The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a movement where an increasing number of physical products are being connected to the Internet.
By 2020, the IDC projects that the Internet of Things will include nearly 212 billion devices. When it comes to how we’re connecting our physical and digital worlds, we’re clearly in a revolution. The implications are remarkable.
While the Internet of Things is still in its nascent stages, it’s fun to think about various applications, particularly with products you might already own.
I like to think about IoT applications as having two different types:
- Things you control through the Internet
- Things you observe through the Internet
That said, here is a list of the top five Internet of Things applications:
5. Home Appliances
When home appliances break down, it can disrupt your life. Too expensive to throw away and sometimes too difficult to fix on our own, we rely on handymen or the manufacturer to fix our HVAC, our washing machines, or our dishwashers.
The Internet of Things will allow your technician to diagnose problems without requiring a service call. Your technician can understand if something is about to break before it breaks. You’ll capture better data which, over time will lead to more efficient products and product usage.
This is a hot category right now. Samsung, GE, and other major appliance makers have started releasing early generation connected appliances for smarter servicing.
4. Your Car
Active air suspension and climate control adjustment? Advanced personalization settings for your audio system? Rich data about gasoline or energy usage? Pretty awesome.
What about car servicing? Similar to you home appliances, when your car breaks down, it can be devastating! Here are a few IoT applications for cars:
- More easily monitor how many miles are on your tires
- Receive better notification when certain services are needed
- Notification when your 16-year old is driving 95+ mph.
- Tracking where your car is located at all times.
Example: Tesla boasts one of the world’s most advanced vehicle user interfaces.
3. Your Locks
Being able to remotely control who enters your living space, or who accesses your garage or bicycle is quite convenient.
From letting in family members and pet sitters to house sitters, service technicians and guests, smart and remote access to your locks can save you peace of mind, and often a trip home!
2. Your Pet
We want to keep track of the things we love the most. Pets require a lot of attention, care and protection. Knowing where they are and being able to monitor their health are some of the immediate applications that come to mind.
We’re already seeing several companies provide pet tracking via GPS, but health monitoring is an emerging application for the connected pet.
Example: Check out FitBark.
1. Your Health
When our stuff breaks down, that’s one thing.
When our loved ones or our own selves break down, that’s another thing. I believe the biggest Internet of Things application will be various aspects of your health.
And when I say health, I’m not just talking about activity trackers like Fitbit. I’m talking about specific health monitoring, like heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and oxygen saturation. Think about an army of virtual doctors monitoring your health levels to detect problems before systems even present themselves.
Example: Check out Google’s smart contact lens project.