Why ‘The Internet of Things’ is Not Just The New Buzz-Word

By: Sofie De Beule

January 21, 2014

CES 2014
smart applications
the internet of things
wearable tech

If you’re a techie, chances are high you’ve seen the term ‘The Internet of Things’ pop up numerous times in your online news reader over the last few months. News reports from CES 2014 spoiled us with various types of wearable tech consequently fueling ‘The Internet of Things’.

The tech world gradually builds ‘the home of the future’, completed with automated appliances and helper bots, in our intensely connected world. ‘The Internet of Things’ is clearly not a new buzzword forced upon us by the marketing world and is obviously meant to stay. But how will it make our lives better? Or more importantly, how will it make your life better?

What Should You Know About ‘The Internet of Things’?

Since ‘The Internet of Things’ is too long of a term to pronounce in just one breath, abbreviations like IoT or Thingternet are on the uprise. ‘The Internet of Things’ is the new evolution in tech where every object in people’s lives is web-connected and communicates with each other.

Compare it to your own personal home network of appliances and objects. Smartphones already guide us through the day with several apps to keep us in shape, remind us what to buy in the grocery store, etc. But, how useful would it be to control our coffee machine and heating system with the touch of a smartphone without even setting foot in the door? ‘The Internet of Things’ will soon do the trick.

Some people in the tech business refer to it as the possibility to create your own personal digital ‘nanny’ to control almost every element of your life through apps or a web browser. The concept is not just ‘the new kid on the block’. Last week’s announcement of Google acquiring Nest proves this market is in full development mode.

How Should Businesses Prepare Themselves for ‘The Internet of Things’?

Although ‘The Internet of Things’ primarily focuses on consumer technology dominated by gadgets like smart watches, enterprises already felt the impact over the last couple of years. Here’s how companies should take the time to develop a strategy and response to IoT:

  • Nowadays, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy encourages the average working person to only have one or two devices. With ‘The Internet of Things’, BYOD should become more widespread to ensure a seamless configuration of personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Prepare employees to be hands-on and capable of managing more connected, communicative devices than an entire department did a couple of years ago. People will not only make their entire home web-connect and use it for personal benefits, office intelligence will benefit from it too.
  • Rather than playing a game of catch-up, already include IoT in your future budgets to leave your company some space to invest in it. With most shifts in technology, organizations that use it to their advantage from an early stage will lead the pack.

What Can We Expect for the Future?

2014 is definitely the year ‘The Internet of Things’ becomes visible in our everyday lives. Therefore, in the following months, the tech industry (most likely startups) will start claiming their share of the ‘Internet of Things’ market.

Some tech people even predict IoT will become more central to society than the internet as we know it today. Although the web will survive like email has survived the arrival of the web, its role will probably be reduced in the future. Nonetheless, it’s definitely exciting to see what the future brings!