There are approximately over 7 billion people walking the global, almost half of which – 320 billion – are internet users. Just over 270 million of them are within the United States. As our worldwide connectivity continues to grows at an unfaltering rate, not only will people have more connection to people -contributing to more opportunities for economic growth and global collaboration- but more animals, devices and “things” will also be embedded with technology, thus leading to the ever-growing Internet of Things (IoT).
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
IoT is essentially a gigantic network of connected “things” (gadgets, cars, engines, computers, pens, glasses, cities, etc). Gartner describes it as:
“The IoT is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.”
The concept itself signifies the evolution of a global culture; the IoT represents the increasing connectivity among machines, people, and things. It is becoming a new “age/era/ epoch”, another stage of creativity and transformation in human history- The Dark ages, Post Modernism, & now The Internet of Thing.
How does the IoT work
Technology is proliferating at an unprecedented rate. As Google Fiber speeds up broadband in smaller cities, and digital smart collars expands connectivity to more rural and nomadic areas, it is projected that by 2020 there will be 5 billion internet users, out of a global population of 8 billion. In just 5 years more than 2/3 of the population worldwide will be plugged-in. Internet speed is now being suggested as a Human right on Google’s fiber optics website. Their site contains an uploaded video of Kista Grammatis, from A Human Right organization, discussing how increased internet connectivity, reaching more areas of the globe, can help communities educate, connect, grow, and take initiative for themselves.
So will internet connectivity be added to the list of human rights: the right to life, freedom of expression and internet connectivity? In that case, the era of the “IoT” would then be manipulating the definition of human rights, traditionally referring to something that is not possessed by anyone, but the rights inherent to all beings, and therefore would demonstrate how technology is largely contributing to a global etymological shift.
To help understand the whys, hows, pros and cons of the Internet of Things, I have created some bulleted lists below to give readers a quick glance at the ins-and-outs of the IoT:
IoT at a quick glance
What Has Enabled the IoT?
- Broadband internet becoming increasingly more available and accessible
- Decreasing costs
- More devices
- More built-in censors and GPS
- Increase in Smart Phone sales
How will the IoT effect the future
- Everything we do, from how we work to how we live is going to be increasingly affected by this concept
- Any device with a power button will be connected to the internet, making all devices “smart”
- By 2020 over 26 billion “things” will be connected
- Changing relationships from machine-to-machine to People-to-people, people-to-things, and things-to-things will increase
Some Opportunities with the IoT
- Reduces the need to multi-task on menial activities
- Redirects the mundane everyday tasks to “smart” devices and allots humans to more complex tasks, tasks that we can’t even imagine at the moment because they have yet to be created.
- Reduces waste and improves efficiency for Transportation and Cities- The IoT with be making smarter cities
- New job opportunities
- Provides endless opportunities and connections.
The Challenges of the IoT
- Increased security issues
- Privacy and data sharing problems
- An overproduction of Data
- Data storage challenge
By: Kayleigh Stack
Tech Blogger & Market Researcher