What is the ‘ Internet of Things’ and does it live up to the hype?

In recent years, technology has been aggressively marketed to us and from the consumer’s perspective, there’s a constant pressure to own the latest and greatest gadget that revolutionises our lives in some fashion.

With this in mind, imagine if all the mundane objects in your household could be electronically automated to suit your unique requirements. No longer will you have to concern yourself with tedious tasks and minor irritants.

As the title suggests, I am of course referring to the buzzword: ‘Internet of Things’ or IoT, for short. Basically, this is the concept of having every entity in your life, web-connected and being able to communicate with one another. This type of technology could be included in absolutely anything from an ordinary coffee mug, an electrical appliance like a fridge, heating and lighting controls or sensors which are attachable to pets and children. Theoretically the possibilities are endless.

Imagine this future scenario for instance: each morning you are woken up by your alarm clock which not only adjusts based on your daily schedule but also takes various travel conditions and your overall sleep pattern into consideration. Your car can actually be programmed to heat up and de-ice the windows at a specified time or your coffee machine could be set up to start brewing.

Despite how exciting this sounds, don’t start jumping on this bandwagon straight away. There are a few possible negatives which are worth mentioning. One example is the scary prospect of viruses being made for household items. It goes without saying, that would be a catastrophic, expensive disaster.

The concept: ‘Internet of Things’ is already starting to become a reality. According to Intel, It’s predicted that in the next 6 years there will be around 31 billion connected devices. The way things are going; there will be an eventual point where there are more devices connected to the internet than actual people.

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