Written by Elle Wood
Harvard Business Review published a blog about the Internet of Things (IoT) and markets where IoT has grown strong. Blog author, Simona Jankowski, wrote, “IoT is expected to connect 28 billion “things” to the internet by 2020, ranging from wearable devices such as smartwatches to automobiles, appliances, and industrial equipment.” That kind of development is enough to spur an evolution in how we live on a daily basis.
As of today, we are already quite connected. You can go for a run wearing your fitness tracker to record your endurance, heart rate, and overall activity. When you get home, your house leverages historical data combined with your preset preferences, to automatically adjust the temperature and get the shower going for you. Your shower shuts off, notifying your coffee maker to start brewing and you’re almost ready for your day – all thanks to recent innovations in IoT, but it doesn’t stop there. You drive to work, and your IoT-enabled dashboard in your car notifies you of some bad traffic up ahead, and directs you through an alternative route.
Enjoying how effortless some of life’s menial tasks have become, enables you to move faster in your day-to-day activities and focus on other tasks at your job. The best part is that these devices don’t require you to do much of anything at all. In fact, you may become so dependent on these, that you forget your old ways of doing things. Now, you’re more aware of your health, you live more comfortably, and you get to work a little bit sooner than you used to.
The real value of living with IoT comes from what you can share with others. Data sharing has expanded the possibilities of ways to connect with people. Not only do you get data on how much energy you save with your smart home, but you can also compare how much you save to your friends and neighbors. For businesses, data sharing opens the door to even more ways to monetize the Internet of Things.
Big Data is a buzzword thrown around a lot over the past few years. With the billions of devices that have been predicted to become connected, Big Data is about to get really, really big. “According to computer giant IBM,” as reported by the BCC, “2.5 exabytes – that’s 2.5 billion gigabytes – of data was generated every day in 2012.” For enterprise businesses, this could mean identifying ways to optimize services, cut costs, or even create new services. Take the idea of the Smart City as an example. Existing IoT companies focused on data analytics, hardware, and software are partnering to address this idea, working together to create smarter cities. Imagine if your city could give you status updates on traffic patterns, pollution, parking spaces, water, power, and light – all in real time. Access to that data could improve the economic and environmental health of the city for its entire community. Making connections, and making sense of data generated from those connections, will continue to drive these ideas not just for smart cities, but also for the utilities industry, fleet and automotive, remote monitoring for industrial plants, and so much more.
Most developers, either independent or for an enterprise business, know that monitoring these devices is crucial to ensure optimal performance of your application. With IoT specifically, leveraging third-party APIs will add to the complexity of your environment, making end-to-end visibility extremely vital. Take some advice from experienced developer, Ian Murphy. Murphy writes about the top 5 questions you should ask before using a third-party API. Among these questions, he answers on topics you must think about such as latency and uptime, as well as longevity of support for that API. There are a few other undesirable outcomes from using third party APIs, including poor user experience. Be sure to be thoughtful and thorough to make the most of your connected devices.
The Harvard Business Review concludes that those who “make the connections possible and to process the vast amounts of data” will be the real winners of IoT. However, the real winners of IoT are everyday users and adopters. The more the Internet of Things becomes more accessible to consumers, or the average Joe, the bigger its value will become. The interconnectedness of all ‘things’ will increase the complexity of application environments and introduce terabits on terabits of new data.
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