Just What Is The Internet of Things?

Posted by Melissa Tamberg on July 10, 2014

Have you ever headed across town to catch a movie, only to suddenly remember that you forgot to turn off the oven? Ever wished you could switch on the heat in your living room in the morning without having to leave the warmth of your bed? Or more importantly, have you considered the peace of mind you might experience if there was a system that could track your aging parent’s daily routine and alert you to any serious disruptions detected in their normal schedule?


Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT), the latest technology innovation that has made these tasks — and myriad other advancements —all possible.


With IoT, virtually any object, person or even animal can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network. For instance, a patient with an implanted heart monitor, a farm animal with a biochip transponder and an automobile with built-in sensors are all achievable thanks to IoT.


Officially named in 1999, the Internet of Things has actually been in development for decades. The first known appliance was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980s, which programmers could connect to over the Internet and check its status.  


While IoT may not be a household name just yet, its recognition credentials are quickly gaining momentum. In fact, an Appinions study released this week revealed that the volume of influential conversations about IoT increased nearly 70 percent between late March and early July of this year. The concept — which has gained significant traction from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and the Internet — certainly has the big technology players buzzing.


Not to mention, moving quickly to stake their claim. In the past month alone, Apple unveiled a new ‘smart home’ platform, while Google made a similar announcement for Android and purchased Nest Labs, maker of smart home appliances. The moves pushed both companies into the uppermost slots on the Appinions survey’s “Top 10 Most Influential Companies” in the IoT space.


Intel (which recently modified its managerial structures to include an increased IoT focus), Cisco (who completed three strategic investments), and several other prestigious technology companies also made attention-generating moves to land on the Top 10 list. The roll was created after Appinions identified and analyzed more than 40,000 opinions relevant to IoT from a pool of 100 million-plus documents and social media posts. The opinions and the reactions generated were then ranked using a proprietary scoring algorithm. 


To help you stay ahead of the IoT curve, Eaton will be covering the topic in a number of upcoming blogs, including examples of coming innovations, and what it all means for the future of IT. Don’t miss this exciting series!

Tags:  IT

Posted in: Trends


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