The world as we know it has drastically changed in the last decade. While the internet itself was practically unheard of just a short time ago, it is now in the hands of nearly every adult in America on a small device known as a smart phone. More people than ever before have high-speed internet at home as well, whether they have a traditional PC or not. Even today’s gaming consoles, such as the popular PlayStation 3, have the ability to connect the user to the internet. We are faced with a device that connects us to others in various parts of the world at virtually every turn. While this process has taken a lot of getting used to, especially for older generations of folks, it also opens the door to so many amazing opportunities. You may have heard the phrase Internet of Things (IoT) tossed around. What is the Internet of Things? How has it shaped the day to day life we have become familiar with? What are the implications for future generations? We will discuss the answers to these questions in the paragraphs below.
What is the Internet of Things?
The term Internet of Things refers to the vast array of products in existence today that can connect us all to one another via the internet. IoT extends far beyond cell phones and similar types of smart devices. Today we see smart homes, smart electronics, and smart appliances that all allow for internet connectivity. This vast sea of things that can be connected to the internet, and by extension connect us to other things and people, has grown extensively over recent years. Just to give a quick example, gone are the days when school-aged students had to visit the library to check out books for an important assignment. Virtually all cell phones and tablets can access electronic forms of just about any publication anyone could ever need to read. This is just one of thousands of examples of how times have changed due to this ever-expanding Internet of Things.
What Broad Changes has IoT Brought About?
The broadest implications of the IoT have been in relation to broadband internet and wi-fi services. High-speed internet used to be something that was primarily reserved for professionals who needed it and had the type of salary to afford it. With internet service providers popping up all over the country in recent years, the cost of what used to be a luxury has gone down considerably. This means that it has gained popularity due to the simple fact that more average people can afford it than in times past.
The same is true for wi-fi as well. Individual smart phones and tablets have wi-fi access, of course. As we go about our daily business, just about every place we encounter also provides free wi-fi access. Heading to McDonald’s to get the kids a bite to eat? You can sit and access your important work on their free wi-fi service while your children play. High-speed internet and the abundance of wi-fi and hot spots have changed how we face our day, and we almost expect to be provided with these services everywhere we go. It has certainly made life easier.
Seven Ways IoT Impacts Daily Life for Many
If you take a good, hard look at each step of your day, it’s almost certain that the Internet of Things came into play for virtually all of it. The paragraphs below will take you through seven different scenarios that commonly play out in the daily lives of millions of people. Check out how smart devices and IoT come into each one.
Morning Alarm Clock
As you hit snooze on your alarm clock this morning, chances are it was set on a mobile device rather than an old-school alarm clock on your bedside table. Many people fall asleep using their cell phones and wake up to their alarm bell ringing on a cell phone.
Breakfast and Coffee
Did you wake up to a fresh pot of coffee waiting for you? If you have smart electronics in your kitchen, you probably have a pre-programmed coffee maker at your beck and call. The same is true regarding programmable ovens, dishwashers, and other types of appliances in many homes today.
As you left to drop the kids off at daycare and head to work, did you start your car remotely? As you turned on the ignition, did you take notice of the warning lights lighting up the dash of your smart car? Perhaps they were alerting you that it’s time for a tune-up. Today’s vehicles are equipped to let you know when the tire pressure is low, an oil change is needed, or you just forgot to put your seatbelt on.
As you went about your day at work, perhaps you received an automated phone call to let you know a refill on your prescription was ready to be picked up or that it was time to schedule your next physical. Physicians are constantly connected with their patients and with pharmacies through the IoT.
Traffic Jam Alerts
As you were beginning to head home from work, you may have received an alert on your smartphone letting you know about significant traffic delays, accidents, or roadworks. Technology and the interconnectedness of the internet to these objects are what makes this possible.
As you finally made it home for summer, perhaps you were greeted with a notification that you hadn’t quite reached your step goal for their day. Not to worry, there are a few hours left before bed to get in those last few steps. Wearable fitness devices and other similar technology are extremely popular today as so many individuals place a greater degree of importance on their health.
Smart Baby Monitors
As you finally head to bed for the night, perhaps you sneak a quick peek at your little one tucked safely in bed. You no longer have to go into his room and risk waking him. You can just use your state-of-the-art video-equipped baby monitor and have complete peace of mind before falling asleep yourself.
Future Implications of IoT
As we can see from the scenarios played out above, the Internet of Things has already changed almost every aspect of life as we know it. The fact of the matter is that there are no real limitations to what the future could hold concerning technological advances. We are only limited by our own creativity.
About the Author: Jason Hope
Jason Hope is a young entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, and believer in the power of harnessing technology for future generations. Residing in Scottsdale, Arizona, Jason has proven himself devoted to the development of technological advances that will enhance the lives of millions.
Jason Hope earned a finance degree from Arizona State University and then went on to earn an MBA from ASU’s W.P Cary School of Business. Having a firm interest in politics and his local area in Arizona, Jason Hope has contributed toward many ventures that allow him to give back to the very community that enhanced his personal success. Together with other proponents of modern technology, he continues to make a difference in Arizona and around the world.