What is IoT & How will IoT Tech Benefit Real Consumers?
The Internet of Things is being heralded as a digital revolution which will transform millions of lives. In an IoT connected world, everything will be connected. Refrigerators will automatically reorder groceries. Smart traffic lights will adjust to real-time changes in traffic volumes. Intelligent window blinds will even adjust throughout the day to keep properties cooler.
As it stands, though, the average person on the street doesn’t really know what IoT means. Most have heard something. However, most won’t rush out tomorrow to buy a new pair of smart home curtains.
What Does IoT Really Mean for Consumer Home Lives?
For the most part, IoT tech will start impacting peoples lives discretely between now and 2022. In Europe, North America, and the U.K., this is already happening with the rollout of smart electricity meters.
IoT Tech & Home Power Consumption
Approximately half of all U.S. households are already equipped with so-called ‘smart’ electricity meters. These measure home power consumption in real time. However, apps, appliances, and smart home systems are already on the market which offer further benefits.
l Homeowners can remotely change home heating and cooling settings
l Users can monitor power consumption and remotely disable or enable appliances to increase efficiency and lower utility costs
l In some cases, users can already switch between utility companies using apps, to benefit from the best real-time energy prices
Improved Assisted Living
Care for elderly and disabled people is an increasing concern in places like the E.U. In Europe, the working age population is expected to decrease from 333 million to 292 million by 2070. This will place a significant strain on social service and healthcare providers.
In response to Europe’s aging population crisis, IoT tech applications are already being developed which allow individuals to continue living independently long into old age.
l IoT motion sensors and two way communication systems can allow carers to monitor patients and at-risk individuals in real-time, without being physically present
l Smart wearable medical devices can alert healthcare providers to potential medical emergencies
l Medical professionals will eventually be able to monitor patient health in real-time, and tailor medical treatment accordingly
IoT Technology & Smart Cities
As well as home living enhancements, IoT technology will soon start changing the way people interact with wider urban environments.
In China, IoT technology is already being used to improve road safety. Smart traffic light systems adjust automatically in response to traffic volumes. A.I. is also already being used to notify emergency services of accidents as they happen, as well as augment city traffic flows after incidents.
Traffic management aside, IoT tech will eventually also be used to make contact-less, cashless payments ubiquitous in modern cities. Sensors and interconnected devices will also be able to monitor real-time air quality, anti-social behavior, and improve emergency service response times.
IoT Has Limitless Potential
IoT technology has limitless potential to transform the way people live, work, and interact on a daily basis. In fact, the way you live today could seem as outdated as a persons lifestyle from the 1950s by as early as 2025. All that remains to be seen is how rapidly IoT technology is embraced globally.