For decades we’ve been dazzled by new technology, buying better computers, phones, music players, and cameras. It’s easy to assume that the next game-changer will arrive inside a shiny box like the Apple iPhone in 2007.
Only the 2020s will herald the rise of connected objects or the Internet of Things (IoT) that may rival technological marvels such as the printing press and the personal computer.
By 2030, around 50 billion IoT devices will connect to the Internet, creating a galaxy of talking devices spanning everything from smartphones to kitchen appliances.
Below we’ll examine how the IoT will change our homes, workplaces, and lifestyle habits. We’ll also explore the implications for businesses and why it’s vital to have a defense plan to secure your devices.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is a name for the billions of devices that connect, collect, and share data online. With the advent of cheap computer chips and Wi-Fi networks, it’s possible to include anything, from a sleep-tracking ring to a refrigerator in the IoT.
The ‘thing’ in the ‘Internet of things’ can include:
- Computer sensor chips monitoring the temperature inside a fridge
- Your food contents inside a ‘smart fridge’
- A smartphone that notifies you about the temperature of your smart fridge or whether you’re running out of milk
A smart fridge, like any other IoT device, connects to your Wi-Fi network. Since it operates on the cloud, it can notify your smartphone to say its door has been left open. It can also tell you that you’re running low on eggs or avocados.
You can also speak to a smart fridge — asking it while you’re at the grocery store whether you need more butter this week.
How does the Internet of Things work?
Smartphones are crucial to how IoT operates because they help control and coordinate your devices. Let’s say you pop out to the grocery store. You can turn up your heating system at the checkout, so it’s cozy when you come home.
IoT can make these changes because they contain chip sensors that collect data through machine learning. In essence, they are mini-computers and, therefore, are equally vulnerable to hackers and malware bugs.
Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence where computers collect data over time and learn on the go without being programmed. IoT devices will know more about you through your activities and behavior and adapt accordingly.
What type of IoT devices are available?
The most popular IoT devices are collectively known as ‘wearables,’ and these gadgets have smart sensors connected to the Internet.
Many of them are health and fitness related, including the ground-breaking Fitbit, which launched in 2009, and the Apple Watch that monitors your steps, sleep patterns, and even your heart rate.
Meanwhile, ‘hearable’ tech is a hybrid technology, combining the lifestyle conveniences of wearables with headphone devices. It’s already making huge strides in the music and gaming industry, with Apple unveiling its AirPods Max, over-the-ear wireless headphones that promise immersive, high-quality sound, with two Bluetooth chipsets, one in each cup.
The number of wearable tech devices expects to be over 1.1 billion in 2022 once 5G networks replace 4G as they’re up to 100 times faster.
IoT devices are now thinking for themselves
Other popular IoT devices, such as Alexa, are even taking steps toward artificial intelligence.
Voice assistants have hitherto been pre-programmed by tech companies. Only now you can start teaching them individually.
Amazon’s new self-learning feature helps Alexa correct itself based on its relationship with your voice and behavior. It can now work out that it doesn’t know something through the conversations it has with you.
As IoT devices start thinking for themselves, our relationship with technology will change as we become more dependent on machines to perform routine tasks.
Business benefits of the Internet of Things
With machines thinking for themselves, online businesses will soon receive greater insights about their customers.
For example, understanding your customer’s preferences is already essential if you run an e-commerce business.
The IoT may play a significant role in the future, with “smart” fitting rooms and 5G headsets collecting and analyzing your customer’s behavior, with computer sensors revealing how long they spend looking at a sweater or food item.
As we move through the 2020s, the IoT revolution will enable more businesses to pinpoint their customers’ needs with even greater accuracy.
Getting a VPN defense plan
Looking around your home or workplace, you may find yourself using gadgets that didn’t even exist five years ago. Like when the iPhone put the Internet in everyone’s pocket, new technology can take over our lives in plain sight.
With IoT devices becoming increasingly popular, they’re also a security threat as they provide a gateway to your smartphone or laptop.
Unfortunately, a cybercriminal only needs to get lucky once, and if they break into one device, your entire network is fair game. So it makes sense to have a pre-configured VPN router that protects everything at the source.
By getting a VPN router, every device connected to your Wi-Fi network will receive military-grade protection, providing you with a safer Internet experience.
Preparing for the Internet of Things
With 5G Internet and the IoT, society will dramatically change across all sectors, especially healthcare, automotive, retail, and public spaces. The digitization of the physical world is a technological revolution and has already started to transform our lives.
Connecting our devices and offering a futuristic experience in our homes, offices, and cities. Almost everyone will experience the power of connected devices this decade, so if you don’t like playing catch up, get ready for change now.
If you want to protect your IoT devices from hackers and malware risks, you can use Namecheap VPN software for free for one month. We accept Bitcoin, in addition to PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
Are you prepared for the Internet of Things? .