What Is The Internet Of Things?
While your grandma was busy figuring out the Internet, though, time kept moving. The term which is now increasingly being heard is the “Internet of Things” and the concept behind it has the potential to change our lives almost as much as the Internet itself.
Here’s a quick explanation you can have ready for gram when she asks.
What Does The Internet Have To Do With Things?
Anyone who thinks of “the Internet” as simply a way for people to communicate with each other is not only behind the times, but off the mark. It’s not only people who connect to each other through the Internet – things do, too. If you send audio from your iPad to wireless headphones, they are “talking to each other” via the Internet. If you monitor your heart rate on your smartphone while you’re out running, or use a hands-free phone in your car, the devices are all communicating with each other over the Internet.
The Internet of Things, commonly called IoT, takes this already-real concept a lot further. In the near future, almost anything that you can turn on-and-off will be connected to the Internet, making them controllable both by human users and by other “things.” Blenders, cars, smartwatches, alarm systems, street lights – just like humans, they will all have the capacity for two-way communication in two of the three IoT categories: people-to-people, people-to-things, and things-to-things.
What’s the point of having an IoT? When the “real world” and computer systems are almost completely integrated, there can be major benefits to society including efficiency, safety and cost savings. For instance, an office printer running low on paper could recognize that fact, order more, and then notify accounting about the expense. If you’re going to pick someone up at the airport, your car can check traffic to find the best route, get the flight number from your phone and let you know if the plane is on time, and let your arriving visitors know if you’re running late.
Take that same interconnectivity and expand it throughout a region, and you have smart grids which maximize energy efficiency and lower costs, or even smart cities where all public services like traffic management, health care and waste management can be managed efficiently and cost-effectively.
The Future is Here!
You may be surprised to know that many people already have a miniature version of the Internet of Things; so-called smart homes with interconnected audio/visual, heating/AC and lighting systems are the best example. One day, these systems will get everything they need, even power, wirelessly from the internet. However, many of the signals needed for what are often called “consumer IoTs”) must be still transmitted through cables.
Analysts believe that as many as 20-to-100 billion devices worldwide will be connected to the Internet of Things within the next five years. An enormous number of those devices will depend on Cmple cables and products, to provide the connectivity the IoT will require.