Where is the Internet of Things Headed?

By Aleah Christine

Upwards of 50 billion devices will be “connected” worldwide in just a little over two years, as estimated by hardware giant Cisco. This phenomenon is called the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is the emergence of different forms of connectivity between and across devices, which makes it possible for insane amounts of data to be captured and collected for later analysis. Its uses range from the home to the office—technology’s previous buzzword “smart” is stepping aside for “intelligent,” to refer to the way that smart devices are communicating with each other. Now, smart devices enable intelligent systems to understand where you are so they can provide what you need, when you need it.

An Explosion of Data

On December 10, 2015, Fleetmatics reported that the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration announced the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Final Rule which affects drivers and fleet operators across the country. Its widespread implementation is expected to roll out by before the end of 2017. An article published by JOC (a provider of information on international trade, trade, and logistics professionals), predicts that the imposition of this technology could lead to an “explosion” of data which could help companies and the government understand the flow of fleet vehicles, not only for increased profit, but also for increased productivity and levels of safety. While proximity sensors have been around for a while, its compelled use on such a wide scale is expected to lead to a surge in advances in the fields of big data and proximity technology in the future.

From “Dumb Data” to “Intelligent Data”

Despite the hype, some analysts have been tempted to dub big data as “dumb data,” referring to how useless all this information has been so far without sophisticated enough technologies to sift through and analyze it. This is beginning to change. As expected, the need for powerful computers and Big Data analytics to crunch this data from smart devices has been leading to the emergence of new applications. In an insightful think piece for WIRED magazine’s Backchannel, David Weinberger suggested that humans need to get their hands off of big data – machines may very well be its best interpreters, as they have no bias over which information matters, at the same time as having a tremendous advantage over us in terms of the speed with which they could recognize patterns of information.

A Third Industrial Revolution?

With Internet of Things trends showing deepening penetration within the consumer and enterprise industries, it is poised to represent a new industrial revolution. In a comprehensive answer to a question on Quora, Jasper Cheng, of code generation platform Temboo, points out that for the Internet of Things to do this, it has to be shared with a much larger portion of the populace and the economy. This is fast becoming a reality thanks to the rapid decrease in the costs of acquiring hardware, as well as the aggressive development of software that take advantage of these technologies. From its use in homes, “smart” cities will soon be taking charge in the deployment of theInternet of Things, as the technologies within it are enabling solutions to safety, convenience, and cost—issues that cities have always struggled with.

Aleah Christine
 is a technical writer and content blogger with published works all over the Internet of Things.

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