The Internet of Things is one of THE hottest topics today. That, and big data. Oh, and Machine 2 Machine connectivity. You get the point.
Here's how IoT will impact your life in the very near future:
1. At Work. Just about every industry is exploring how the Internet of Things can impact their bottom line. As data is extracted and analyzed from connected objects and thing, everything from office equipment to factory-floor machinery, to delivery trucks, to how workers move about in the workplace will produce data that makes work smarter.
Look for your ID badge to be tagged (maybe it already is) to help understand productivity. Look for buildings to be smarter about energy use (lights out sensors on steroids). Even the lunch room will get 'smarter' as refrigerators, microwaves and supplies beam data to the cloud.
2. At Home. Not so far-fetched, really. Think about it, your car is already pretty smart -- selecting music based on your preferences, and calling your phone list. Your home thermostat, garage door opener, and sprinklers can be managed from your smart phone or tablet. These devices could also collect, store and analyze your home's data -- AND communicate with each other.
Just think about the value chain for dinner. The smart refrigerator can help with your grocery list by knowing what you need; the preferences of each family member can be stored and recalled; the appliances in your kitchen can help prepare your favorite recipes and your smart dishwasher can dispense and reorder the bacterial dishsoap you like.
After dinner, how about a little entertainment? Each room can serve up the entertainment for that family resident... and when you're ready for bed, the smart bed is firm for you, soft for your spouse; tracks your REM sleep, and wakes you up with meditative bells or a strong fitness coach's voice -- whichever you prefer.
3. You Health. You and your family will all have electronic medical records that you control. You'll be able to update, research, and act on available information. Your fitness monitoring devices will not only give you an 'atta boy!' when you hit your goals, the device will monitor your heart, lungs, muscles, and more; store and upload that information; and even help diagnose you BEFORE you call the doctor. When you do need a healthcare professional, your devices will share with their devices and your treatment will be based on body-generated data as well as how you feel.
Most of this is available now. And this just scratches the surface. Think about it: Want to go green? All of your home's air, light, energy, water, ambience etc can be smart and adjust to your needs. What's more, it can help in an emergency by contacting police or fire departments with real data. The possibilities are literally endless.
Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit LLC and the host of Social Media Radio with Beverly Macy on BlogTalkRadio. She teaches Executive Global Marketing, Brand Management, and Social Media Marketing at UCLA Extension. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.