A recent article by Cisco predicted that there will be in excess of 50 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. Our thoughts initially jump to devices such as, laptops, tablets, smartphones etc, but lets consider the more obscure ones for a moment.
For example, cars, televisions, refrigerators’, utility services, transport vehicles, security cameras, vending machines, physical and health monitoring devices and satellite navigation systems. But, we don’t stop there as the list continues to become even more obscure; cows, W.C facilities, sensors on raw food products, petrol pumps and car washes, to name but few. In fact the list and possibilities is endless.
How does connecting the most extraordinary devices, translate in to the real world?
It is no stretch of the imagination to see how connecting medical devices the internet, will help revolutionise patient care. Or that, having a refrigerator tell you when you are running low on essential items and reordering them for you, will make our hectic lives that little bit simpler, but from a commercial point of view it is big bucks for businesses, to the tune of $19 trillion dollars.
Businesses, will have better control over their products and services. With improved reporting on overall performance, they will be able to see where they are losing money, and what products are selling well. Their devices will be able to accurately predict our preferences, tastes and demands right down to the ‘nth degree’.
…but,what are the risks?
For starters, as more and more devices are being connected, so too comes the increased threat around cybercrime and security. It is thought that this could be a real concern as these environments are less known to developers, and therefore are more appealing for criminals.
Unfortunately, security on connected devices is much more complex, as we need to consider the physical device, the network it is connected to and the data that we are collecting, both in motion and stored. Devices that can be easily stolen, pose a huge threat in how to contain the data.
What impact is the ‘Internet of Things’ likely to have on us?
In a recent survey, approximately 68% of companies say they have made some form of investment into the Internet of Things, believing that it will enable them to unlock new products and services from their existing ones by as much as 30%…so it is most definitely here to stay.
And, as the ‘Internet of Things’ becomes more prolific, it is expected that it will have as much as ten times more impact on society than the internet ever did.