The Internet of Things is starting to get its first mentions on traditional news outlets such as BBC News and CNN, a suggestion that this phenomenon is more than a passing trend. According to a report by IT researcher IDC, the Internet of Things market will be worth up to $7.1 trillion by 2020. The Internet of Things offers incredible opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers on a truly immersive level, and with every device in your home connected to the internet, every daily task and chore can be automated, making your life infinitely easier. However, the Internet of Things offers so much more. With the advancement in Big Data and Analytics, customers will be able to access more data about their lives than ever before. Imagine this scenario:
I wake up at precisely the right time. My alarm clock has been analysing my sleep pattern, only waking me when I’m sleeping at my lightest in order to make me feel more alert.
My breakfast consists of the food the fridge has suggested that it has in stock and will be most appropriate for the start of my day. This is verified by my smart plate, which analyses the constituent ingredients of my food so I know the nutritional benefit: proteins, carbohydrates and fats, of my meal.
My autonomous car, having sat warming up and defrosting the windscreen as soon as it sensed I was about to leave, automatically reroutes me away from the accident blackspot on my way to work as I read the morning newspapers. It has calculated a slightly longer route that only has an 18% chance of congestion, compared to the nearly 70% chance of congestion on the original route. Thanks to this, I arrive at the office in plenty of time.
My arrival at the office is greeted by the coffee machine making my favourite cappuccino, which I take to my desk as my computer turns on and the air conditioning fan above my desk whirrs into life. Just as I am about to settle down to work, the delivery drone carrying my latest piece of wearable tech buzzes through the window, drops the package on my desk, and then speeds off out of sight.
Midday arrives after a busy morning’s work, and my smartwatch vibrates to remind me that I have lunch with a potential client in a restaurant across town. As my workstation goes into hibernation, I walk out to my warm car, with the directions to the restaurant I’m visiting already set up on the car’s navigation system. I set off, but hit unexpected traffic; the tech didn’t foresee this accident as its only just happened. The on-board computer calculates that I won’t be making the meeting on time, so messages the client, letting them know I’m running late and when to expect me.
After a successful day at work, in which I’ve pitched business to a potential client, signed off on some big deals and kept an eye on my team’s progress whilst out of the office via my smartphone, I’m heading home, via the gym. The rush hour traffic is typically heavy, but my car weaves its way through a series of backstreets that it has identified with ease, missing much of the congestion.
I arrive at the gym, and after changing, insert my membership card into the central hub. This starts my session; registering every kilogram I lift and every kilometre I run on the treadmill. My smartwatch also recognises that I have entered the gym, so selects my favourite workout playlist. Taking my predetermined weight, height and exercise goals into consideration; as well as my calorie intake, the system makes sure I work all the way up to my targets, with my music tempo automatically rising with every exercise to spur me forward. In addition, the wearable fitness band on my wrist is counting every step to add to my daily total. After a shower, I set my targets for my next visit, then head for home.
I walk in the door, just as the robotic vacuum cleaner returns to its base station. The ambient lighting switches on, sensing my arrival, the oven immediately begins pre-warming for the meal that my smart-fridge has accurately determined will fulfil my nutritional quota for the day. Finally, my pre-determined ‘Post-Work’ playlist begins on the sound system.
I climb into bed after a long day. I’m running low on work shirts, but my smart wardrobe has recognised this and has let the dry cleaners know that I’ll need some clothes washed and dry-cleaned tomorrow. I worked slightly later today, and I haven’t got my first meeting until 10am, so my alarm clock has set itself an hour later, taking tomorrow’s weather, traffic conditions and my calendar into consideration. I fall asleep dreaming of the time before the Internet of Things.
The Internet of Things offers us huge possibilities to make all areas of our lives easier. The aforementioned is merely a snapshot of the possibilities that could become reality in the next few years, with some of the technology already widely used in homes and businesses around the world. With the news that there will be over 10 million Internet of Things developers worldwide by 2020, our scenario is looking less like fantasy and more like reality!