By 2015, six billion objects in the world will be connected to the internet. While it may seem tricky to grasp as a concept, the internet of things is nothing simpler, and more stunning, ...
The internet of things relies on information travelling from one point to another, and it’s easiest to see the potential for this when you consider the impact of information flowing from YOU to an object.
Nest is a great example of this. A thermostat that you can actually communicate with, saving money and energy on heating in the home. Instead of just setting your thermostat at the start of winter and probably never touching it again, now you can text your thermostat with Nest, for example telling it if you’re going to be out for the evening unexpectedly, so there’s no need to turn the heating on.
Objects communicating with each other
What we’re starting to see emerge is that instead of one object connected to an owner, or a single trigger, objects are connecting with each other to allow a new type of communication. An innovative product on the market in this area is the Good Night Lamp. A network of objects consists of a ‘master’ lamp connected to mini lamps, so that when the master lamp turned on, all or some of the other lamps light up.
Internet of Things in the body
As well as seeing advances in the internet of things around us, we’re seeing connected objects move onto us and even into us. Nike is one of the most high-profile brands experimenting with the internet of things, seen first with their launch of the Fuelband, which tracks you as you go without you having to do anything. Simply slip it on your wrist and access a whole load of information based on your movements. And now they’re about to launch Fuelband 2, which will integrate Bluetooth 4.0. This will enable the Fuelband to improve their API, to allow apps and games to access data and use accordingly. It will also feature a heart rate monitor, because why not??
This is where the internet of things perhaps gets its most exciting. Your body is now an API and you can gather and transmit data that can be used for fun in the form of exercise, but also to help improve our health. The internet of things in the body enables data to be transmitted to other services. And with any development in wearable technology we need to look beyond the immediate, basic use – i.e. a bracelet that tells you how many steps you took that day, and into what we can do with that data that’s being gathered. So why not have a heart monitor that could automatically put a call through to emergency services if your heart rate reaches critical levels.