Daily life has been getting a lot smarter. Smartphones, smart TVs and even smart fridges are replacing their “dumb” counterparts as more and more everyday items connect to the internet. You may have heard the phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT) thrown around in conversation about these gadgets. It’s a growing point of discussion, but what does it mean, and what are some Internet of Things examples?
What Is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is the concept of connecting everything, including vast amounts of data, to the internet. It takes advantage of online communication to make your life easier by sending information, gathering information or both. It’s giving all aspects of daily life the smartphone treatment.
As with most innovations, some concerns about the IoT still exist. But even though questions of security remain, the IoT is rapidly growing. It’s already all around you. Here are just seven out of nearly countless examples of the Internet of Things.
1. Smart Homes
The smart home is one of the most common examples of IoT. This category encompasses devices like the Google Home and Amazon’s Echo that allow you to control things such as your lights and heat from your phone. Some smart home applications will even help secure your home with connected locks and cameras.
2. Connected Cars
Talking cars are no longer just a character in Knight Rider. Many models available today are already Amazon-Alexa-enabled. While the automobile industry is often slow to pick up on new trends, connected cars are likely not far off from becoming mainstream. The rise of tech-focused companies like Tesla means you may see increasingly more connected vehicles on the road.
You’re almost certainly familiar with wearable tech. Wearables like Fitbits and Apple Watches have been around for quite some time, and they can do anything from measuring your blood pressure to tracking your sleep patterns to giving you the function of your phone on your wrist. The convenience and ease of use of these devices make wearables one of the most popular IoT examples.
4. Smart Retail
Online shopping is nothing new, but there are more IoT applications for retail than just eCommerce. Stores can use devices such as iBeacons to advertise on your phone while you’re in-store. Retailers can create apps for their customers that offer exclusive deals. The IoT provides countless opportunities for brick and mortar stores to keep up in the digital world.
5. Connected Agriculture
Connected agriculture, also called smart farming, enables farmers to use IoT technology to run farms more efficiently. They can apply sensors to monitor weather conditions or livestock activity without a farmer having to be physically present. Drones can spray pesticides over vast areas of land far quicker than it would be to do the same job by hand. Connected agriculture can reduce risk and improve efficiency for farmers, which in turn reduces the cost of the farm products you use every day.
6. Smart Factories
Factories have used machines to optimize their work for generations, but IoT takes automation one step further. Smart technologies in different departments can communicate with each other to ensure a cohesive workflow, and sensors can significantly improve the safety of self-driving vehicles moving material through the factory. Like with agriculture, IoT technology in factories can revolutionize the efficiency and safety of the industry.
7. Connected Health
Connected health includes things like tools for you to speak directly with a healthcare professional and ways to monitor your health. Wearables can help you keep your body in check. If you notice something is wrong, telemedicine apps will allow you to contact a doctor quickly and discreetly. It’s no wonder that millions of people are taking advantage of these technologies. Connected health can bring you closer to the care you need without you even having to leave your house.
Our Future With the Internet of Things
You can already Internet of Things examples throughout your life. While the terminology may still be foreign to many, the concept is not. As technology develops, the IoT will grow safer and larger, making the world a much smaller, more connected place.