IoT: Internet of Things

August 26, 2014 Timothy Internet of Things

IoT. Before reading the title of this post, did you have any idea what it stood for? Neither did a lot a very smart people we’re acquainted with. IoT is the Internet of Things. Things being all the non-traditional things one doesn’t currently associate with computers or the Internet. For example, toasters.

Toasters, at least in our house, are simple, inexpensive appliances that do one trick really well. They make toast. I plug in the toaster, load one or more slices of bread, push down and some time later delightfully toasted bread pops up. Simple. No Internet. Very 20th Century.

But, what if your toaster was “smart” and had WiFi built in? Your toaster could then “talk” with other appliances and things on your home network. For example, the coffee maker might talk with your toaster and coordinate cooking times. The coffee maker at some point in the brewing process would know to signal the toaster to start browning the bread. Your mobile phone might notify you one minute out so you can arrive just as the toast has popped up and the coffee has finished brewing.

But why limit the IoT to just common kitchen appliances. What if thermostats, fitness monitors, cars, alarm systems and most of your things were IoT capable? How would your life change? What if we could do the same at your place of business? Mind bending, isn’t it.

Right now the world is in a transition period. The former system of using four numbers for Internet addresses (IPv4) is running out of addresses. The world is transitioning to a new six number address system (IPv6) that enables everyone to have their own block of addresses that can tie you and your possessions into an interactive network. The genie is now out of the bottle and getting stronger. Everyday new uses and ideas are being announced. But as Yoda once stated, “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.”

For now, know that IoT is the Internet of Things. Its being powered by the new IPv6 address system and mobile device technologies. And, the future is now in that you can already start buying smart light bulbs and thermostats for your home or office. More smart things are on their way.

Source: Forbes, “A Simple Explanation Of ‘The Internet Of Things”

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About Timothy Lee

Tim, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center's webmaster and technical training specialist, has been with ASBTDC since 1995. He retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of master sergeant. He's a bit gung-ho, turns cat food cans into cook stoves, and keeps packing ASBTDC equipment for rapid worldwide deployment, but he's your "go to" guy for technical solutions and full-scale disasters.

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