A topic that has been increasingly growing is the Internet of Things (IoT), in both the workplace and outside of it. IoT is a concept that has the impact to change the way we live and work, but what exactly is it?
Forbes.com describes it as, “the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.” In other words, the IoT is a giant network of connected “things”, whether that be people to people, people to things, or things to things.
“The new rule for the future is going to be, ‘anything that can be connected, will be connected'”(Forbes.com, 2015). But why would we want so many devices connected to one another. It seems like it would be too much of a reliant mess. The potential value of having everything connected might outweigh the bad. For example, say your alarm goes off at 6 am and it notifies your coffee machine to start brewing, so by the time you reach the kitchen you have freshly made coffee. Or what if there was a wearable device that monitored your productivity? What if your office supplies was running low and you received a notification that new supplies was already being reordered?
There are already wearable devices that can monitor your sleep and activity, but what if monitoring your food intake became easier too? Ikea is already working on developing a smart kitchen to show you how much of something you’re eating and gives you recipe ideas.
The reality is that as technology further develops the concept of IoT is going to dominate our lives in and outside of work. The future impact of IoT is something that we can only dream of right now. It is not hard to understand on why this is such a discussed topic. IoT opens the door for a lot of opportunities and challenges. One concern mainly being, security. There are already many pressing issues on privacy and data sharing, so how will it be if someone can hack your refrigerator and get all of your personal information? Large companies also face large threats with the IoT. With all the vast amounts of data from all of the different devices, how can we store, track, analyze, and make sense of it? We can only imagine how conversations and concerns will elevate in the future, but one can only assume it will be aw-worthy. The only thing we can do right now is educate ourselves as best as possible to understand what is currently available.
Just imagine your home turning into the Disney Classic, Smart House.