How important will the Internet of Things become?

A recent report by a US-based research organisation has found that the public’s attitudes towards becoming increasingly connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming ever more positive as the technologies develop and evolve.

The latest in a series of reports from the Pew Research Center Internet Project, carried out in association with Elon University’s ‘Imagining the Internet Centre’, found that the majority of those surveyed said they felt that the IoT will soon become "like electricity" as its effects become are felt in nearly all aspects of our everyday lives.

Wearable devices which let the user connect to the Internet and provide feedback on the activities, health and fitness of others, smart homes that allow remote control of aspects such as heating and need for repairs, and ‘smart fields’ which will provide real-time readings that will allow for closer monitoring of problems – all of these are areas which are already seeing progress and should see major growth in the coming years.

Author Patrick Tucker, one of the survey’s respondents, wrote of how soon, "We will all be able to bring much more situational intelligence to bear on the act of planning our day, avoiding delays (or unfortunate encounters), and meeting our personal goals."

"We are entering the telemetric age," he writes, "an age where we create information in everything that we do. As computation continues to grow less costly, we will incorporate more data-collecting devices into our lives."

The numbers don’t lie – the sector is getting bigger and bigger as each year passes. There were 13 billion Internet-connected devices in 2013, according to Cisco, which will rise to around 50 billion by 2020.

Whether mobile devices, sensors, implants, or even products or technologies that have not yet been conceived, the world is about to become a much more connected place.

 

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