The Internet of Things (IOT) is all about embedding computing devices within the existing internet.
One of the original basic drivers for the Internet of Things was the urgent need for smarter energy management. Such systems allow users to change and adjust heating and water temperatures via their smart phones with some of the recent developments actually learning and forecasting the user’s habits and preferences. Then along came smart lighting where users once again, via their smart phone, can change colours and lighting intensities. You are also able, with some systems, to make them blink when the phone rings, when the doorbell is pushed and also to rise and fade depending on whether you are arising or getting ready for bed.
Control at a distance of some of your home appliances is also now possible. Starting your oven off whilst still at work via your smart phone and even watching it via a cam camera is already with us as is starting off your coffee maker whilst still waking up in bed. Your houses security can be activated via a smart phone and your front door unlocked. Your suitcases can also be activated by a smart phone and relock themselves automatically when you are separated from them. It’s the Internet of Things that is the main thrust behind the driverless car. Several prototypes have already been trialled with some on public roads but the concept is still in the development/testing phase although commentators say that it will not be very long before several countries allow this including the UK, USA and Japan.
Even your garden can be automated and controlled smartly. Some systems can water your plants when the automation deems it appropriate and your growing environment can also be remotely and automatically controlled. There has also been an explosion in the design and production of wearable health and fitness monitors. These can now feed information back into the wider Network of Things to create properly integrated systems. One device monitors sleep patterns and awakes you at an appropriate rested moment.
Then we have real science fiction with the use of drones. Amazon, the worlds leading online retailer, have already said that they want to start a drone based delivery system. They call the drones Octocopters and the service will be called Prime Air, and the aim is to deliver parcels up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of the order being placed. There are currently delays because of lack of permissions at the moment by the various aviation authorities.
Our environment will ultimately need connectivity to the IOT. In our towns and citys traffic lights triggered by congestion and parking apps assisting drivers are just two of the innovations on the horizon. All of the technologies envisoned for the IOT has to be based on faster networking technologies . Proposed systems like 5G and white spaces are in development to support this requirement.
Steve Blythe (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).