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Internet of Things: Impact on the Home

Internet of Things: Impact on the Home

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become one of the most rapidly developing modern technologies. It shows enormous promise, unlike anything the tech world has seen before. Glorified as the next phase of the internet, the Internet of Things aims higher.
The IoT is taking all preconceived notions about what the internet can do and transforming it into a cohesive, ultra-connected phenomenon. With goals to streamline and synchronize the human experience, the IoT emerges as a new paradigm for futuristic web connectivity.
Across the globe, billions of devices connected to the internet are working in tandem to collect digital intelligence to better analyze the human experience. Within the tech world, optimizing the human experience has taken precedence over mere commensalism.
As of 2019, there are over 26 billion IoT devices worldwide and 127 new devices are connected to the internet every second. [1]
Internet of Things at Home Infographic

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is a system of web-connected devices specifically designed to foster efficient machine to machine communication with the end goal of streamlining the everyday human experience.
This extensive system of devices is equipped with keen data-collecting technologies on both local and global networks that effectively provide a massive landscape for interrelated digital computing devices to communicate through internet connection.
The Internet of Things as we know it today is home to billions of physical devices that share at least one primary commonality; their connection to the internet.
Because it has become increasingly cost-efficient and straightforward to connect just about any tech device to the web, adding a device to the Internet of Things has been made easily accessible to pretty much everyone.
Once these devices exist within the IoT, a certain level of digital intelligence is bestowed upon them, enabling them to collect, exchange, and analyze real-time data without any human initiation or interference.
Simply put, the Internet of Things aims to merge the line between our physical and digital worlds, striving for a symbiotic future that places top-end human and machine efficiency at the forefront of the modern mind.
From smartphones and washing machines to smart speakers and household lamps, the Internet of Things reaches beyond the typical technological scope. Let’s take a deeper look at how the IoT is able to do this and what that may look like for the everyday person.

How does the Internet of Things work: IoT in 5 steps

Step 1: The devices

Any physical object can be modified into an IoT device as long as it can be connected to the internet and controlled online. For example, a lightbulb that can be switched on or off with a smartphone application is considered an IoT device. The same applies to a smart thermostat that can be controlled through a web-connected tablet.
You may notice a pattern; IoT devices are typically managed and controlled remotely. In essence, IoT devices are engineered with intelligent technology that enables intercommunication and interaction via the internet connection: no human input necessary.
What is an IoT device?
The term IoT is generally used for devices that wouldn't usually feature any sort of web connection. For this reason, a computer isn't generally considered an IoT device since it’s designed primarily with web connection in mind. The same applies to a smartphone.
If you want technology that’s optimized for the Internet of Things, look no further than HP’s select computers, printers, speakers, and computer accessories.
While these web-connected devices exist on a network, they don’t feature the required sensors and actuators to be considered true IoT devices. Which brings us to our next step.

Step 2: Sensors and actuators

IoT devices are chock-full of sensors and actuators that are specifically designed to collect real-time data about the ways in which you interact with them.
Let’s take a smart thermometer for example. Say you arrive home at 5:30 every weekday and set the temperature to a cozy 70 degrees during the winter. The internal sensors monitor the data while the actuators instruct to the thermometer to execute on your preferred heat setting. This process is called telemetry.
Telemetry can be used to adjust the following inside of your home:
  • Room temperature like Nest thermometers
  • Water temperature like Aquanta smart water heater
  • Location of household items like a Tile key finder
  • Hours of usage of electronics and appliances like any of your kitchen appliances

Step 3: The internet

The IoT is completely dependent upon the internet to upload data to the cloud for storage and analyzation. Let’s use our smart thermometer analogy to better illustrate why the internet is such an important factor.
A smart thermometer will likely upload data regarding what times of day it’s most frequently set to activate, and the temperatures at which it’s most likely to be set.

Step 4: Data processing

Integrated data processing software that lives within IoT devices examines the collected data and self-calculates how to improve the overall user experience. This data collection better informs the IoT device of your personal preferences, effectively taking the human interference out of the picture as it self-automates.

Step 5: Automation

Automation is where the magic happens. By using the data collected from all of your household IoT devices, the integrated software can then instruct the device to perform tasks without any manual operation or activation.

How could the Internet of Things affect my daily life?

As we push forward toward a more interconnected technological future, the rapid development of the Internet of Things begs the question of how it will soon affect the everyday person’s life.
If there’s one space that will see the most drastic change with the IoT revolution, it will be the home. The rise and integration of intelligent, web-connected appliances will be able to predict your needs based on the patterns and tendencies you perform.
Not only will these devices learn your habits and execute on them when appropriate, but they’ll be able to do so in a manner that also saves energy, optimizes time, and reduces costs.
Alarm clocks will be synced with traffic apps to let you know what your daily commute will look like. Your heating systems will be seamlessly synced with external temperature sensors to better assess your in-home temperature needs.
Home automation is projected to level up in a big way with all of the promise delivered by the Internet of Things.

Wrapping up: The future of the Internet of Things

It is estimated that by 2020, there will be more than 24 billion IoT devices connected and installed globally. By 2025, there are expected to be 75 billion IoT devices worldwide [3]. The IoT revolution has the potential to completely reinvent the ways in which we interact with the world around us, and it’s beginning in our homes, today.

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