The internet of things (IoT) is the name given to all those devices that are connected and communicate with us, each other, and compatible apps over the internet.
The idea of the IoT has been around for decades, at least since 1989 when the first connected toaster (!) was mooted at that year’s Interop Internet networking show – a year later, at the 1990 Interop, a Sunbeam Deluxe Automatic Radiant Control Toaster was connected to the internet, and so the fledgling IoT was born.
And now pretty much every electrical device you can think of is connected, from televisions, to printers, to fridges – and we all know the endgame is that the machines will one day rise up and take over the world, but that’s another story…
What’s the point of the internet of things?
It does seem that some devices are connected to the internet just for the sake of it – I’d no more need a fridge to tell me that I’m out of milk, than I’d need something like the Amazon Echo to tell me what the weather’s like, I can just look inside and outside, respectively.
But there are some tangible benefits to be had from connected devices, as Caroline Gorski, the head of IoT at Digital Catapult told WIRED, the future science, culture and technology news site: “IoT offers us opportunity to be more efficient in how we do things, saving us time, money and often emissions in the process,” Evans said. It allows companies, governments and public authorities to re-think how they deliver services and produce goods.
She added: “The quality and scope of the data across the Internet of Things generates an opportunity for much more contextualised and responsive interactions with devices to create a potential for change,” continued Gorski. IoT “doesn’t stop at a screen”.
And this infographic from the New Jersey Institute of Technology explains how the internet of things can save money on an industrial scale. Let us know what you think about it all in the comments section…
You can also find more infographics at Visualistan