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Back in February I covered some of my early thoughts on the Internet of Things (IOT).  Several months later I still find myself following the concepts and considerations behind this technology.  There are many industries that expect to benefit from IOT, and as long as we can secure our connections this has the potential to change how we function on a daily basis in our jobs and personal lives.

IOT Recap

IOT is the ability to connect IP-based devices back to our homes, workplace, mobile devices, and more to the internet.  In reality, we have been doing this for a long time.  So what is so special about IOT today?  One of the many key differences at this point in time is that there are often analytics and intelligence tied to this data.  The analytics allow for computer based learning that accommodates our needs.  We are also in a technology era that keeps us more “connected” than ever, and us as consumers are ready to control our homes and businesses from a simple device such as our mobile phones.

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Impact

Verizon recently put together a report that highlights the areas that we may see the most growth within.   They call out energy, smart cities, transportation and energy for where we will see the most growth for IOT.  Gartner has also weighed in predicting that in 2015 there will be 4.9 billion “things” connected.  So there is a lot of enthusiasm in this space and while at a glance it’s difficult to predict where this technology will truly make the most sense the possibilities are now in motion.  It could be all of those areas or none, but right now at this point in time the possibilities are endless.

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So when thinking of IOT, it’s about how it can simplify your life and needs.  For example, are you at work and realize that your garage door was left open?  With an IOT connected home, you can close the door from your device at work before the neighbor call you to let you know it’s open.  When you walk into the house, your home will know who you are.  If the system doesn’t recognize you, it could be programmed to contact the authorities.  How about the automotive industry with voice activation of your car mechanics?  Wouldn’t it be great to adjust your radio volume, or turn your windshield wipers on with the correct key words?  This has the potential to truly change how we function daily as a society.

Security

Living in a time where organizations are now cautioned to be prepared for “when” they will be compromised instead of “if”, these same concerns will transcend into IOT.  Not only will traffic encryption be important, we need to determine how to completely secure the endpoint.  If we can control our car with internet connectivity, we need to be 100% certain that it cannot be compromised.  If it could become compromised, this could present large safety concerns.  I expect that in this day and age, all the IOT companies involved in their research and testing are making sure that this cannot happen.  So security is essential to the success and future of IOT.

The Road Ahead

It is once again a time of great change in the IT industry, and IOT has the potential to take us to the next level of lifestyle automation.  More to come..

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