The Internet of Things (or IoT) has been cropping up a lot lately, but what exactly is it? What does The Internet of Things actually mean? Well in its simplest form it defines a network of items or “things” which connect with each other collect and share data. The idea is that The Internet of Things will improve our lives by thinking for us – so should we really start paying attention?
Much like new technology, it takes a while for it to really hit the mainstream. 1080p HD televisions used to be considered “high end” and would cost near-on £1,500 to own, now however, you can pick up a decent enough “full HD” TV for around £200. The same is currently happening with 4K televisions. And the Internet of Things? Well that’s been around for some time, and it’s now really only just getting started.
So what can we expect from the Internet of Things for 2016 and should we really be paying attention?
Currently, the Internet of Things contain all sorts of technology which could make life easier, if it were affordable. Take the Nest Thermostat for example. This alone could improve the way you live by learning when you switch on the heating, it’ll learn the temperatures you like and how you live as the seasons change. It also allows you to be connected to your home while you’re away, allowing you to switch the heating on to get the house warm while you travel home.
The Nest Thermostat is just the start however. Grab yourself a Nest Cam, and stick some Phillips Hue lights into your home, and you’ve got yourself a killer security system which not only reacts to your presence, but can simulate your usage habits while you’re away. Come 2016, you can also use the Nest app to work with Yale’s upcoming Linus Lock, a smart lock which you can control from your smartphone, offering notifications and more as to when people come and go from the property, and much more.
These are just a few examples of how the Internet of Things is already being used to make life easier. So now is a better time than any to take note. Most of these products also take very little time and knowledge to install making it super user friendly. The only issue we currently have to overcome is price, probably the biggest road block for anyone looking into making their home connected.
Fortunately, there are already a number of ways for you to at least get on one step of the IoT ladder, thanks to power companies offering products like the Nest and Hive thermostats to their customers as part of a slightly more expensive power bundle.
As time goes on however, things will continue to evolve into a “smart” product. Samsung has recently just announced that the entirety of its 2016 SmartTV line-up will be IoT ready, and will work with the company’s own open SmartThings IoT platform. This will allow Samsung’s TV’s to become the central hub to your connected home allowing you to control your house from the comfort of your sofa.
Though it seems like a futuristic notion. Internet of Things is here, and I believe it’s here to stay, so we should start paying attention.
In 2016 we can expect a number of things to happen when it comes to IoT. Technology will continue to evolve to hopefully allow for more affordable hardware. More products will also become smart allowing us to have total control over our home, expanding further from just heating, lights, and televisions.
In the future, we could see our homes working for us. Scenarios such as coming home with handfuls of shopping and the door unlocking itself, the house being a perfect temperature, and the kettle already boiling. It’s things such as this which aren’t too far from the realms of possibility.