Are you ready to talk to plants, animals, machines, living or non-living any object?
Yiğit Kulabaş, PhD*
The initial use of electricity was for lighting. Yet, every innovation is a trigger of new ones. Electricity is no doubt one of the groundbreaking innovations that completely changed the world. It did not only transform itself, but also embedded itself in other objects and likewise transformed them by time. Meat safe transformed itself into refrigerator, charcoal iron broke its chains. Production, trade, management and urban life were revolutionized. Now we discuss over electric cars. This transformation has been continuing for more than 100 years now.
The development of the Internet is just as same as the electricity’s and yes the Internet is just another innovation that revolutionizes the world. It made its introduction with computers, then suddenly it jumped into our phones and made them smarter. It didn’t stop and partnered up with tablets, televisions and many more. Soon the devices you can’t think of right now will be working with the Internet. By 2020 there will be more than 50 billion devices that have ability to communicate due to the Internet.
Let’s have a look at 10 things you need to know to understand the Internet of Things.
1) #TheInternetofThings (IoT): Sensors are getting cheaper, interfaces are much easier, screens are basically everywhere and thereby even the ordinary objects have senses and ability to socialize. Soon we will be talking to our devices not only as a way of remote control or saving up but also just for fun and convenience.
2) #WearableTechnologies: First our phones got smart, then our watches and glasses. Today we are able to track our sleep quality, count our footsteps, check how many calories we burnt, track our daily route with our smart wristbands and this is only the beginning. Soon technology will be in different forms and shapes. It will be wearable, washable, drivable, enclosable, and portable. This transformation will no doubt affect many sectors such as healthcare, retail, sports, travel, clothing and many more.
3) #SmartHome: Smart home solutions offer four main things for people: security, energy management, comfort and fun. It is possible to heat the oven, switch on the heating, basically create the perfect atmosphere for yourself while you are on your way to home since smart home enables all objects at home to communicate with themselves, other systems and the household.
4) #Industry 4.0: Industrial world is in transformation. Since machines, production lines, raw material, spare parts, systems and eventually products are able to communicate with each other, every stage of production is about to change. A new era awaits us, where costs will decline, whilst quality and production volume will be better and more efficient.
5) #SmartCities: Energy, healthcare, security, transportation, education, water, sewerage system and many more aspects of cities are in transformation to become smart. The number of smart cities built from scratch raises continuously, whilst existing cities are in transformation.
6) #SmartTransportation: Self-driving cars are the trend topic for couple years now. Yet, smart transportation is not only about autonomous cars but also includes bridges, roads, and traffic signs. Transportation doesn’t only transform itself, it also triggers the transformation of other sectors by getting smarter. For example, the number of trucks that return without carrying any goods are declining. Logistics are changing, drivers who don’t pay attention to traffic rules face with more expensive insurance policies.
7) #SmartAgriculture: Most of us dream of engaging in gardening and agriculture after we retire. Why do you wait till retirement? Why don’t you start now? Today it is possible to remote control your agriculture acts. You can interact with the soil, water, and your crop. It is more than activating the sprinkler system. The sensors on the roots provides you all the information from humidity and temperature levels to total weight of your crop and best time for fertilization. Basically you don’t have to actively engage in agriculture to take care of your crop. Now you have the convenience to water your plants at home whilst you are on holiday.
8) #Animals: The Internet influenced husbandry as well. It is possible to track the nourishment, physical activities, reproduction of animals and much more. You can track your pets at home with their smart collars, control their nourishment plan and video chat with them while you are away.
9) #TheInternetofButtons: The Internet of Buttons is one of the important advancements to trigger the Iot an turn it into our normal. We press a tiny button to ring the bell, press another one to switch on the TV, and another one to call the stewardess. Basically buttons are everywhere in our lives. Buttons make their way to the Internet instead of cables. There are many astonishing examples about the IoB. Amazon Dash is just one of them. You push the dash you placed on your washing machine to order detergent.
10) #TheInternetofLight: What about talking to lamps and light? It is possible now with a project by Carrefour and Philips. Your phone interacts with the lighting system in the market to guide you the aisles you want to go or to products with deals that you can be interested in.
* Yiğit Kulabaş is a businessman, academician and author. He is the CEO and founding partner of RE/Design Business. This article of him is translated from Capital. It was published in January 2017.