More and more, consumers hear about connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, wearable technology and smartwatches. The Internet of Things, or the overall concept and ability to connect everyday objects wirelessly to the Internet, has changed the way technology companies approach many industries.
Thermostats, home appliances, automobiles, security systems and ubiquitous telephones have expanded capabilities thanks to the Internet of Things concept. These connected devices give consumers unprecedented control over certain technological aspects of their lives, even when they're thousands of miles away from home. Five industries stand to benefit the most from this new paradigm.
Customers can use apps on smartphones and tablet devices from half a world away to unlock doors, change a home's thermostat or monitor video feeds thanks to integrated home security systems. Parents can let nannies, housekeepers, pet sitters and contractors into a home while on vacation using electronic locks. Sensors, detectors and IP cameras all stream live data to a console within the home, and those connected devices communicate with a smartphone or tablet via wireless connections.
Service companies that specialize in big data applications use information to help firms improve products, tailor their services and market products to specific customers. Wi-Fi hotspots, smartphone apps and wireless hubs all collect information from connected devices, including the websites someone views, products someone researches and items someone scans with their smartphone while in a store.
The automotive industry becomes more energy-efficient with GPS trackers integrated into fleet management systems. Rental companies, delivery services, logistics companies and even pizza delivery services may use GPS to monitor speed, fuel consumption, routes taken and gasoline purchases. Some connected devices can even track automobile theft with alarm systems and video cameras. GPS uploads information through satellites, wireless connections and Wi-Fi to laptops and tablet apps that agencies use to analyze data and suggest changes to improve efficiency.
Wearable technology sends information through wireless networks straight to a medical professional's office to alert doctors or nurses of medical emergencies. Doctors can monitor someone's high blood pressure, diabetes or other chronic disease constantly in order to recommend therapies. This brings about new levels of personalized care that may saves lives or improve the quality of a patient's life.
Sensors embedded in houses monitor a home's internal temperature, air leaks and thermostat settings. Utility companies use this information to suggest improvements for homeowners. Construction companies take this data to build greener homes that reduce energy consumption even further. This leads to reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to help mitigate global warming.
Industry analysts, including Cisco, estimate 50 billion objects could connect to wireless systems by 2020. Reduced costs of RFID chips and tracking systems make these applications even more efficient. Humans turn to computers and automation to track, adapt and learn in new methods thanks to small objects connected to cloud computing software.
Integrated technology has moved beyond computers receiving information from the Internet as connected devices get smaller, faster and smarter. The possibilities are endless with regards to electronic devices with embedded chips and transmitters that let programs analyze data constantly.
Photo courtesy of mapichai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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