The Internet of Things (IoT) is gradually permeating every aspect of modern life, now commonly found in home appliances, smart vehicles, public transport and manufacturing industries. But many day-to-day users are unaware of what IoT technology is, and why it’s set to be such a transformative power in our daily lives.
The term ‘IoT technology’ generally refers to a network of internet connected devices, which expand network connectivity beyond traditional devices used to access the internet, such as computers and mobile devices.
Masayoshi Son, famous tech investor and CEO of Japanese technology giant SoftBank, has likened early IoT devices to the first biological species to develop eyes many millennia ago, enabling those species to monitor and react to their external environment like never before. Son also believes that by 2021, we will have almost 16 billion connected IoT devices.
This connectivity has enabled data collection, monitoring, and even remote operation of devices which were typically ‘dumb’ – i.e. not connected to the internet. Some of the earliest uses of IoT technology, and perhaps the most well-known, are devices such as home thermostats, lighting and security systems which can be operated from users’ smartphones, or via smart hubs such as Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home hub.
But IoT technology has exciting applications beyond just home appliances, and there’s a growing interest in developing entire urban areas which are connected to the IoT, called ‘Smart Cities’. However, building a smart city is fraught with challenges, and will require smart technology providers to implement innovative solutions with the latest technology available.
Building a Smart City
What would have looked just a few years ago like a scene from a science fiction movie,