The “Internet of Things” is becoming a growing topic. What exactly is the “Internet of Things” and does it have any impact on your life?
Today everybody and his brother can connect to the internet. The cost of WiFi is decreasing and becoming super affordable (especially in South Africa). There are WiFi spots at the bus stop, in restaurants, in hotels. You name it, it is everywhere you turn. Smartphones are penetrating the world like the Coronavirus and technology is everywhere.
So simply put, “the Internet of Things” is the concept of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the internet or each other. This includes phones, washing machines, coffee makers, headphones, lamps, and the list continues. The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices.
Why on earth would you want so many devices connected and talking to each other? Say, for example, you are on your way to a meeting: your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. What if your alarm clock wakes you up at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more?
It can be applied to things like transportation and “smart cities” which can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency. It allows for virtually endless opportunities in the future many of which we can’t even comprehend.
There is also a downside to this… Security. How do we know all our information is safe? Like the recent WhatsApp fiasco. Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and get a hold of all your secret information?
So what can we do about all of this? Educate yourself and be aware of what is going on around you. Not everything in life is black and white and you need to be fully educated before allowing anything in your life.