The underlying advantage of IoT

Christian Johan Smith, president and co-founder

I come from a family of wheat farmers in Selden, Kansas, USA, says The author is Christian Johan Smith, president and co-founder, TrackR. My relatives grew up manually harvesting wheat – cutting and bundling by hand – a process that was extremely tedious and labour-intensive.

However, with the Industrial Revolution occurring in the US in the 19th century, new machines automated some of these processes to give farmers time to learn more specialised skills.

Similar to how the Industrial Revolution changed the lives of people across the country a few generations ago, connected technologies have quickly integrated into all of our lives, changing the way we live, work, and interact with our world. The layer of connected objects is coined the “Internet of Things” (IoT), and although we may not realise it, we are surrounded by an exponentially increasing number of connected devices.

In layman’s terms, the premise behind IoT is that we can leverage the Internet to make previously inanimate objects communicate with us, applications and each other. However, we are in the early years of the IoT revolution, as evidenced by the growth potential of the market and a lack of common protocols. An evolved IoT environment should have similar characteristics to what the people appreciate most about technology today – technology that is out of the way.

TrackR_bravo_tracker_locator_wallet_item_key_phone finder_app_screenshotFuture IoT platforms will runs seamlessly in the background, enable effective communication between a myriad of devices, and allow for consumers to seamlessly reap the benefits. Take airbags, for example. They rely on extremely sensitive technology and absolutely have to work when you need them, no exceptions. But most people just take airbag technology for granted and furthermore, we think that’s exactly as it should be.

When technology reaches a maturity that users can take for granted, humanity is free to excel at other specialised tasks or new subject areas, just like farm automation allowed my relatives in Kansas to pursue other career paths and hobbies. My grandfather was able to attend medical school rather than working on the family farm.

The IoT revolution

With the current rate of technology advancement, the possibilities that IoT will create for society in the near and distant future are mind-boggling. In fact, IHS forecasts that the IoT market will grow from an installed base of 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion in 2025. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… for now, let’s focus on the IoT that helps power our daily connected lifestyles today.

One subset of IoT that’s gaining steam is location tracking devices. These devices essentially work by “digitising” items — creating a way to virtually keep track of things — so that we can transfer the task of remembering where items are located to our technology.

Other devices that are enabling a similar type of effortless organisation are smartwatches. We now have the ability to wear a fully functioning smartphone on our wrists to make calls, schedule appointments, read the news, you name it — and even better, we can talk to it and it will respond back to us.

And then there’s new connected home devices that can control the temperature of our homes or make sure we’ve turned the lights off to conserve energy when we’re away.Copy of atlas_BookshelfPlant

With the vast types of IoT technology available today, one recognisable commonality among these devices and apps is that they allow us to free up mind power to focus on more important things than where our stuff is located at any given moment or if we accidentally forgot to turn off the lights in the kitchen before we ran out the door for work.

Similar to how we no longer remember phone numbers — rather we rely on our phones to remember them for us — new IoT technology is enabling humans to do more, and do it better, rather than waste time worrying about petty things that technology can now do for us.

It’s the friend that always has your back, alerting you when your dog gets out of the yard or when you’ve accidentally left your wallet at a restaurant. Most importantly, it gives you peace of mind to go about your day knowing that you are in control of your life.

The author of this blog is Christian Johan Smith, president and co-founder, TrackR

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow


9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

OCF celebrates pulse systems’ installation of newly certified IoT platform for smart lighting

Posted on: December 6, 2021

The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) has announced the first installation of the recently-certified low power IoT platform, from OCF member Cascoda, that combines the end-to-end security benefits of OCF and the low power, wide-area coverage advantages of Thread.

Read more

Green Custard Ltd develop robust predictive maintenance system for Martin Engineering Ltd

Posted on: December 6, 2021

Green Custard Ltd, a professional services company and AWS Advanced Consulting partner, together with Eseye Ltd (also an AWS partner) has been selected by Martin Engineering Ltd to build a global predictive maintenance and monitoring platform on AWS so their localised US platform can be rolled out internationally.

Read more