The Internet of Things – Life Will Never Be the Same...

By David Gingell, Vice President of Marketing & Business Development at NetApp EMEA


This blog post was originally published to Tangential Thoughts.


As his new car steered itself into his drive, he sat back in his seat and pulled out his tablet. The automatic pilot was driving him home far more efficiently and safely than he ever could. It had already routed itself around a traffic jam and sent some diagnostics back to the car dealership. His tablet began vibrating. He glanced down. It was displaying his blood pressure and his pulse rate in flashing amber lights.  It was accurate to the second and had just been taken without his knowledge and without his intervention. The readings were a little high and next to them was a pop-up message reminding him to take his medication – his smart pill dispenser had already told the application on his device that no pill had been removed from the bottle today. And then, just to make him feel guilty, a log of his workout results from the last two weeks was flashing red, below the readout. Phew, he really needed to get in a run. Despite that, he smiled. His integrated health and GPS watch was doing its job as an early health warning system.


As the car pulled up to the front of the house, he wasn’t surprised to find a bag of groceries on his doorstep even though he couldn’t remember having ordered them. His connected fridge must have communicated with his chosen supermarket, ordered refills from his standing grocery order and they had been delivered just-in-time, maintaining freshness.


Even though he was still in the back of his car he switched on the mood lighting in his hall via a simple app on his device. He was feeling pretty happy – he’d closed a big deal today. He wanted to celebrate with his wife. He logged into his electronic wine cellar and looked at the contents through the in-built camera. Yes, that bottle of Bollinger was still there, and it was at the correct temperature according to the readout on his tablet. He’d need the right music to drink to. He used the music app to select the correct track to be playing on his internet-connected home entertainment system when he crossed the threshold. He punched in his house alarm on his tablet as the car came to a final halt. The back door of the car silently opened itself and he stepped out. He picked up the groceries and walked through his front door which had opened automatically on his approach. It had been a long day. Maybe he’d skip the run and go straight to a drink. All he really needed now was a robot to fetch the champagne and a couple of glasses and have it ready on the table. His neighbor had one – he really must remember to order a robot tomorrow.


Science fiction? Well, no. All this and much more is feasible today. Internet-enabled white goods and wine coolers, remotely controlled lighting systems, alarms controlled from the internet, health reading devices and so on are all available today. Bringing them all together in a connected world is not the stuff of the future. It is in the here-and-now.


The story above is just a small way to highlight how THE most exciting trend in the world can affect our daily lives. The trend is termed The Internet of Things (IoT) and it will affect every single human on the planet in time. It will allow connected cities, connected countries, more efficient allocation of resources and fundamentally change the way we live. It may even help us save the planet. It is that fundamental. And, according to one thought leader, 2014 will be the tipping point.


John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, is one of the strongest evangelists of this transformation. His keynote at CES 2014 focused on the business opportunities afforded by the Internet of Things (or the ‘Internet of Everything’. As Cisco term it). See his keynote here. It is one hour long but worth every minute. His conclusion is that 2014 will prove to be the transformational/pivotal point for the Internet of Everything (IoE).


The IoE, according to Cisco is the networked connection of people, processes, data and things.


The market impact from the IoT is mind-boggling. Gartner believes that in just 6 short years the economic value-add from internet-enabling devices and delivering a connected world will amount to nearly $2 Trillion.


To read David's full post, click here.