The Internet of Things (IoT) may sound like a recent phenomenon, but the term was actually coined 17 years ago by a British entrepreneur.
What appears on first glance to be a complicated area is actually fairly simple.
The phrase is used to describe devices that can communicate with other products using the internet.
We’re not just talking about your mobile phone and smart heating system. It can be anything, including vehicles and buildings.
The technology has so far produced data which can be used to improve our lives by addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the world, like climate change, pollution control and natural disasters.
We know you have questions – which is why we have the answers below:
How long has the IoT been around?
Decades. In fact the first example was in 1989 when John Romkey created the first toaster which could connect to the internet. The only problem was you still had to manually load the toast!
What IoT products are currently popular?
There is a big push for more smart meters to be installed in all homes. These meters automatically switch off when the desired temperature of the home is reached. They can also detect the climate outside of the home and adjust the temperature inside accordingly.
Other trends include automated lighting, smart kettles that you can boil from your phone and the smart fridge that lets you know when you’re out of milk.
How will it impact my job?
Well that depends on what sector you work in. The IoT will slowly but surely creep into most places of work but some sectors have already embraced it. We’ve seen the farming, healthcare and manufacturing sectors introduce it to manage workers, orders, monitor crops and collect patient data.
Are there any large-scale deployments of the IoT?
Songdo in South Korea is undergoing a major overhaul and will be the first of its kind to be a wired smart city. The plan is for everything in the city to be connected and turned into a constant stream of data that would be monitored and analysed by an array of computers with little or no human intervention.
What does the future of IoT look like?
Even Google can’t predict how the IoT will shape the way we go about our everyday lives but one industry we will be watching closely will be the automotive sector. Recently BT Group's head of sustainability Niall Dunne, highlighted the rise of brands such as Tesla saying: "I think the potential is there for the whole automotive industry to leverage the 'connected car' and integrate that with the 'connected home'. The winners are the ones who are good are leveraging big data, who will effectively allow you to personalise the automotive experience.”
At The Lava Group, we will be keeping a close eye on all new products coming to the market. For more information about our products please click here.