The internet of things, the Jetsons are becoming reality

Rohan Brown

The buzz word of the last 12 months has been the ‘The Internet of Things’, geeky it may seem, it also follows on from a recent comment I heard from a prominent IT expert saying that the internet as we think of it will cease to exist.

Don’t panic, we are not talking about losing the internet; it is simply that it will not be something we go to use on a PC or tablet etc. It is going to be in everything and everywhere and all inter connected. It will be the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

At a basic level everything you have that can be switch on and off will be connected through the internet. Fine you think my computer, phone, tablet are already there. Many of you will have televisions that are connected or able to be connected to the internet. We talk about fridges with internet access built into them.

New modern homes are built as smart homes, allowing their security systems, lighting, air conditioned, windows and blinds to be operated remotely. The house can then move to being able to automatically open blinds to let morning sun light in and then others close to block hot afternoon sun, they know when you are entering and leaving rooms and not only turn climate controls systems on and off by themselves, but also know who is in there and their personal temperate settings. All reasonable things to save power and making our home lives more comfortable.

But what about your alarm clock and coffee machine? Just imagine your alarm going off, the clocks checks your diary to see you have a meeting in town, so it checks the weather to let you know if you need your umbrella and jumper. At the same time it has turned on the floor heating in the bathroom, since it knows it is colder that normal in there. While in the shower the coffee machine has been sent a signal to start up and start making a coffee just the way you like it. Whilst making the coffee the machine senses that the beans are getting low, so it sends an online message to the bean shop to order and send another package of you favourite blend of beans.

This is not fantasy and is happening now. Recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung announced a promise that 90% of their products will be connected to the internet by 2017. All of their products will be by 2020. Just have a thinks about how many products Samsung make and try to think how their interconnect ability can change your lives both at home and your working environment.

Of course there are also concerns with all this, what risks are there to our safety and privacy. What happens if the iron turns on and has had a shirt sitting on top of it? If televisions are noting down our viewing habits, what is it doing with this information and who may access it?

No matter what, the future is catching up with science fictions. It may be time to watch a few episodes of the Jetsons again, just to get used to a new way of living. Meet Rohan Brown, his son Kirby.