By Steve Cerocke
Apple, Microsoft and a host of other technology companies have announced or will be announcing new smart watches, smart phones and other electronic gadgets that will connect to other smart gadgets and to the Internet of Things (IoT). I am not sure this will make anyone smarter, but as you dive into how technology advancements are contributing to our health, security and convenience, it is apparent that the trajectory is towards solutions for human inefficiencies, inadequacies and discomfiture.
Instead of detailing all of the new devices we can expect in 2015, I am going to focus on some trends that are evolving and the impact that they will have on our business and personal lives.
The Internet of Things can be generally defined as the connection of data flowing from devices, sensors and systems to other systems that can collect, analyze and react to the real-time flow of information. Some examples of the IoT would be thermostats in your home that connect to the Internet to store energy usage and to allow for remote control, or the sensors in your car that report back to the dealership to notify of services needed.
The IoT is expected to grow exponentially over the next 10 years. It will influence all of our lives and will affect everything from how we shop, control our environment and manage our health. With smart devices like wearable sensors, phones and imbedded controllers, the amount of data flowing over the Internet and Wi-Fi networks will require advances in big data and applications to make the IoT more and more useful.
Wearable sensors, like those that are coming out in smart watches and medical devices, will be connected to our cell phones so we can monitor our workouts. But it also will be connected to the IoT where the data can be sent to doctors, health monitors and researchers. This data can be used to improve drugs or monitor health trends to improve clinical outcomes.
I have written about smart homes and the technologies that are coming out to control our home and business environments and manage energy usage. The advances in these technologies are helping to save energy and increase security while adding new conveniences.
Entertainment, media and advertising are changing quickly as IoT and cloud services provide new ways for consumers to access digital content from anywhere with any device. Advertisers are able to better collect information on our browsing habits and cloud consumption to target marketing and messaging.
Depending upon your view all of this is either exciting or scary, the question that I ponder is this: are these technology advances making us smarter and giving us more time, or are they simply relieving our boredom and giving us more time for less fulfilling pursuits?
Steve Cerocke, founder/president of IQ Systems Inc., can be reached at 775-352-2301, ext. 1001, or firstname.lastname@example.org.