Have you noticed that more and more products are being integrated with Wifi or cellular networks? Internet-connected cars, kitchens, televisions, watches, gasoline pumps, car washes, refrigerators, vending machines, the list goes on and on. What’s going on here?
The truth is that the proliferation of wireless connectivity has allowed innovators to go to the next level. Soon, the Internet won’t be a connector between digital spaces, it will also connect digital data with millions of physical items. Sensors embedded in physical objects will be linked through wireless networks, churning out huge volumes of data that flow to computers for analysis.
The implications are huge. As IBM phrases it, “The planet itself—natural systems, human systems, physical objects—have always generated an enormous amount of data, but until recent decades, we weren’t able to hear it, to see it, to capture it.“ That’s exactly what the Internet of Things will allow us to do, capture more data than ever before and turn it into future improvements, all without human interaction.
It could become a staple of every kind of organization, ranging from small businesses selling goods to governmental agencies providing services. Companies like Google and Apple have been working in the Internet of Things for years, just look at Nest and iWatch as examples.
Of course, there are limitations that business owners, politicians, and consumers will have to consider. Data security will be a primary concern as connected devices proliferate, especially since there will be over 50 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020.
Storage will also be a serious consideration, especially in large population centers where data center space is already at a premium. Big Data is already spurring a conversation among regulators and organizations, and this conversation will only become more urgent over time.
As William Gibson famously said: “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Is the Internet of Things affecting your business yet?
In our next blog post, we’ll discuss a case study that examines the rise of the Internet of Things.