Sensing the Next Wave – Internet of Things (IoT) Part 1

IoTTechnology is constantly changing our world, but recent advancements in smart technology has lead us to technologically evolve in ways only dreamt of by the science fiction authors of the past. A recent article in the New York Times, “Sensing the Next Wave”, a sponsored post by AIG, detailed the amazing ways the Internet of Things (IoT) is re-shaping our world. Check out Part One of a two-part article from the Times post forecasting the next wave of the Internet of Things.

With billions of sensors woven into the world around us, the Internet of Things is emerging before our eyes. Close to 60 percent of people are looking to add more “smart” Internet-connected devices to what they already own, according to recent AIG research.

The Internet of Things (IoT) goes way beyond consumer gadgets like smart fitness bands or self-monitoring refrigerators. This is the start of a new, more efficient industrial ecosystem.

AIG’s research finds that individuals are excited for these changes, as more than twice as many people are optimistic than fearful about IoT, which is the connectivity of the Internet with everyday objects around us.

By 2020, it is estimated there will be 40 or 50 billion “connected things” worldwide, according to Rand Europe. The invention of the printing press in 1450 meant more than just the fact that books could be made more quickly and efficiently, “it impacted everything — culture, communication, communities, education. IoT has that same potential reach,” says Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Technology Association.

IoT aims to make our lives safer and easier, which is part of the reason companies and individuals are so willing to use connected devices. In research conducted by AIG, more than half of the respondents were willing to share data to make their family safer or to improve their life.

As IoT digitizes our physical world, it will help us better understand, anticipate and manage the risks we face — whether it’s providing early warnings about structural problems in a bridge or tracking a contamination in our food supply.

A host of technology advances are propelling IoT forward. The price of sensors — a critical ingredient — plummeted more than 50 percent during the past decade, even as the technology became more powerful, according to Goldman Sachs. Processing costs dropped 60 times. That helped spur the widespread adoption of smart, mobile gadgets that act as hubs for IoT.

The original New York Times article goes on to discuss the future of IoT technology, from self-driving vehicles to its impact on energy, utilities and the grid in general. The IoT is also predicted to play a role in reducing workplace accidents and keeping employees safer.

With all of the positive effects the IoT can have on the future, it does come with privacy concerns that are addressed towards the end of the article. The real potential of IoT, though, is in how it can help us understand the rhythms of our communities — so that we can make them more human …There are repercussions to moving to a society that is always connected. But it’s a risk that businesses need to take in order to reap the benefits.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.