What Is the Internet of Things?
December 8, 2020
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to describe all the everyday objects we can now connect to the Internet. Connecting these objects to the Internet has several uses, including remote control, automation, and data collection. With computer chips now being more affordable, and with wireless networks being more prevalent than ever, it seems now that just about anything including everyday objects can be turned into a part of the Internet of Things. Whether it's your appliances, home, wearable accessories, or car, your objects and possessions can now utilize sensors, collect data, be controlled remotely, communicate, and interconnect with minimal human involvement.
The History of The Internet of Things
You can trace the idea to add sensors and intelligence to otherwise "dumb" objects to as early as the 1980s and 1990s. But the technology itself had not caught up with the concept. Technology in general was too big, bulky, expensive, and inefficient. It wasn't until the use of RFID tags, low-power chips capable of wireless communication, that the Internet of Things became a much more attainable idea. The growing implementation of broadband Internet and wireless networks also helped to speed this along. Tech pioneer Kevin Ashton ended up coining the term "the Internet of Things" in 1999. IoT technology was initially utilized mostly by businesses and manufacturers, where it was used for machine-to-machine communications. But since then, the concept has grown and advanced to become a part of our everyday lives.
The Internet of Things in Everyday life
IoT is more prevalent in everyday life than you might think. Have you ever used an app to turn on the lights in your home, or to arm an alarm system? Have you ever worn a fitness tracker or heart rate monitor that tracks your activity and shares that information with your phone or computer? How many of your neighbors have Nest or Ring doorbells? These are just a few of the countless examples of how IoT is being incorporated more and more into our everyday lives. The Internet of Things is constantly evolving, and before we know it far more advanced uses for it will become more commonplace. Self-driving cars and trucks, for instance, have existed for some time now; eventually seeing them in our everyday lives is a very real possibility.
Recent home security and energy usage innovations have made leaps and bounds thanks to IoT technology as well; the market is being flooded with smart thermostats, outlets, hydroponic systems, and surveillance systems that bring automation and remote monitoring to a new level. It's also changing how we view health and wellness. Senior living communities are participating in studies on AI-powered, wearable devices that constantly monitor subjects' health and physical state, and notify their caregivers if any irregularities are detected. This technology, an example of the latest IoT advancements, will prevent countless hospitalizations as more care centers and families adopt it. Recent and current IoT innovations have enhanced many aspects of our lives, and we're still only getting started.
The Internet of Things in Our Future
By 2025, it's predicted that 21.5 billion connected IoT devices will be in use, with most of them being industrial and automotive equipment, as well as smart home and wearable technology. One concept in particular that has been gaining popularity is the model of a smart city. Solutions to issues relating to infrastructure and public transport, energy efficiency, traffic congestion, and resident security are all being researched in many cities including New York and San Diego. IoT advancements can be taken in just about any direction, and into any industry. The possibilities for how you can use this technology are endless. The only challenge will be to keep up as we continue to innovate with the Internet of Things.
How We Can Keep Up with The Internet of Things
As we discussed earlier, the Internet of Things has already affected our daily lives, especially in our homes. You have the ability to make you home more efficient, secure, and comfortable than ever. And it all starts with your Internet service. Home Internet and WiFi connections are still the preferred way to link with household IoT devices such as smart doorbells, smart thermostats, security systems, smart appliances, and the latest entertainment systems. Before you can benefit from all of these convenient devices, you have to make sure that you have a fast, reliable Internet connection. Making sure you have the right WiFi router will greatly benefit you, but finding the best Internet service provider in your area is a must. If you you have a slow and unreliable Internet connection, all of your devices that connect to it will be slow and unreliable as well. A strong Internet connection, especially to a fiber network, is the sturdy foundation for any IoT devices or systems you will use at home.
Connecting to the Internet using a reliable, redundant, and secure fiber network with low latency is the best way to get the most out of your IoT devices. Your home will be able to handle the large volume of data created by the Internet of Things with speeds up to 1 Gbps and no slowdowns, throttling, or data caps. With a fiber-optic connection, you get a fast, reliable, and secure connection between your devices and your network, making your home as economical, safe, and comfortable as it can be with the power of the Internet of Things.