You have probably heard about the revolutionary concept described as the Internet of Things and you are wondering what it is all about. Perhaps, what you are especially interested in knowing is how the Internet of Things could green our homes, which you may have heard some people talk about. If yes, this piece should help to answer your questions.
What is the Internet of Things?
This is a concept of interconnectivity aimed at facilitating communications between devices and electronic items in your home to get actions carried out without any human intervention. The idea may not be clear enough with this description. But if you can imagine a scenario where, say, your air conditioner unit can communicate with your microwave oven without any intervention on your part, then you already have an idea of what the Internet of Things is about.
This concept, which is also described as machine-to-machine technology (M2M), is not really a new one, although many people only heard about it just recently. Before having the name, “Internet of Things (IoT),” coined for it by Kevin Ashton in 1999, the concept was said to have been talked about as far back as 1991.It is believed that the IoT, when properly fine tuned, will definitely make our different homes smarter.
Making Our Homes and World Green
It is possible that your main concern lies in knowing how the Internet of Things could green our homes and the world. The idea is simple. Devices in an IoT setup will be able to communicate with one another, having ability to gather necessary data needed to trigger off required actions. The Internet of Things will certainly be boosted by the fact that more devices and machines are becoming smarter by the day. Apple’s recently announced HomeKit, a means of controlling internet-connected devices in your home (garage doors, appliances, lights, etc.) from your iPhone or iPad is testament to that.
The possibilities are quite impressive. Can you imagine your air conditioner telling the microwave to turn off? Or being informed of a leakage in your home, which may ordinarily be missed by you? The IoT will make these and more possible. But the concept should not be confused with existing automated features requiring human assistance or intervention.
The Internet of Things is expected to help make energy use more optimal so as to eliminate wastage and reduce cost. For instance, it would be helpful in detecting duct work leaks that could be making your electricity bills to unnecessarily be on the high side. It will also make it easier for you to know when things become due for repairs or replacement. AT&T and the Carbon War Room says IoT-aided reduction in energy used to have tasks performed will greatly help to lower global greenhouse gas emissions by slightly more than nine billion metric tons by year 2020.
Room for Improvement
The Internet of Things promises a lot of great things, even beyond just keeping our homes green. However, work is still going on to perfect the IoT, especially in the area of device “language.” It is not sure yet if devices from different manufacturers will be able to communicate since there is no universal protocol in place for that just yet.
There are concerns over cost. Even as new and affordable house building activity is on the increase, internet-connected devices remain pricey. For example, a Phillips Hue light bulb is listed at £49.95… for a light bulb.
There is also fear of about privacy breach, which some giants in the industry such GE and Bosch seem not to be taking any big notice of.
The tech industry might be the ones currently pushing this idea of connected devices more than the consumer, but with technology like Apple’s HomeKit opening up the possibility of having your home adapt to your mood (locking up for the night, turning the lights and heat on because it knows you are en route home, etc.) at the touch of a screen, it’s only a matter of time.