Over the past few years you may have seen talk of something called the Internet of Things, also known as IoT. Now, unless you are current on all the latest trends in tech, you may not know exactly what IoT is and why it seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues. The good news is, you aren’t the only one confused by IoT devices and tech.

Hoping to help you better understand exactly what the Internet of Things is and has the potential to do for your business, we have decided to take time to unpack this latest trend. Not only do we believe this technology to be revolutionary in sparking mobile business ideas, but in the way we live our lives in general. Let’s take a look.

internet of things

IoT devices and you

Have you ever been looking for a remote and wished you could just change the channel with your phone? Or maybe you were trying to figure out how to change the temperature in your house using your outdated thermostat and wished it was more user friendly. If you ever encountered a situation like this, you can understand both the need for and the growth of the IoT devices market.

The Internet of Things, in simple terms, is a collection or constellation of inanimate objects linked via wireless connectivity for monitoring and control. Often, these IoT devices can be activated and programmed through a mobile app on a mobile or wearable device.

Now that you have a better idea of what IoT means, let’s talk about what exactly can be done with this new technology.

What can be done with IoT?

Although you now have the technical term for IoT, it might be hard to understand without some examples of IoT devices. One of the most popular and widespread uses of IoT can be found with Nest thermostats.

Nest is an interconnected system of IoT devices that can be managed through their mobile app. While it start with just thermostats, Nest has begun selling other IoT devices such as cameras, doorbells, lights, and even alarm systems, all controlled with the tap of a screen.

Learn more about IoT and Wearables

As more companies like Nest emerge, the closer we are getting to fully functional ‘smart houses,’ where everything can be controlled with your phone or wearable device. Something that sounds like heaven for some and the beginning of Terminator to others.

iot devices

How does all of this work?

Once the Internet of Things is explained, most people want to know how all of this works. After all, how do we keep this sort of software under control once it is enabled in all of our household objects?

Without getting too technical, IoT is a combination of several technologies, including wifi, Bluetooth, NFC, and RFID. It can also be used in combination with cloud computing services and custom software solutions. Often the more devices are connected, the more complicated the system becomes.

This level of diversity in IoT devices is the Internet of Things is still considered to be an umbrella term. Saying something is a part of the Internet of Things doesn’t mean very much on its own, which is why there still is work to be done on clarifying these issues. It’s also why it seems like everything you see now can be IoT enabled.

The umbrella of IoT

This leads us to an area of IoT that is still developing, but is worth bringing up as it will implications on the future of technology. As it stands right now, there is no unifying system for IoT devices and technology. So far we have already mentioned quite a few different uses of IoT and we have barely scratched the surface.

It doesn’t help that so many companies are now getting involved with IoT, all with varying guidelines and restrictions. Now, while some groups are working to create an open standard for various products, many are still forging their own path in the IoT space.

What we hope will happen is that groups will begin viewing IoT in a similar way to UX design, where there is a list of guidelines that should be followed, but enough wiggle room to allow for the creative process to take place. It’s still to be seen how this will end up, but it’s hard to not see the irony of IoT companies not working together on this issue.

What about privacy?

The other area that those who plan on using IoT devices should consider is privacy. As the industry currently stands, there are no formal rules when it comes to privacy and security on IoT devices. Although companies like Apple assure us that they are doing everything they can and are not connecting consumer data, it’s worth being cautious about.

Before investing in IoT you should do research on the security that your provider has in place. It also is worth bringing up again the necessity for more regulation and guidelines surrounding IoT in general. After all, someone having access to your security system is a more serious concern than someone having your Twitter password.


The future of IoT

If you have read through this article and have gotten excited by the idea of the Internet of Things and IoT devices, we have some good news: the future is bright. Although the idea of IoT has been around for a few years now, it is just coming into the consumer market. Additionally, as you can see, there are a lot of opportunities for growth underneath the IoT umbrella.

And this should excite you! With so many solutions yet to be uncovered and new problems to be discovered, the IoT landscape is in need of more visionary and entrepreneurial talent that is willing to take the risks necessary to continue the forward trajectory. With projections claiming that IoT market will be responsible for over 1 trillion dollars by 2020, the time to start is now.