Imagine you wake up from surgery and you press the Nurse call button that is the side of your bed rail and within seconds, a pleasant faced woman appears on a LCD panel on the bedrail and says “May I help you?” You explain that you are feeling very warm and some pain is coming back. She says “You are not due for any pain medication for about another hour, do you think you can wait?” You say “Sure” and she replies “I’ve already dropped the temperature in your bed by 5 degrees so you should start feeling more comfortable soon”.
Sound like something out of Sci-Fi film? Actually, according to Samsung Electronics president, Boo-Keun Yoon, this will all likely be available in the next five years. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, he said that “It’s not science fiction. It’s science fact. The Internet of Things (IOT) has the potential to transform our economy, society and how we live our lives.”
Small computers called microcontrollers are already in many of the devices we already use. These systems on a chip (SoCs) will control the function of many other devices such as turning on security systems at night, adjusting the HVAC in an entire building to save energy, turning pumps and valves in a cooling system on or off, or simply mixing chemicals inside a window so that they darken their tint during a bright sunny day to keep the offices cooler while allowing employees to still have a view.
Engineers love creating simple solutions for many problems so manufacturers are using a single type of microcontroller across a range of applications, all reprogrammed for the task at hand. That’s what the Internet of Things is: a way for many of the structural needs of a building to talk to each other. Making a device IoT-ready involves adding a wireless interface to the microcontroller, and providing a language that allows appliances (and other devices) to talk to each other.
Virtually every industry like Healthcare, Manufacturing, Communications, Electronic Media, Advertising and Marketing and even Construction will undergo HUGE advances as we rapidly accept and adapt to the many changes this new technology presents. And then, maybe business leaders will be able to concentrate on their core business elements and not have to worry about who’s minding the store.