What is The Internet of Things?

The growing network of connected objects referred to as the “Internet of Things” is estimated to be in the billions by 2020. File/Global News

In the not too distant, two-thousand-and-teens of tomorrowland you jump in your car and begin the commute home after a long day at work.

As you turn the key, your dash screen lights up with the preset heating, audio entertainment and GPS options sent from your smartphone as you left the office. Your watch beeps with a notification that a sensor in your newborn baby’s crib has detected movement and sound, alerting you that your little bundle of joy is now awake in your home across town. Soon after it appears, it is cleared as your significant other answers the alert and you continue as normal.

You’re in the grocery store and an app on your phone pops up a layout of the aisles and products. Small indicators on this map guide you to ingredients your partner has asked you to pick up. They’re needed to make that awesome tuna casserole he scanned from the paper that same morning. You take a picture of the first item and the app tells you it’s actually 50 per cent off if you scan the coupon at the checkout.

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As you are about to pay, the app tells you that there is an item highlighted that you didn’t pick up from one of the aisles. ‘Are you sure you want to continue?’

Okay glass, Google ‘The Internet of Things.’

If you haven’t heard the term, it’s okay. You’re probably already living it in some form. Imagine the connectivity of your email, text messaging, favourite websites, games, consoles, smart TVs, cloud this, remote that and then apply that to a 3D environment, where said connectivity extends to your oven, your car, household functions – even your children. This is the all-inclusive world where the Internet extends beyond the screen of your computer and into, well, your things.

Beneath the surface, anything that can be tagged with a code, digital watermark or ‘fingerprint’ of sorts and equipped with the ability to connect can be implanted in the digital infrastructure of our future. The idea is not even that new, really – in creative adolescence today from Kevin Ashton’s (MIT) original presentation of the concept at the turn of the century.

In practical application, the Internet of Things will allow cars to self-diagnose, down the very component. It can allow your home to alert you of potential problem areas, or automate your comfort. I suppose it could also precipitate the dawning of an age where cyborg soldiers from the future travel backwards through time to eliminate their former creators but that’s probably still closer to the silver screen than it is to our backyard… right?

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What kind of awesome and creative ways do you think ‘The Internet of Things’ can change, revolutionize or just make easier your day-to-day life? Let us know in the comments and help spread the word about the next frontier of our online universe!

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