Things, what things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term that been around for a few years now and is certainly not a recent revolution – but its importance is becoming greater and will only continue to become greater. As the incredibly unimaginative name suggests, the IoT is literally things… connected to the internet. But what things?

Thanks for all the GIPHY

Well really, any modern physical device, machine, appliance, vehicle, or sensor (etc. etc. – the list goes on) can be considered a ‘thing’ – the possibilities are endless. All of these smart devices, from a microwave to a factory machine, can be interconnected in order to exchange data. The applications of IoT are endless – anything from the home to industrial factories.

Why the f#*k would I need data about my microwave?!

Alright, whilst the microwave example sounds silly, the point is valid. In the environment of a smart home, data about your home appliances could be so useful. For example, if a ‘smart’ fridge was malfunctioning, it could alert the owner to book an engineer to fix the problem, – or better yet, book the engineer automatically (queue the “is your refrigerator running“ joke). A smart home can automate the temperature, control lighting, optimise ventilation and improve energy efficiency. In a nutshell, having devices around the home interconnected via the IoT will make the lives of the residents a whole lot easier, smoother, and stress-free. But what about the business environment?

Thanks for all the GIPHY

The Future of Business Technology

If I were to go into detail about every aspect of IoT applications in the business world, this blog would become a novel – but here are a couple key benefits.

First of all, IoT enhances customer service and product design. From the customer point of view, the more data companies know about customer habits and preferences, the more they can tailor their products towards them. While this is beneficial for consumers, it’s equally advantageous for businesses – knowledge is power. Businesses can push out promotions and discounts to their customers in order to encourage loyalty and gain that competitive edge. On such example of this technology is Flok, who use data to build customer loyalty.

Another advantage of interconnection is increased efficiency in production through digital control systems. For example, in manufacturing, statistical data obtained from automated processes can be used to dynamically manage assets across a whole plant in order to predict maintenance and improve energy efficiency, all in real time.

Any Concerns?

Naturally, with the sheer volume of data that is produced through IoT devices, privacy and security it the biggest concern. Internet-enabled devices can be hacked, and this is a problem. As it is estimated that there will be over 75 billion IoT devices by 2025, this is obviously a priority – as everyone will be affected.