Have you heard, the internet’s ‘going viral’.. It’s coming soon to a ‘thing’ near you!
Indeed, the future of integrated IT is here and buzzing, it has a name too: ‘The Internet of Things’ (IoT). If you haven’t already, you’re about to see and hear a lot more of it.. According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020.
As the name suggests, IoT is the ability for ‘things’ to use the internet to communicate with each other in a meaningful way, one that allows them to function together to complete tasks.
Picture this: you step off a plane after weeks of travel, knowing there is little if any food stocks at home.
After walking through the terminal gates you spot the virtual supermarket kiosk with wall-to-wall screens displaying items in a virtual manner.
It takes you all of a minute to wander around, select, scan and pay for the items using your mobile device.
You catch a cab home and your shopping arrives ten minutes after you do.
This scenario is currently being trialled by Woolworth’s in numerous regional outlets across NSW and by Tesco at London’s Gatwick airport where it’s introduction has been particularly well received.
And there’s plenty more examples like it:
- Cisco’s City 24/7 project is replacing redundant public furniture across New York city and providing citizens with real-time city specific information via Smart Screens, like how far away their bus is..
- VISA and MasterCard have done away with the need for a physical credit card by introducing mobile PayWave and PayPass respectively to authorise payments via your smartphone, and Google has brought it all together by offering Google wallet which also allows you to send money via email
- Apple recently released CarPlay which integrates your car’s built-in display with your iPhone. Having teamed up with most of the world’s car manufacturers CarPlay is expected to be available in new 2015 models
But, the idea of IoT isn’t new, in fact the vision has existed since the early days of the Internet. It’s rapid progression recently though has been enabled with breakthroughs in contributing areas such as Nano technology, high strength connectivity and a massive surge in mobile device uptake and development. All of a sudden it has big business entering into new partnerships, alliances and associations in order to empower new business case scenarios.
Connections of sensor-to-machine, machine-to-people (M2P), or machine-to-machine (M2M) have been around for a while but it’s gotten to a point where it’s become cheaper and easier to do. Commercial standards are now being formed around language, framework and protocol with industry leaders vying for position and working hard to progress enabled products and services to market ASAP.
With Google buying Nest, a home thermostat company back in April and Dropcam, a home security company, just a week or so ago, the signs are clear that the online giant intends to ‘join the dots’, starting with the home environment. Just days ago they further opened up Nest to be integrated via its newly shared developer API, allowing a Nest system to be controlled by another device or ‘thing’.. ~ leading by example some might say.
All of this communicating involves electrical and data installation, from motion sensors to data screens and big data control centres. At ComSpark, we’re hungry to enable too, we’re excited also at the prospect of being involved with such innovative projects in the immediate future. Reach out to us for advise or service on your next ground breaking project – you’ll see first hand how we’re ‘more than just electricians’.
Are you and your business looking for IoT opportunities?