ELI5: The Internet of Things – Part 2 Internet
Examples of IoT that you use daily
This ELI5 (explain like I’m five) series is dedicated to explaining everything you want to know about the Internet of Things (IoT) from scratch. Our first episode answered the question “what is the Internet of Things?” and how it all started.
Quick Internet of Things Recap
So what is the Internet of Things in English? It’s a blanket term that refers to things (objects) embedded with sensors that can communicate with other things on their own.
Let’s break this down:
- “Things” (any object) with
- electronics that give them the ability to sense their surroundings (light, movement, presence, temperature, humidity or moisture, sound, force and geographic location –to name a few)
- and an IP address enabling them to
- communicate with other such “things” or computers, via the Internet,
- without human intervention.
Want to know more? Read part 1 of this series and then straight back!
IoT in our personal lives
The Internet has made life easier in many ways. IoT is a natural evolutionary step in Internet and information technology. IoT devices talk to each other and our apps. We track, monitor and even automate specific processes for more convenience than ever before.
You wear IoT
Fitness devices, such as Fitbit, are jam-packed with sensors to track your activity, exercise, sleep, weight and nutrition. The data is automatically uploaded to the cloud allowing you to review analytic insights of your progress and set new targets. They then autonomously vibrate to remind you to get up and walk or wake you up at the ideal time between sleep cycles.
IoT is in your home
Home automation might not yet be widely accessible, but the barrier to entry is definitely dwindling as high-speed home Internet becomes more affordable and widespread.
Besides the obvious comfort of being able to control your blinds, lighting, surround sound, air cons (and much more) from your phone, a key feature of IoT home automation is remote surveillance.
You can link your closed-circuit television (CCTV) to your phone and view live footage from your phone whenever, and wherever, you like. What’s even better is that if the motion sensors detect a disturbance inside or outside your home, the system immediately sends a push notification to your phone to alert you.
Global appliance brands are also embracing the IoT revolution, releasing smart appliances that are making our homes smart too.
Take the LG InstaView Door-in-Door™ refrigerator, for example, with its energy-saving knock to see what’s inside feature. There is also an app that allows you to control and diagnose your fridge from anywhere with your smartphone. As reported by Business Insider the fridge can even tell you when you have run out of milk.
Samsung have realised a wide range of smart TV’s, fridges, washing machines and more, take a look here.
IoT goes where you go
By now you’ve probably heard about self-driving cars, sensors in the vehicle along with GPS technology enable the vehicle to navigate itself to your desired destination.
It will take a while before we all have self-driving cars, so perhaps a better example of IoT in your car today is your tracking device. If the device detects that you are in a high-risk area, or in an area that you where you would not typically travel, you and your recovery service receive an alert. There have been reports of people’s cars being recovered before they’ve even realised that it had been stolen.
Shopping is easier with IoT
Have you ever seen a notification from Google with a store directory and map as soon as you walk into a mall? That’s IoT working its magic.
Of course, marketers have been quick to adopt the same technology. With location-based services, brands can now detect when you’re in a store and send timely push notifications with discounts and specials prompting you to buy items that might not have been on your original list.
IoT in industry
It’s not only marketers who realise the awesome potential of IoT, companies all over the world are using the technology to enhance efficiency and safety in their operations. Learn more about Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and other commercial applications of IoT in our next episode, the business of IoT.
Do you want in on the IoT revolution? All you need is to get connected.