Thursday, November 9, 2017

Three Ways You’ve Already Encountered IoT

There’s a lot of chatter around the Internet of Things (IoT), with it being one of the biggest technology buzzwords at the moment. But sometimes with great chatter comes great confusion (that’s how that saying goes, right?)–It seems that even though most people know about IoT, they don’t fully understand the implications and applications IoT can have for businesses and individuals alike.

Let’s start off with a quick recap: IoT is the interconnection of devices that allows for collection of data and communication between devices (here’s a great video explanation if you’re dying for more). IoT–when applied to devices and appliances–can help make everyday tasks a lot smoother. What you might not realize is that more than likely, you have already encountered IoT. Here are three ways IoT is being used in everyday technologies (some of which you may even own yourself!).

Home Appliances–Small and Large
More and more of the appliances and devices that we interact with everyday are using IoT to make life easier, and even if you haven’t made the leap into buying your own smart appliances, I guarantee you’ve seen them in action on TV (Did you see the refrigerator that can send lists to your phone to let you know what to buy at the store, or the washers and dryers that can text you to let you know that your clothes are done?) Applying IoT capabilities to appliances is the perfect way to help you become more efficient with your day. And it’s not just large household appliances that are catching on to IoT technology–you have the capability to use your phone or any other device to control lights in your home, your alarm, or your garage door. No more turning around if you think you left the garage door open or a bathroom light on, you can simply check your phone and fix it with a tap.

Nest and Home Security
Nest is one of the companies that sparked the IoT+Home Appliance trend. Nest–an all-in-one thermostat and home security system–offers all sorts of smart functionalities, ranging from controlling the overall temperature in your home to sensing if someone is in the room and automatically adjusting the temperature in order to use energy most efficiently. For the security aspect, Nest uses cameras and sensors to let you know that someone is near the outside of your house and sends a picture to your phone to let you know who’s there. Nest definitely started a trend, with more home security providers (such as Ring) beginning to work IoT into their systems. Home security has never been more connected.

Echo, Alexa, Google Home, etc.
So once you’ve got your home all decked out with IoT-enabled appliances, how are you supposed to control them all? Well, besides the manufacturers’ smartphone apps, your options are growing: Echo, Alexa, Google Home are all devices that allow you to control your smart home with just a quick voice command. So instead of getting up from your couch when you start a movie, you can say “Alexa–dim the lights”, and when you get a little chilly: “Hey Google–set the temperature to 72 degrees”. Invest in one of these countertop technologies and you’re essentially getting a personal assistant–one that will schedule events, start the wash, dim the lights, and even tell you jokes. IoT is not only infiltrating home life, but enhancing it.