What every business needs to know about the Internet Of Things
You might have heard a lot of buzz about “The Internet of Things” lately – but what is it? We find out how this mysteriously-named phenomenon will change the way we do business.
What is the Internet of Things?
The idea behind the Internet of Things is to get every appliance connected to the internet. This will let them share data, work together and make life easier for you – not least because you’ll be able to control everything around the home or office using a smartphone.
What’s with the strange name?
British technology pioneer Kevin Ashton coined the phrase in a 2009 article entitled “That ‘Internet of Things’ Thing” and it stuck. Other names for it include the Smart Home, the Connected Home and the verging-on-ridiculous Cloud of Things.
What “things” does it include?
Pretty much everything. In the home, you can already buy fridges that run Android and tell you what you need to stock up on by sending you an alert. Nest is another example of smart home tech- this thermostat system establishes patterns based on the temperatures you set at different times, so it can build a personalised home heating schedule to keep your home warm at the times that best suit you. Even the entertainment and navigation systems in cars are increasingly net-based. Everything from your garage door to your bath will one day be smart. And yes, there’s even a smart toilet out there already.
For both home and work, you can already buy printers that are hooked up to your Wi-Fi network, televisions that use the internet to broadcast on-demand content and phones that make calls over the internet (VoIP). Connected devices are helping to make the way we both live and work much more efficient.
What’s good about it for business?
All these smart devices will use the data they collect about you and your business to automate more and more, which frees you up to spend more time doing other things and helps provide a more efficient service to your clients and customers. It’s also good for the environment (not to mention the bottom line), with smart energy meters and thermostats making energy use more efficient.
But what about security?
By its very nature, the Internet of Things will mean that a lot of data is shared between devices online. Every appliance you connect to the internet becomes a potential entry point for web criminals, so you will need to build robust network security. One way you can do this is by beefing up data encryption and ensuring that no one can access your connected devices, without the necessary security clearance.
Find out more about how smart connected devices can help you work on the go, even when you lose signal.