The amount of tiny, unseen sensors, cameras, and processors in our world multiplies each year. As humanity dives deeper into the technological revolution–As humanity grows, so does technology. From your cell phone to your thermostat, nearly every device in our lives has the potential to integrate into the cloud. The more these devices talk to one another, the smarter they get. When sensors and devices communicate with one another, it’s known as the internet of things (IoT), and IoT is growing. Connected tech is slowly revolutionizing the way we interact with our world.
Today, your home thermostat can learn your schedule and what temperature you like at different times of the day. It’s so smart, it keeps you more comfortable while saving you money. Sensors on airplane wings and engines help maintenance crews increase fuel efficiency. This prepare for parts replacement, driving down ticket costs and reducing delays. New connected technologies are making the world a safer, more efficient, and more exciting place to live.
Making Connected Tech Accessible for Everyone
One of the most exciting applications of connected technology and the internet of things is accessibility. Engineers are connecting technology to enhance quality of life for the elderly and people with disabilities.
In-home devices like Amazon Echo are allowing the blind to interface with the internet using voice. Those with limited mobility can now control the temperature, lighting, and entertainment in their home from one tablet. Additionally, the elderly are using mobile phones to call ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to go to their doctor’s appointments.
Revolutionizing Transportation by Connecting Technology
Transportation will be completely different in a world of connected devices. We’ve already seen the explosion in the adoption of GPS and Bluetooth in cars. These are two technologies that make driving safer and easier. Soon, all cars will have integrated internet connectivity as well. This will allow passengers to browse their favorite sites while also enabling cloud-based analytics of your car’s performance and efficiency, including tweaks to handling, fuel injection, and braking in real time.
Connected tech also means cars will be able to drive themselves. But first, they’ll start communicating with one another while human drivers are still behind the wheel. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported on advancements in vehicle-to-vehicle communication technologies that could save lives, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 80% of crashes where the driver wasn’t impaired could be prevented if vehicles could communicate with one another.
Your car will also likely talk with traffic signals and other road signage to alleviate congestion. Maybe even instantly suggest alternate routes in the case of an accident. Thanks to the internet of things, your daily commute could be significantly shorter.
Why You’ll Want to Connect Technologies in Your Home
Imagine your entire home integrated into one smart system. A system that coordinates your daily activities, learns how you like to live, and responds instantly to your touch or voice commands. That smart home of the future isn’t so far away.
Already, you can connect technologies such as smart thermostats, wireless speakers, and alarm systems into apps that you can control from your phone. Behind the scenes, Fortune reports, you can even integrate energy monitoring into your electrical breaker panel and install smart lightbulbs that conserve electricity. There are even lawn sprinklers that can account for rainfall. Smart fridges that can remind you to pick up more milk.
Integrating all these technologies into your home could mean serious savings on energy costs and water usage. They also streamline your life’s processes. This frees you from worrying whether you activated the alarm system or if you left the stove on. All because these devices can now be controlled from your phone.
New Systems Connect Tech and Emergency Response
The internet of things and connected tech could help first responders save lives. The Department of Homeland Security is implementing a program to study the types and uses of sensors in emergency management and response. Already, we know that doctors are benefiting massively from cloud-based solutions, allowing them to treat patients more efficiently. According to Tech Crunch, IoT is poised to take over medicine, including virtual doctor’s visits and subscription-based in-home healthcare.
Body cams, GPS tracking devices, and new security technology have changed the way police monitor and pursue suspects, reducing risk of death or injury for both the officer and the suspect. In addition, Forbes recently reported on the way firefighters are using a combination of sensors, drones, and cameras to identify people inside burning buildings and evaluate hot spots when entering a structure.
These connected technologies are making us safer, and they’re also allowing local governments to better manage incident response and warn citizens when something is going on in their neighborhoods.
Connected Tech: The Way of the Future
Connecting technology means rising productivity and automation of time-consuming chores for the average consumer and is not just a cool set of productivity-boosting gadgets. The internet of things has real applications to save lives and improve quality of life for much of the population.