What if every appliance in your house could talk? Well, not in the creepy Night Rider kind of way, but what if they were connected to you and connected to each other? That type of everyday automation is exactly what companies like Blackberry, Google, and General Electric are trying to develop.
Your home is currently filled with little devices and home products working independently to make your life easier; the alarm clock gets set, the coffee pot brews, and the car starts. The Internet of Things, or IoT, or Internet of Everything, or whatever current buzz phrase is popular, aims to get all of those devices; your keys, your radio, even your toaster, all talking to one another on a central network to remove you from the equation. Here are a few fun ways this revolutionary concept may play out:
- Your coffee pot may eventually save your life.Yes, you heard me right - your coffee maker may eventually sense if you have not walked into the room to grab your morning cup of joe and alert a family member, caregiver, or proper authorities to make sure you are alright.
- Inanimate objects will come alive. Cupboards will open as you near, windows will adjust according to the temperature outside, and when your guests arrive the front door will usher them in.
- The IoT will increase energy efficiency and decrease wasteful habits. Imagine if your sprinkler system was connected to moisture sensors as opposed to a timer. How much water could be conserved if they only turned on when necessary? Same goes for your furnace, water heater, air conditioner and so on. No longer a function of time, energy efficiency is heightened to match your habits, the weather, and various other precise measurements.
- Turn your home into and invisible Fort Knox. No need for tazers and barbed wire to keep all family members safe and sound, simply have your security system converse directly with the police department and neighborhood watch. Worried about your valuables? No problem because your wall safe will text you when someone spins the combination. Worried about Sparkles running off with the tom cat down the street? That's cool, just program her collar to link to the GPS on your smart phone.
While this much monitoring may feel like an invasion of privacy, the overarching goal of The Internet of Things is to decrease the amount of devices currently required to operate your home. Daily activities you execute by hand today (i.e. setting your alarm clock ) will be replaced with a kind of electronic household symphony tomorrow. All of your devices will work in harmony freeing up precious time you didn't even know you were missing!