On of the hot topics at the moment is something known as “The Internet of Things” but is this all  really about?

In essence imagine a world where every thing is ‘smart’ and communicates information via wireless technology to a Internet based server. For example, imagine a vending machine installed in the middle of the Nullarbor. Provided that it has mobile phone coverage then it can communicate its status back to a base station.

It could let the base station know when it needs refilling, how many items it has sold, when they were sold and so on. Now image the base station could adjust the pricing automatically based on the demand it observes. The real power of the machine is that it can communicate back to the Internet.

Now imagine another example of the tyres on your car. With small sensors installed in then they could communicate to the car which in turn communicates to the Internet and again back to base. The tyres could provide information about their pressure and wear warning the driver when levels become critical.

Now extend this ‘smarts’ out to just about everything you see and touch. If all that data is then relayed to Internet based servers and acted on automatically it should make our lives so much better. However, as with any technology change there are always challenges and issues like security to be addressed. Do you really want some hacker turning the lights on and off in your home for fun? Probably not.

However, it is clear that we are now entering the era of ‘The Internet of Things’ and this means big changes for everyone, including business. Ask yourself how might ‘The Internet of Things’ affect your business? Is it a threat or an opportunity? Changes are it is both and now is probably the time to sit down and start thinking about it.

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net