September 10, 2015
The “hype cycle” is something all new and innovative technology must follow. Yet, recent publications and opinion pieces about the Internet of Things indicate it may be at the “peak of the hype cycle” and some writers have gone so far as to say that this technology cannot live up to the hype, leaving it no choice but to fall to a slow, steady death. I disagree. In fact, I believe that the Internet of Things can, and will, live up to the hype, provided those who are developing this technology can do so in a logical and uniform way.
The Internet of Things Can Make us Healthier
First, the Internet of Things has a great power to improve the health of individuals. Ok, I hear you now: “There's no way ‘smart' appliances can improve my health!” That's true, the devices in and of themselves cannot make us healthier, but they can give us the tools we need to live a healthier life. With fitness trackers, for instance, that help the wearer make better choices about active living, people can slowly but surely make changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Yet there's another aspect of this. Adding the Internet of Things to the modern medical practice gives healthcare practitioners instant access to information about their patients. This improves the quality of medical care. It can also allow doctors to monitor patient vitals without weekly scheduled “maintenance” trips to the doctor's office. So, when utilized in this way, the Internet of Things can make us healthier.
The Internet of Things Improves Business
Imagine a grocery store that uses the Internet of Things to keep its freezers at the perfect temperature, no matter how many times the door is opened or how much is stocked inside? Would that grocery store chain improve its business model? Kroger is betting that it will, and they are employing such a system across their chain of stores.
What about manufacturing? The Internet of Things allows for machine-to-machine communication, improving the final product of a plant without adding additional workforce to the floor.
These are just two examples, but the reality is that the Internet of Things makes business more effective and efficient.
Internet of things Improves Municipalities
Finally, look at the way in which the Internet of Things can change, and already is changing, cities. Public safety, traffic monitoring and resource management is all improved by the use of sensors and connected technology. With the rise of the Internet of Things, public transportation will also improve drastically.
Is the Internet of Things at the peak of the hype cycle? Maybe so. Can it live up to the hype? The answer to that is a resounding yes! It just needs the right development.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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