Technology has evolved at an exceptional speed. Nowadays, a car is more than just a vehicle, it’s an intricate computer system, controlling things like the audio-visual system or the rear-facing camera that assists with reversing. Lost are the days where OnStar was the only roadside-assistance service. Now with virtually any smartphone a myriad of functions can be performed. The automobile has now, more than ever, been integrated with the Internet. This is just one example of how an idea, which has been around for over a decade, is becoming reality. The Internet of Things is finally becoming real!
The Internet of Things, first discussed in 1999, represents the idea that Internet connectivity might spread beyond the devices we’ve traditionally used, such as computers, laptops, and now smartphones. Objects are becoming more interactive and are communicating with the Internet. It is interesting to see this concept get manifested in both high-tech ways and simple ways. Even more interesting is society’s willingness to adapt and accept these ways. More and more individuals are shopping online and we will continue to see an increase in the number of individuals using NFC/Google Wallet to pay for things. If you don’t believe me, think of the following examples:
- Existing networks – wireless networks and wi-fi-enabled devices are extremely common. We can see the use of these networks through the increase in tablet and cell phone usage. In addition, the Nike+ running shoe, for example, contains a sensor that sends information about your running pace to your Apple iPod.
- Scanned codes – QR codes have grown in popularity and can be frequently seen in stores, on billboards, or through advertisements. QR codes link a real thing to the information world and virtually any object can have a distinct code.
- NFC (near-field communications) – provides ways for devices, such as a smartphone, to wirelessly read information from a tag on an object, just by being in close proximity. This unleashes an endless way to track inventory or to provide individuals with ways to learn about a product. NFC technology is also turning smartphones into virtual wallets.