The “Internet of things” (IoT) is a hot buzzword in today’s world. It will affect the way we live, work and understand data but a lot of us don’t exactly know what the concept means. Let’s keep it basic for starters. The world is full of devices with on and off switches that allow them to connect to the Internet. In fact, according to Forbes, 26 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Now that’s a lot of devices. So what does all of this mean?

What is IoT?

To put it simply, IoT describes any device connected to the Internet. But this doesn’t just mean smartphones and laptops. Almost everything is connected to the Internet today, from a car engine sensor to the coffee maker sitting on the counter. If the device has an on and off switch, it is probably part of the IoT. Still confusing? Check out this video that puts it in ever simpler terms with real-life examples.

What does IoT mean for you?

IoT is the way of the future and it’s going to completely change the way we collect, analyze and understand data. With billions of devices communicating with each other, the way we function during the day and operate businesses is going to change. Here’s a few questions to consider that may further clarify this complex concept:

  1. What if office equipment could predict when supplies were running low and automatically order more?
  2. What if a car engine sensor could communicate with manufacturers to find common malfunctions?
  3. What if a 5 AM alarm could trigger the coffee pot to brew?

With those three scenarios alone, it’s not hard to imagine how efficient life will be in the future because of the “Internet of things” (IoT), whether it’s a personal schedule or how a business operates.