Internet of things in the simplest sense is the condition where several different devices are connected to and communicating with each other through the internet. It is interesting to note that Internet of Things is actually a concept which was conceived as far back as the 1980s. The first internet-enabled toaster was unveiled at a conference in 1989. We don’t need to imagine a future where your mobile could communicate with your air conditioner to prepare the room even before you arrive at your home, such air conditioners. Instruction videos for converting your smartphone into a universal remote control have been on Youtube since 2014, at the earliest.
But your refrigerator is just one component of IoT. Humanity today is on the brink of a future where everything that can be connected, will be connected through the internet. This would mean your alarm would be able to track any changes in the outside world which could affect your getting to work and adjust accordingly. This means that your car could send you an SOS even before you get in it. This means that your wristwatch could monitor your health and schedule an appointment with your doctor.
So far we have looked at personalized examples of how IoT can assist one in their day to day lives. However, truly connected devices can end unnecessary wastage of resources and effort. IoT could lead to the construction of smart cities resulting in efficient use of energy sources, it could give an insight into the human work-life balance and culture, even improve upon it. Think about connected traffic lights, traffic regulation would become so easy and it may potentially avoid traffic jams.
IoT enables devices/objects to observe, identify and understand a situation or the surroundings without being dependent on human help. It today presents endless, sometimes inconceivable opportunities for everyone involved. Businesses have only touched the tip of the iceberg with omnichannel marketing and personalization strategies. There is so much more a business could do to enhance customer experience with IoT.
How will it affect us?
Internet of Things can connect various systems embedded in different devices on the internet. When an object can represent and speak for itself digitally, it can be controlled from anywhere. This connectivity helps in capturing real-time data from more places improving efficiency and improving safety.
Improved tracking of devices/objects using sensors and connectivity, they can benefit from real-time insights and analytics, which would help them make smarter decisions. The growth and cumulation of data, processes and things on the internet would make such connections more relevant and important, creating more opportunities for people, businesses and industries.
However, safety is a concern for now. If all the devices are connected, it is very easy for one to be hacked. Hackers have already worked round the clock to prove how fragile an IoT ecosystem could be. Threats to customer privacy is also a very real threat, therefore, before we embark on a journey to creating automated processes enabled by IoT, brands have to create processes to ensure their own, as well as their customer’s data, is protected.