We are on the cusp of a network revolution. The industry magazines are full of articles about it. The growth is going to be phenomenal; it’s going to change our lives.
Companies that ride the wave of this are going to make millions. It will be a 15 trillion dollar business within 20 years.
In fact, John Chambers, former Cisco CEO, claimed “that it will be five to ten times more impactful than the internet has been to date.”
Sounds fantastic, what is it and how do I buy some shares? But, if it’s going to be that big; how come none of my friends have heard about it?
The Internet of Things or IoT is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without human interaction.
The ‘thing’ is therefore anything you want to monitor, search for, manage or control. This is also sometimes called the Internet of Everything.
Remember the popular smart home concept from a few years ago where we were told that as we empty the fridge or kitchen cupboard, the items we used would be automatically added to the shopping list and turn up on our doorstep with the next grocery delivery?
That’s the sort of scenario enabled by IoT. Want to remotely turn on or off the lights, home heating, hot water or see how much water, electricity or gas you are using in real time and be able to make choices about discretionary demand decisions to save money?
For businesses the opportunity is to lower cost through improved processes and visibility of objects so that business decisions can be made based on real time information. That’s all enabled by IoT.
Keith Ashton from Proctor and Gamble put it this way “We need to empower computers with their own means of gathering information, so they can see, hear and smell the world for themselves, in all its random glory.
RFID (radio frequency identification) and sensor technology enable computers to observe, identify and understand the world - without the limitations of human-entered data.”