The “Internet of Things” (IoT) refers to the ability of connected devices to transmit data between one another. Effectively, this allows devices to communicate with one another and automate tasks. For example, say your digital calendar notices that you are running late to lunch with a friend through information obtained from your car’s location; your phone could then use this information–from the calendar and location of your car–to send a text message to your friend telling them that you’re running late. IoT is expected to grow at an increasingly high rate in the upcoming years: it is expected to grow at an annual rate of 28.7% between 2020 to 2025 (1).
IoT applications in the home have been popular among technology companies, such as Amazon. Here is a summary of current smart home devices on the market and their uses:
Echo Show with Phillips Hue Light Bulb
The echo show can play music, TV shows, movies, and video call. The device also is able to use IoT to turn on specific lights per the user’s request.
Amazon Smart Plug
The smart plug works with Amazon’s Alexa in order to turn off any device that uses an outlet. The user uses voice to turn an appliance, light, or device on or off. The user can also schedule or remotely turn devices on or off.
Alexa acts as the “brain” of the smart home. Alexa is able to connect to all of the following shown below.
Going forward IoT’s capabilities will be increased by future innovations in big data and machine learning. There have been some concerns with IoT due to its security. For example, some have concerns that Alexa “has been eavesdropping on users conversations.” As technology companies continue to develop IoT devices, they will have to have processes or capabilities that allow users to indicate their preferences for privacy. Personally, I’m very interested in where IoT will go and how the smart-home will continue to evolve.
- Images obtained from Amazon.com