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How the Internet of Things Enhances Our Day-to-Day Lives

Joseph Sherman

The term "Internet of Things" has been discussed around a lot lately. As the internet has moved from its infancy, to a necessity for modern living and business, the speed and reliability have significantly improved. The number of devices connected to it globally have grown exponentially, from just 16.3 billion devices in 2015 to over 26.3 billion by 2020[a] (Cisco estimate). Some estimate the IoT to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 23%, with 28 billion devices in 2021[b] (Ericcson).

Some markets will have even higher rates of growth. The number of IoT devices in Western Europe will quadruple between 2015 and 2021. (Ericcson[c])[d].

In recent years the world has seen an increase in connectivity of computers. Banking has been transformed with ATMs, online banking and PayPal allowing people move money instantly. Phones have gone from devices that are plugged into a wall and used for making calls to powerful computers in the palm of the hand.

What's not always so obvious from the data collected of the number of devices with internet connectivity, is that the types of devices that are connected are changing.

This is important because understanding the types of devices that are connected gives us a larger picture of what the internet itself has become. No longer is there a human asking for something on the internet, it's likely that a machine with artificial intelligence is asking for a given piece of data—sure, it's for a human to ultimately benefit, but not in the ways one might traditionally think.

Security is a concern for people in many areas. IP cameras with night vision, face recognition, thermal imaging and video analytics, bring space-age technology to the average person. Data Privacy is a major concern, driving companies such as Apple to use "differential privacy" algorithms to reduce the risk of private data leak. The willingness of companies to grant or deny governments access to the personal data of their clients will make privacy policy a hot point for many.

IoT is taking convenience to new levels. Autonomous vehicles (driverless car, self-driving car) will wiz us to our destination without the need for us to actually drive. The kitchen has become a bastion of convenience with coffee-brewing alarm clocks to slow cookers providing set-it-and-forget-it apps to meal time. Automated translation is opening up the world for people despite language differences, as shown by Instagram's instantaneous text translations.

The entertainment industry has transformed inside and out, allowing people around the world to create and share photos and video. It is even being used inside the industry - as seen by a French talk show that used an iPhone when the cameras stopped working in the middle of a show. Virtual Reality headsets brings games to dimension, literally.

Iot is not only making the tech world grow, it is making the world more secure, convenient, and entertaining.

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