Feb 2016 The Internet of Things
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The Internet of Things We’re thinking you’ve probably heard the expression “Internet of Things” before but do you know what it means? The term “Internet of Things” or “IoT” for short has been in use since approximately 2009 as a conceptualization of the possibilities that the Internet could deliver as connectivity increased.
Simply put this is 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 mobile phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. The IoT is a giant network of connected “things”. The new rule for the future is going to be, “anything that can be connected, will be connected.”
But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other?
The result of the ever expanding number of mobile devices is also making consumers feel more connected, and in control. We now expect to be able to communicate and control virtually everything right from our phones or tablets no matter where we are. And you know, what? We can.
Heatmiser currently have apps for your smart phones that will turn the heating down when you leave your house and then turn it back on when you’re on your way home.
Appointments on an Apple iPhone will check the traffic to your next appointment and let you know if you need to leave early.
The reality is that the IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can’t even think of or fully understand the impact of today. It’s not hard to see how and why the IoT is such a hot topic today, it certainly opens the door to a lot of opportunities but also to many challenges.
Challenges Security is the big issue that is oftentimes brought up. With billions of devices being connect together what can people do to make sure that their information stays secure? Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and thereby get access to your entire network? Our advice is to start by protecting your Wi-Fi infrastructure. If someone takes control of your Wi-Fi administration, he or she can take control of your whole system. Choose the best access points, always ensure your firmware is up todate and make sure your password is not the default, because if your Wi-Fi is infiltrated, everything stops.
So what now? Looking back at how quickly the Internet of Things has evolved over the past six years (to put this in perspective, the iPad was introduced just five years ago!), is the “connected home” already a reality or still just a vision for the future? We think it’s here and it's getting bigger very quickly. Thankfully our partners at Control4 have systems that have been controlling and connecting all types of devices in the smart home – from thermostats to AV equipment to lighting, appliances, locks, garage doors, blinds, sprinkler systems, pools and spas, fans and fireplaces. We're lucky we're already on board.
Can we help? I hope this has given you an understanding of what "Internet of Things" means. If you found it useful why not sign up to our full mailing list for all future monthly newsletters and back issues. Lastly if we can be of any help or you would just like to have a chat about any of the above please feel free to call on 0800 878 6168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks Andrew Jackson Co-Founder The Electric Playground