices enable a network of machine to machine (M2M) communication.
In a recent blog post Jason Griffy describes the effect of the Internet of Things:
“Your alarm clock goes off, and the lights in your bedroom automatically come on, slowly brightening to full strength. The thermostat slowly brings the room to a comfortable temperature even before your alarm sounds so that you’re comfy getting out from under the blankets. Your coffee starts brewing in the other room when you get out of the shower so that it’s hot when you get to the kitchen. It’s a specific instantiation of the idea of the ‘internet of things,’ communication between previously unnetworked objects.”
A recent survey of IT decision makers estimates that by 2020 more than 24 billion devices will be connected to the internet. This makes for a large and growing network for the Internet of Things. As these devices track data, a wealth of real-time information will be generated leading to increases in big data analytics.
One of the best ways to keep abreast of new technology trends is by watching for news from the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held annually in Las Vegas. At This Year’s CES many new advances in the Internet of Things were introduced.
This year Belkin introduced a new product that allows you to add internet connectivity to any device with a DC switch with it’s WeMo Maker. WeMo already provides a variety of solutions which allow users to control devices through adapters that can be added to power outlets. Once the devices are networked using WeMo solutions a user can then control them through a smartphone app. WeMo even has partnerships with Crock-Pot®, Mr. Coffee®, and others which have already lead to a a crock-pot which can be controlled with the press of a button from a device miles away. WeMo can also provide control for light bulbs!
Another player in the Internet of Things, Nest, an advanced home thermostat, has also been in the news recently. Nest is described as a “sensor-driven, WiFi-enabled, self-learning, programmable thermostat” and provides users with the ability to monitor and control the temperature in their home using a mobile app. Nest makes a note of the changes you make to the temperature setting and the time of day in order to anticipate how hot or cold you would like it. After learning your daily routine, Nest goes above standard programing to help you stay comfortable while also helping you safe money by not running when you don’t need it. Nest also has a home fire and carbon monoxide sensor on the market as well. Nest was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion dollars. This could mean that you will soon be able to monitor home temperature, safety, and maybe even more from the comfort of your Google Account.
Look for other WiFi-enabled devices which should be hitting the market soon. The Internet of Things is quickly becoming a reality.