The emergence of the Internet Of Things (IOT) has been an endless source for speculation across industries and popular media. This is not only due to the innovative nature of the products being introduced, but also because of their goal to make people’s lives easier and ultimately, better.
We have already seen some groundbreaking releases under the IOT banner. What is more, the evolution of these releases has been extremely swift as companies continuously deepen their understanding of consumer needs. Combined with the rapid technological advancements of today, the rise of IOT is set to disrupt the commodities paradigm.
You are undoubtedly familiar with the buzz around driverless cars. From government investments through to cutting-edge companies such Google and Tesla seeking to become leaders of the new market, the whole world awaits in anticipation of our very first fully autonomous vehicle.
But these automotive technologies are not just very cool, they will also forever change the way we travel. Firstly, consider the practical and ethically positive applications of driverless cars. Those that are currently unable to drive and find it difficult to commute, whether that is due to a disability or otherwise, will be able to access transport more freely, thus exponentially increasing their travel mobility options. Likewise, the key issues currently faced by drivers today such as congestion, parking, and road collisions, will also be mitigated by IOT.
Congestion will be far easier to monitor as part of the planned journey element of driverless travel. Furthermore, a driverless vehicle will be able to make quick choices to locate faster routes. The decision-making component will also mean less-to-no human error when driving, decreasing the number of road collisions as a result. A selling point for some, an IOT-powered vehicle will be able to search for and allocate parking spaces, although in an ideal scenario this function would be almost obsolete, as our cars would drop us off exactly where we want to be and park independently.
The final and perhaps most beneficial element of driverless cars is the fact that their unmatched efficiency will lead to increased sustainability in driving — something for everybody!
How much food do you throw away on a weekly basis? You may already be versed at minimising waste thanks to a strict ecological regime, although chances are your busy schedule means food often gets overlooked and thrown out shortly after it reaches its expiration date.
IOT is going to help put an end to food waste. It is estimated that technology in food packaging and fridges is going to decrease the amount of ‘grub’ going out of date.
Imagine your fridge telling you what you should eat for dinner based on what is closest to expiration? It could even order additional items for a recipe based on what you already have in your cupboard, making that whole process even more resourceful and efficient.
Naturally, this is great for the environment, but equally, less wasted food means less wasted money for you.
You may have already seen new tech appear in the home utilities space. Perhaps you even are a proud investor. With big players like Nest making a splash in the media, these types of IOT commodities are set to grow substantially in the next few years, truly changing our lifestyle patterns.
By using the input data from our schedules, intelligent devices such as thermostats are able to control the temperature inside our homes thanks to their ability to study our preferences.
This may not seem like a particularly significant feat, but the benefit of this is immense. By understanding your heating requirements, an intelligent thermostat is likely to save a lot of energy over the year, and a fair amount of cash in the process.
Being able to access these systems through your smartphone also means one less thing to worry about during a busy day — for a cosy atmosphere, give your living room a quick boost of warmth before you get home on a winter’s evening. Sadly, you’re likely going to have to pour the wine yourself.
With all this new and exciting technology in your home, you may start to worry about the safety of your precious belongings. Fear not, however, for IOT is about to revolutionise home security, too.
This is ensured by a plethora smart devices including motion sensors, cameras, security lights, and even door locks. Of course, all of the aforementioned gadgets are available in non-IOT form, however, the new generation of kit connects to the cloud to give you real time data. Whether it is someone moving about your house or tampering with your locks, IOT is there to provide you with peace of mind, and in case of emergency, everything you may need to take action.
Smart watches such as Apple Watch or a fitness tracker like fitbit provide the wearer with all sorts of data on their fitness and activity, be it steps taken or heart rate. This type of information is effective at helping you better understand your health, and making educated decisions on how to improve it.
The potential well-being advantages of devices such as smart watches are often overlooked, but there is still room for improvement. Currently, there are rumours of enhanced monitoring equipment being built into these items, as well as innovations in the software used to make lifestyle suggestions. As these get more sophisticated, so too will the impact on our lives.
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