Internet of things

How will IoT impact our lives?

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Posted on January 26, 2017

By connecting our everyday objects to a network, the Internet of Things, or IoT, will change the way you go about your daily routine. Your washer could send a notification to your phone informing you that it has completed its cycle. Your door lock could keep track of exactly who opened the door of your house and when. Your thermostat could learn from your behaviours and save you money by fine tuning your energy usage.

Some analystes predict that more than 24 billion IoT devices will be in use around the world by 2020. That will represent a $6 billion market by then. Internet of Things will improve the efficiency of businesses and governments, but these days, IoT is revolutionizing home automation.

What is IoT?

It’s a “sensorship” of sorts. IoT starts with small sensors embedded in a variety of devices and appliances. Sensors, as the word suggests, can be sensitive to various elements, including light, temperature, movement, gases or the like. They’re also able to gather, store and exchange data on a network using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or another protocol.

The information collected can be sent to an app on your phone (tablet or computer) to be processed. That allows you to monitor and manage their activities. If need be, the devices could also communicate among themselves, if you need to get them in sync.

Impact of Internet of Things in general

Internet of Things proposes a more informed way of monitoring and managing activities. For example, “smart” traffic lights are able to adjust traffic conditions in real-time, and could give priority to an emergency vehicle. People with health issues could have their blood pressure or sugar levels followed remotely. Manufacturers could monitor their production every step of the way and optimize their efficiency and lower their production costs.

On a lighter side, sensors can be embedded in just about everything, from tennis rackets (to know the impact spot and the swing speed), to toasters (to toast a design on your slice of bread). Home Automation, however, is where they’re revealing potential to consumers.

How will IoT change the way we live in our homes

Consider the smart home, a home equipped with network-connected “things” that allow the homeowner to monitor, control, automate and optimize such functions as temperature, lighting, or security. The interface between that homeowner and those “smart” products could be on your phone, from which devices could be controlled remotely.

A smart thermostat could learn what part of the house is being used and when. With that information, it could optimize automatically the energy required for heating or air conditioning, and significantly reduce your energy bill. Lighting could be monitored and controlled in a similar fashion, or a dimming kit could be installed and controlled from a phone to have just the right lighting for the circumstances.

Security is also an area where home automation has proven to be very efficient. With sensors on doors, windows, door locks and smoke detectors, you wouldn’t have to go around the house to check if everything is closed and locked. Door locks, in particular, have come a long way. With a smart door lock, your phone becomes a smart key that can lock or unlock your door automatically, as you come or go. You could also create virtual keys for guests that they would carry on their phones, and know who and when goes in and out of your house.

And for smart homes, the list goes on: Wi-Fi enabled electric switches, bathroom scales, washers and dryers, crockpots…