What is "The Internet of Things"?

What is "The Internet of Things"?

What would happen if you give normal everyday objects like your washing machine, toaster, fridge or light bulb the ability to be connected to a network and talk to other similarly networked attached objects or other networked devices like your phone or tablet. Well I'll tell you what, you get the Internet of Things (IoT)! 

Some examples of IoT devices:

You might have noticed "smart" devices being advertised recently. Philips Hue Bulbs being one such example. These "smart" devices, generally are devices that can be considered to be part of the Internet of Things.  

Basic uses for IoT devices:

A good basic example of a use for a Internet of Things type device is the ability to control it from anywhere in the world. For example the Philips Hue light bulbs, once set-up properly, can be turned off or on from anywhere via a mobile phone app. What's the point of having a smart bulb for the rare instance of when you forgot to turn the light off when you went out. Seems a bit pointless right?

Advanced uses for IoT devices:

The more advanced applications for Internet of Things enabled devices starts happening when these devices are able to talk to each other. I've come up with some example below, the possibilities are endless:

  • You're watching a movie on the smart tv so the smart blinds come down, the smart lights dimm and the smart fridge orders your favourite pizza!
  • The smart CCTV camera talking to the smart bulb such that if someone is in the room then the light automatically comes on without pressing any switches. Equally if no one is in the room the lights would be switched off saving electricity. 
  • The smart thermostat could check if anyone was in the house by talking to the CCTV cameras or other smart devices and if no one was at home turn the heating off.
  •  The washing machine talking to the internet or a smart weather station at home and realising it's winter therefore instead of washing at 60 degrees the washing can be done at a cooler temperature as clothes are not going to be as soiled hence saving wear and tear on the machine and also saving money.

What examples can you think of? Is this all a bit pointless? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.