Also known as “smart everything,” the Internet of Things (IoT) is grabbing headlines across the industry. As any great new technology, it comes wrapped in shiny paper that touts it as the solution for all things connected, be it the online tracking of the merchandise in a truck across the continent, the automatic sensing of the color of toast in the toaster, or measuring the number of steps walked in a day.
Looking beyond the hype and avoiding the scary potential of hackers taking over the fridge, this technology makes perfect sense for many uses.1 At the 2014 International CES, major industry players showed off their most recent toys (in some cases, literally) that benefit from this technology: wristbands and other wearables for medical, sports, and wellbeing applications; home appliances ranging from light control to the fridge; and even connected cars. While this market is still young, there is clear momentum driven by growing consumer adoption.
Although the IoT concept is loosely defined, it generally refers to applications working on the principle of distributed and remote collection of environmental data followed by limited local processing, then making the result available to the “world” via some sort of shared access to the Internet for further processing and aggregation. Applications in different domains include: … (Read more)