It seems like amongst developer circles the Internet of Things has become so ubiquitous a topic so as to become completely unremarkable. But it’s only when we step back into the real world that we realise just how little awareness there seems to be for the Internet of things. Indeed, even those that have heard about the IoT don’t really understand why it’s become such a huge area of interest for hardware and bespoke software development communities. In this short guide, we’re going to share what the IoT is all about, and why you should care.
What is the Internet of Things?
Put at its most simple, the Internet of Things is the network of interconnected ‘things’. That means devices and objects embedded with sensors which communicate with software, network connectivity and the necessary electronics which enable them to collect and exchange data, and therefore making them wirelessly interactive. If you’re looking for an example, envision a doorbell which pings your phone with a photo of your guest or a baby’s onesie which alerts you when they’re wet or awake – but that’s just getting started.
Imagine roads which know when there’s been an accident on them and can warn passengers coming up behind. Imagine pill bottles which know when they’ve been emptied and can arrange fresh prescriptions for elderly and infirm people. All these things and more will form the IoT in the future.
Why should you care about the Internet of Things?
Well, first and foremost, you should care because it’s already here in a huge way. There are currently more than 12 billion devices which connect to the Internet, and by 2020, there will be 26 IoT devices for every human being on earth, according to the IDC. Those numbers mean that IoT support is not only essential for mobile app development services in the future, but that it’s utterly crucial now.
The Internet of Things also pushes us towards a world of total connectivity, enabling huge efficiency savings for business and people alike. McKinsey suggest that linking the physical and digital roads could generate up to $11.1 trillion a year in economic value by 2025, around 11% of the world economy. There’s basically no sector that’s not set to benefit from the IoT, with everything from health to warfare gaining from the linkup.