Everything isn’t always as it appears. That’s a fairly ominous, even foreboding old phrase, but it actually has some basis in truth. And it’s seasonally relevant. Consider the Internet – you’ve probably got a pretty good idea about what this consists of – after all, us techies know the inner workings. For instance, something that not a lot of tech-illiterate people realize: The Web and the Internet aren’t interchangeable terms.
One concept that the public seems to be on the verge of understanding is the Internet of Things. In layman’s terms, it’s when other, alternative devices – watches, cars, even refrigerators – are connected to the Internet, expanding connectivity and opening up new doors. It might be weird to think that, like your computer, your fridge can tap into the Internet and provide nutritional info and other data, but a lot of new models can do just that.
The big question is what can we expect to see develop from this growing trend, i.e. connecting as many devices possible to the net?
How many devices are we talking? A recent survey from Gartner predicted that by 2020, the IoT will be comprised of 26 billion devices. Of course, this then means a massive amount of data will be created along with a number of challenges with scalability, storage, security and other topics. The report also noted that the billions of units will generate approximately $300 billion in revenue, mostly stemming from services.
So, consumers, corporations and other parties will be far more connected, opening up the public to a behind-the-scenes view of the tech world and allowing for an even smoother flow of information. Adverse effects While many people might think it’s going to be pretty cool when a large volume of their devices, appliances and other gadgets become “smart” – and, don’t get me wrong, it is – there are also inherent difficulties. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. While, again, subjects like security and the sheer available space on the Internet are things to consider, there’s also the fact that maybe always being connected isn’t the best thing.
I know, this seems like it’s coming out of left field – but sometimes putting down your smartphone for a little while is nice. This might especially be true when you’re at work. According to thinkGIG, by 2020 the IoT will probably play a massive role in people’s workdays. While, yeah, plenty of things are going to be made easier, there’s also that feeling of always being available.
All the possibilities That being said, just consider the opportunities the IoT presents. In an infographic, thinkGIG pointed out that so many processes, like starting cars, setting home alarm systems (even remotely), using a GPS system and so on will be so much simpler and allow people to work more time into their days.
No matter your feelings about the IoT, it is coming, so everyone should prepare to be more tech-savvy in the future.
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Jonathan is the founder and editor-in-chief of TrustedNerd.com. Covering major tech shows such as CES, Jonathan is always there for the latest tech news. Want your gadget to be reviewed or have a release you'd like to be considered for publishing? Send Jonathan an email, jonathan [at] trustednerd.com