Internet of everything
As 2014 dawned, the ‘internet of things’ was considered so last year. In future we will be talking about the ‘internet of everything’.
In 2009, there were 2.5 billion connected devices; most of these were mobile phones, PCs and tablets. In 2020, there will be over 30 billion devices connected, of far greater variety according to analyst Gartner. These might include smart home heating and light controllers, in-car automation and wearable health sensors.
This connectivity of everyday devices and controllers along with computers and smart mobile devices has been dubbed ‘the Internet of Things’. Gartner predicts that the total economic value add for the Internet of Things will be $1.9 trillion in 2020.
The ‘internet of everything’ connects the ‘things’ in our world with the data they produce and with the ‘process’, that is delivering the data as useful information, in context, to the right person in the right place. The final piece of the jigsaw is plugging people themselves directly into the internet.
One way of doing this is to identify and geolocate individuals through the smartphone or tablet they have in their hands. Some researchers have taken this a step further and begun experimenting with wearable or ‘swallowable’ chips, or even implanting chips that can measure the vital signs and possibly even mood of the person, and communicate that to their nearest web-enabled devices.
In the meantime, what does the internet of things look like? Here are five of the first places you will see the internet of things:
- Smart home systems and home security – people are already using mobile phones to set security, heating and lighting systems in the home remotely. With the advent of compulsory smart meters, cheaper and more intelligent chips and the next generation of Bluetooth, smart home systems will become commonplace.
- Manufacturers will be able to track materials and components much more efficiently leading to further automation and cost efficiency, and in an ideal world, lower prices.
- Wearable mobile healthcare devices containing sensors can detect various medical conditions. Many healthcare trusts are piloting this type of telehealth provision to cut down A&E visits and keep elderly people with long-term conditions out of hospital.
- Teenagers are already accepting sensors in cars that link to insurers. Keep to the speed limit, get home by 11pm and your insurance premiums may stay just about the right side of affordable.
- Fitness fanatics can connect their running shoes to their smartphone and get real-time stats about their performance, as well as connect to other players and coaches through the Nike+Basketball app. It wirelessly syncs shoes to mobile device via Bluetooth, so players can measure their game, capture their best moves and connect with friends.