Technical buzzwords can sometimes seem inaccessible, especially if they are tossed around without any explanation. For example, the term "Internet of Things", more commonly referred to online as "IoT", is mystifying to many people. The truth, however, is that the meaning behind IoT is something that most already have experience with in their personal and business lives.
In a nutshell, IoT encompasses every device with an on-off switch that has the ability to connect to the Internet or other devices. This has become so popular that it is utilized for a wide variety of products and industries, ranging from lamps to airplane jet engines. In fact, experts predict there will be at least 26 billion IoT devices by 2020.
Some of today’s most popular devices utilize IoT technology to deliver high-quality performance. By taking a closer look at some of these devices, we can demystify the buzzword and highlight how much you already know about IoT!
- Smartphones – Do you have an iPhone, Android or other smartphone in your pocket? If it was not for the concept of IoT, your phone would be a lot less useful. By connecting to the Internet, smartphones are able to provide instant access to much-needed information. Because of the Internet of things, you can open gates and view security and access data from smartphone and watches utilizing the EasyCode mobile app. Additionally, you can utilize personal assistants such as Siri to load these apps, add items to your calendar and even tell jokes. None of this would be possible without Internet connectivity.
- Enhanced Personal Assistants – The personal assistants built into Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home go far beyond Siri’s abilities. Amazon estimates that Alexa is compatible with tens of millions of devices. Perhaps the most popular usage for Alexa is the Amazon Echo speaker, which makes it easy to control several connected devices. For example, you can turn music on, hear the latest news and control the security in your home. Google Home offers similar features. Additionally, anyone who also has Chromecast is able to turn on entertainment with nothing more than the sound of their voice. For instance, Netflix users could say “Hey Google, play The Walking Dead on Netflix on my TV” and that’s exactly what would happen.
- WiFi Home Basics – Is it colder than you expected and you want to warm up your living room before you get home? With smart home features such as a WiFi thermostat, you can control the temperature without being home. Other basic home features that can offer IoT connectivity include lights, refrigerators and even coffee makers. By connecting to these devices via a smartphone app, you are able to turn lights on and off, monitor your refrigerator’s water filter and start brewing a cup of coffee without entering the kitchen.
- Wearables – Do you have a Fitbit that reminds you to exercise and makes it easier to report to your doctor about a variety of health-related variables such as your heart rate and sleep patterns? Wearables have become very popular over the past few years and they are another prime example of how IoT connectivity can improve our lives.
The next time someone mentions IoT, you will know that this is not a meaningless buzzword or a scary piece of new technology that you need to learn. Instead, IoT is simply a phrase that encompasses many aspects of modern life. Automobile makers are even starting to embrace smart car technology and home security keypads also rely on IoT.
Your smartphone, personal assistant device, wearables and WiFi home basics have taught you that no special training is needed to use an IoT device. This is yet another technology buzzword that needlessly makes easily accessible technology sound mystifying.