The idea of connected devices has been around since the 1970’s, which back then was referred to as the “embedded internet” or “pervasive computing”. It wasn’t until 1999 that the term “Internet of Things” was coined by Kevin Ashton during his tenure at Procter & Gamble.
Despite this, IoT is still very much in its infancy. According to a report by IDC on IoT investments, by the end of the year cross-industry cases will reach $86 billion. From an IoT perspective this would catapult it to be the second largest industry.
With IoT products we now have extended control over appliances, door locks and lights. From the office, to home, life as we know it is being reshaped by the Internet of Things. This doesn’t just stop here though, business processes become more streamlined, connecting us more thoroughly to the systems, people and environments that shape our lives.
Products such as smart refrigerators, door locks controlled by smartphones and home thermostats have all gained serious momentum in the last few years. With the IoT you can spend less time micro-managing your house and more time living in it, as a smart home is full of products that understand your preferences and foresee your everyday needs.
In the future, the rise of smart cities will lead the way in regard to IoT growth. Smart home technology will benefit from these cities, allowing them to become more elegant, intelligent and secure. Google Home and Amazon Echo provided the first big step in advances for IoT devices becoming mainstream appliances for new generations of homes.
It is estimated that companies around the world are on track to spend roughly $5 trillion on the IoT industry over the next four years, causing disruption for businesses, governments and consumers.
Jeremy M. Williams of Vyudu Inc. believes that IoT will one day replace the web, “The physical world and the digital world are merging together as one everyday; and the more our physical products sense and react to our needs, the more alive they become. Our digital world is now responding and changing along with our physical world, thus we are in essence making our physical world a programmable paradise. Over the next 3-5 years, I expect that we’ll see more and more legacy grade systems such as HVAC (heating, venting, and A/C systems) becoming cyber enabled or in other words IoT integrated. Security will become the most important component of IoT so the users of tomorrow must make their voices heard by demanding that key security features be included in all smart products. “
IoT still has many more exciting developments to come, with the best still being at least 10 years away, and even then that will only be the tip of the iceberg.