The Internet of Things: The Smart Revolution
The massive increase of smart devices in our daily lives has changed every aspect of it, from the way we work to how we enjoy our free time, we are find ourselves relying on connected devices more and more every day. Here are some ways these connected devices have already changed our everyday lives.
Businesses have become more efficient, smaller businesses have more tools to succeed.
While these new technologies have helped large companies smooth out their operations, these changes have helped smaller businesses in an invaluable way. These devices have dramatically reduced the barrier to entry for startups by being their one-stop-shop for applications that operate aspects of their business that they can’t. In general, more industries have become an easier arena to enter and compete in. Just like an unknown musical genius can create and produce a music album on his or her laptop; mobile payments and similar tech have leveled out the playing field for hopeful entrepreneurs across many industries. Previously, it was difficult for startups to compete with the automated and efficient operations of a large established business that is enjoying economy of scale. But now, for a relatively low cost, anybody with a device can equip it with a credit card reader, a payroll app, and marketing tools. The possibilities are growing for these small businesses. Consumers are having more options and flexibility in how they pay for their items, and catering to these different types of payments is as easy as buying a new kind of card reader for your device or downloading a new app. While there will always be concerns about security with these new technologies, for most average consumers the convenience has outweighed the possible risk.
Increased simplicity of health tracking could mean a healthier you
Wearable technology has made explosive changes in the world of fitness. Data collection of everyday activity levels makes even the smallest of workouts more meaningful. But perhaps the most important of these changes are the various smart watches now flooding the market. These connected devices can monitor a huge range of activity and many allow third-party apps access to the data in order to display it in an eloquent way to the user. In fact many of these activity monitors have the ability to assist in personally monitoring and sending real-time data to the cloud, which becomes available to healthcare providers. No more fibbing to your doctor about how much you actually work out, continuous health monitoring will make honest patients of us all.
Cities get smarter and safer!
Large metropolises around the world have been known to share, more or less, the same plethora of problems. The torrent of traffic every day that wears out bridges and roads, a dense population means that lawbreakers can commit crimes and simply disappear into the crowd, and power outages on a single block inconveniences hundreds of people instead of just a handful. Now city officials are adopting technology into city planning resulting in great benefits to the city and their citizens alike. Chicago sentenced their first criminal identified by their police department’s facial recognition analysis technology in June of last year. Los Angeles has embedded sensors into the street to monitor severity of traffic congestion, as well as the ability to synchronize with traffic lights for greater efficiency. Sensors are already being used in New York to track the status of their aging bridges, sending data regarding the strain on the bridge’s existing cracks and cables. Lastly, the smart meter is now being used all over the world to allow utility providers to constantly monitor and instantly detect a power outage instead of waiting for their customers to report there is a problem. It is predicted that in just five years, the billion-plus connected devices already being used in large cities will only increase exponentially, this means more real-time data being provided to decision makers and even more benefits ahead for citizens.
Our homes can now learn our habits and customize our living spaces
We’ve all been guilty of arguing with family members over the thermostat and being constantly at war with what the exact temperature should be. Now there are smart thermostats that heat or cool your home by learning you and your family’s daily habits. Your personal device can tell the hue smart bulbs in your home to change color according to what time of day it is, prompt the dryer to start up again to re-fluff towels while you’re in the shower, or even start the coffee maker before you get up in the morning. These connected devices are being integrated into more everyday appliances (there is even a smart-phone-controlled teakettle) and thus the need for remote network management becomes more necessary in both business and home life.
Smart Cars are the Future
While we all patiently pine for the flying cars of our favorite childhood movies (that were supposed to be here by now, according to Doc Brown), we all look to the driverless cars that are currently being tested by the likes of Google, Abibaba and Baidu. But while tech companies continue to reach for lofty goals for their driverless pods, automotive companies have made great strides in incorporating technology into their current car models. Mercedes and Toyota already have vehicles incorporated with systems that apply the brakes when they sense an obstruction, keep the car within the lane (even at highway speeds), and some can even park by themselves. Even now Tesla motors already has their Model S sedan ready to accept new features and functions simply through wireless upgrades, similar to the way many smart phones receive unobtrusive upgrades while idle. While other companies seem to be years behind Tesla motors, General Motors is already making strides to develop technology that will allow brand new features to be downloaded wirelessly into a more traditional vehicle. The bigger implication is, that with the billion plus cars on the road today, integrating smart technologies into them will provide countless data streams that companies will use and reference while trying to improve the overall safety, comfort and convenience of the everyday commute.
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