According to Forbes, Internet of things (IoT) is “Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig.
In Layman terms, IoT is basically any device that we use that is connected today. True that we already have several connected devices, such as printers, cell phones, watches, among others. But the true revolution starting as more and more devices are connected to the web. According to McKinsey, the IoT could have an economic impact from $4 trillion to $11 trillion by year 2025.
When we analyze where the biggest impact will be, it is evident that the greatest impact will be in factories and in cities. However, maybe the interesting aspect of IoT will be how it impacts our daily lives and how it will impact specifically our homes which I will go into detail. Probably the most well-known brands in this space are nest, with their smart thermometer and Amazon with its Amazon Echo. But what products are out there that are changing how we live our lives.
Well, first there are the IoT switches and intelligent lightbulbs. Have you ever thought of the possibility of turning on and off your TV, lightbulbs or any appliance? Well with products such as the Phillips HUE and the Belkin WEMO smart connecters, you have the possibility of turning on and off any device in your house directly from your smartphone.
Another aspect that will change in your homes for good is the alarm security devices. Remember those days that the alarm would wake you up in the middle of the night because there was a false alarm or there was a cat close to your house? Well, not anymore, with smart alarm systems such as the Nest Alarm system those days are over. With the Nest Alarm system, those days were everyone, according to the alarm system were intruders are over for good. With the Smart Alarm systems, the alarm system uses machine learning to determine your living patterns and finds out who is an intruder and who is not. Furthermore, there are multiple ways to disarm the alarm through a passcode, alarm, among others. If you forget to put the alarm after leaving your home, the app reminds you and you can set it through the app. What’s more interesting is that this alarm protects your loved ones by having a CO2 and smoke alarm integrated into the whole package, meaning that you will be able to keep everything under control in your home.
Another interesting appliance in our homes that will change for good is the refrigerator. Perhaps the most undermined appliance in any household for its simplicity its going to change and in a big way. One product that stands out is the Samsung Family Hub. This product takes your typical refrigerator and implements sort of a tablet in one of the doors. Here, you will be able to have your shopping list, have recipes in real time, view what’s inside, watch TV, hear music and keep a calendar. What’s more interesting is that your will be able to see what’s inside remotely, meaning that when shopping for groceries, you will be able to know what’s missing. Furthermore, the refrigerator will be able to tell you which food is close to expiration.
Finally, one interesting development for those with a garden, is the often-forgotten sprinkler system. Despite being one of the most simple things out there, the sprinkler system is getting a resigned and for good. Now there are products such as the rachio smart sprinkler system, which connects to your sprinkler controller. When connected, it uses machine learning to learn your garden and what is the best way to maintain it. It takes into consideration direct light sun exposure, trees and shrubs vegetation, what time of year it is (temperature) and what is your soil type. It also senses when it rains and it sets smart schedules to minimize your water consumption, but at the same time keep your garden better than ever. All of this can be managed directly through your smartphone.
It is evident that IoT is here to stay and will make our lives much easier.