We’re all familiar with the Internet, which connects our computers, smartphones, and tablets to others around the world. It’s how you’re reading this article right now. But lately, you may have been hearing more about the Internet of Things, a concept that’s been steadily gaining buzz over the last few years.
What is the Internet of Things? That’s what we’re here today to learn. If the Internet connects computers and you to those computers, the Internet of Things connects, well, things.
In the Internet of Things, everyday devices are upgraded with a computer chip that makes them smart and gives them Internet connectivity which lets them communicate with other smart objects and you, the user. Thanks to this smartness, Internet of Things products give the user controls that would not normally be possible.
– being able to turn the device on or off from anywhere with an Internet connection
– set and adjust timers or other functions
– and even get diagnostic reports back from the device
So exactly what kinds of products can become part of the Internet of Things?
The short answer is almost any appliance or electronic device in your home. If it runs on electricity or can benefit from any monitoring sensor, a version can be made that connects to the Internet of Things.
That includes everything from the lights in your kitchen to the sprinkler on your lawn. Giving devices smart functionality makes our interactions with them more convenient and helps them operate more efficiently, which can help us save time and energy, and in turn, money.
A great example would be the nest thermostat which allows you to control the temperature in your home from anywhere you have an internet connection. This can save a lot of money on heating and cooling costs every year.
We can keep applying these basic concepts to just about anything in the home, with a front door deadbolt that unlocks when your smartphone gets within a few feet to lights that turn on and off exactly when you need.
If there’s ever a moment when you want to hear a specific song, a simple command to your Google home or Amazon echo, which is connected to your wireless audio system, will begin playing your song of choice which is being streamed from your smartphone.
And these are just a handful of examples of what Internet of Things devices are capable of. It might sound unbelievable, but it’s a pretty fair statement to say that if you can imagine a way to automate something to make your life easier, the Internet of Things can probably help you get it done.