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What Is The Internet Of Things?

24 February, 2015

What Is The Internet Of Things?

‘The Internet of Things’ was one of 2014’s biggest technological buzz terms. But what does this abstract concept mean and how will it affect life as we know it? To help shed light on the matter we’ve put together a brief overview which explains the concept and reveals how it is set to shape the face of the future.

the internet of things

What does ‘The Internet of Things’ mean?

Put simply, ‘The Internet of Things’ is a contemporary computing concept that is used to refer to a future wherein the internet has infiltrated everyday objects. Once ingrained with internet compatibility these objects will then be capable of communicating with other devices. We’re already seeing the phenomenon in technology such as smartphones, smart TVs, wearable technology and mobile apps that control domestic lighting, vehicle tracking systems and more. 


Why is it so important?

‘The Internet of Things’ has the power to take every day physical objects and transform them into digital devices that can process data and communicate with fellow objects. ‘Ambient intelligence’ has been pegged as the latest buzz word which describes a situation where a number of different devices actively collaborate.


Where did it originate?

Despite its recent rise to fame ‘The Internet of Things’ was first coined in 1999. However the concept has been slowly developing for decades. For example, in the early 1980s Carnegie Melon University students integrated a Coke machine with ‘ambient intelligence’ that allowed programmers to remotely check its inventory and determine whether or not it was worth a trip!


What are the benefits?

As well as superlative convenience ‘The Internet of Things’ has the potential to seriously improve the state of the modern world. From customer service and personal fitness to global warming and world economics, ‘ambient intelligence’ has a huge amount of potential.  Kevin Ashton, a renowned digital innovation expert explains, "If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things - using data they gathered without any help from us - we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best." 


How will it affect the future?

As it stands we consider the internet as a technology that’s primarily associated with other electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs. In a world infiltrated by ‘The Internet of Things’ anything and everything will be able to connect and communicate using artificial intelligence. Essentially, the concept will see the world as we know it transformed into one gargantuan information network where ‘ambient intelligence’ underpins everything we do.

As more and more daily objects consume data via the internet, ITE Projects predicts there will be a growing need for data centres to be designed and built in order to cope with the increase in the internet traffic used by these machines.


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