The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly morphed from something out of science fiction into a reality for both businesses and consumers.
Today, many of us can control alarm systems in our homes with a smartphone. We can turn on the thermostat when driving back from work.
These innovations have changed the way we live, but they are also changing how we do – and will – conduct business at the most core level. For example:
Commuting will get easier
The basic task of getting to and from the office impacts our mood, and thus our productivity. How often have you been stuck on the freeway, frustrated, and think, if only I could snap my fingers and be at my desk? Smart products are not yet magical, but we’re making progress.
Smart technology will create interconnectivity of mobile devices, vehicles and road systems to reduce travel time. We’ll get to the office a lot faster and have a lot less road rage.
AT&T is working with GM and BMW to add LTE functionality, which will create new, connected services like real-time traffic information and real-time diagnostics. The timing of stoplights and street signs will be folded into a system of sensors, analyzing traffic and adjusting green, red and yellow lights for the best possible traffic flow.
Companies will create extremely intelligent products
Products are no longer just single-function. Phones do more than make phone calls. Cars can resolve software issues remotely. Electronic sensors can tell you if you left the oven on too long. Yoga mats can offer advice for adjustments.
As these smart products become more of the norm, people will only seek multi-function, “proactive” products. The technology is there for businesses to make them, and soon the market demand to do so.
Companies will make better decisions
Smart products work because of the information-gathering and delivering sensors. They record and send data back to the cloud, giving businesses analytics on performance.
What’s working? What isn’t? What can be improved? What features do people use? Which features can be added or removed? Real-time data helps to measure malfunctions, and in the case of automobile and airplane manufactures, this kind of data can help to avoid disasters.
The Internet of Things is not only here to stay, it’s going to explode well beyond what we can currently imagine. Products will become smarter, as will the entire infrastructure. Businesses will do the same; the ones that don’t will look pretty dumb.