The Internet of Things (IoT) is a powerful concept that will impact how we live, think and make decisions going into the 2020s. It’s already a hot topic around the world and many companies are starting to incorporate it into their business strategies as well as exploring new ways it can be utilised to make life easier for their customers.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things refers to a new branch of possibilities, playing into the strengths of smartphone design improvements, rapid technological advancements and increased worldwide connectivity.
Affordable internet, coupled with a rise in smartphone accessibility, has essentially set the stage for a new wave of inventive disruption. Incorporating sensors into technology and leaning on the boom of widely available WiFi, inventions such as smart watches, homes, fridges and more are already changing day-to-day interactions across the board.
Increasing Confidence and Government Buy-In
Some analysts have called the alignment of these factors a “perfect storm” for the development of the IoT. In 2016, the UK government showed just how much promise they saw in the development of the IoT sector by opening a research hub as part of a £40 million programme in an effort to propel the UK’s global leadership in the field forward.
Interesting Modern Day Applications of the Internet of Things
While billions of day-to-day connections offer an endless stream of possibilities around what the IoT could achieve in years to come, there are already some forward-looking innovations that have affected the way in which we interact with humans, machines and “things” these days, including:
Smart Higher Education
- Drenthe College in the Netherlands installed over 500 Bluetooth-enabled sensors across their campus to detect empty classrooms and predict which rooms might be available in the future.
- The CHARIOT programme at the University of South California is using cameras and wristband sensors to record the emotional and cognitive states of students in order to optimise and personalise their learning plans.
Smart Transportation and Logistics
- Some of Virgin Atlantic’s planes have their components linked to a network, providing real-time data about their performance over each flight.
- Transport companies like UPS are using smart technology and IoT to learn more about the behaviour of their drivers, as well as to improve their carbon footprint.
- Rolls Royce and Microsoft recently banded together to develop smart engines that better assist with providing data for car maintenance and repair.
- Smart inhalers for asthma sufferers provide usage data directly to a smartphone, while also making predictions about the allergens in the air.
- Newer baby monitors give real time information about how well your baby is sleeping, as well as their body temperature, activity levels in the night and more.
Many of us have already been introduced to smart wearables through a fitness device like Fitbit, which monitors your workouts, gives you information about calories burned, provides comparative data on previous workouts, as well as offering AI coaching to help keep you motivated.
The Nymi wristband, which is a payment system you can use to shop without having any human interaction in a store, uses your unique cardiac rhythm to verify who you are. This means you no longer have to carry a wallet when you go shopping, and even if the device goes missing nobody else is able to use it.
A Forward Thinking Career Path For Graduates
The IoT is opening up new possibilities for economies of all shapes and sizes. It is creating an increased demand for specialists who have the correct skills to assist with nurturing its potential, studying it with a view towards improving it, while working to utilise smart technologies for the betterment of society.
Automation may eliminate a fair share of traditional administrative jobs, but IT specialists and web developers will continue to be high demand in the immediate future. The IoT will also create a lot of jobs in the cyber security field, which is becoming an increasingly popular field for graduates to consider.
LynxPro, a specialist online platform for tech contractors that works with some of the most forward-thinking IoT employers in the UK, is a great place for you to get started.