The Internet of Things is still in its infancy as a phenomenon. Despite this, its rate of expansion, adaptability, ingenuity and scope is startling. Companies are developing more and more ways for us to connect. Within the next five years, sensors will likely have permeated every aspect of our lives, from our refrigerators to our shoes. The world's IT infrastructure will be supporting a trillion devices, big and small.
The challenges we face in this area are still great - security being at the top of the list. Supporting the billions of connected devices through a stable network infrastructure is another. Soon enough, if all goes well, the phenomenon will be more than a trending hashtag - it will be a way of being in the world. With that bright future in mind, let's look at some of the aspects of your daily life that the Internet of Things may influence.
First and foremost, the home. Smart, connected appliances are what people think of when they hear IoT. They imagine an intelligent house, programmed to save energy and make your life a more convenient one. Alarm clocks will be synced with traffic apps; heating systems will be synced with external temperature sensors, which will be synced with cost evaluations; lighting will react as we enter a room, as might our coffee makers. It all sounds so alien to us, but there are plenty such homes that already exist.
Next, IoT will have a drastic effect on waste management. With the seamless integration of light, heat and air conditioning that reacts to you, a lot of money could be saved on those bills. For food, anything you don't eat in your fridge will be recorded so you can examine trends and patterns.
Thirdly, we have our daily commute. Imagine you left your home without your house key - your house would tell you this. Our cars will anticipate our approach and open themselves via a sensor in our phones. Intelligent traffic detection will allow our device to direct us to the shortest route to work/ home. Taxi services for business meetings will be planned according to your calendar - synced with your smartphone.
For personal health, the possibilities are even more extensive. 3d-printed wristbands for reading vital signs are already in development. With the long list of wearables already in circulation, we can track even more: sleeping patterns, nutritional balance, GP visits and check-up schedules, exercise programmes, etc. To keep you safe, sensors around your city will also alert you to any potential dangers including traffic accidents, proximity alerts around your vehicle, bad weather, and more.
In sport, IoT devices and wearables will be all about performance efficiency. You'll be able to track your progress, errors, power, agility, overall cariovascular fitness level and any variable you can imagine. Whether for cycling, tennis, or football, all can make use of sensors - and they will use them to their full effect.
The examples above demonstrate the limitless potential of the Internet of Things. The more creative we are with sensors, the more valuable the data we will gather. If trends in development are anything to go by, the best is yet to come.