The Internet of Things (IoT) has only been hinted at over the past few years. It has only been recently that we have developed either the technology or the role to go down this route, so it is no surprise that it is only showing up now. The Internet of Things is being advertised mostly as the next step in home automation – rather than simply allowing us to control our houses, it will allow our houses to communicate with us – but it has a huge number of other uses too. Anything from processing to communication can be and will be changed completely from what it is now, which will be an interesting transition in the year to come.
According to https://12vactuators.com, actuators in IoT will bring the use of linear actuators to an entirely new level, as it will allow communication to go back and forth between them, instead of just one way. Linear actuators turn rotational movement into linear movement, and therefore are useful in a huge number of processes around the home, which the Internet of Things can facilitate.
The initial use of the Internet of Things, at least from the perspective of home automation, was to allow the home to be even more connected to its owner than before – rather than simply having one-sided contact, the house would actually be able to respond to what was happening, and initiate some of the contact itself. A prime example of this would be a house which would be able to use its contact with the homeowner to alert them to the need for more milk, and so on.
Connectivity in 2018 will mean so much more than this, to the point where connected equipment and networks will be able to make use of real time data and feedback to change itself and its responses, as a way of changing how it affects the world around it. The ideas surrounding this could be used in a huge variety of different ways – think of the benefit that it would bring to someone with medical problems which require constant supervision, for example. A diabetic who requires blood sugar checks would be able to link to her phone, and keep herself updated on what was happening with her glucose throughout the day. We could even take the technology one step further and have the phone linked with medical records in hospitals, constantly keeping them updated with running feedback on the patient’s medical status. Such communication and interactivity is something which could revolutionise preventative healthcare.
Some of the larger stores and services already use chat bots in a minor sense, to help them sift through the large number of queries they receive per day. 2018 will see the role of chat bots increase dramatically, as people continue to shift online for more of their everyday shopping needs.
Chat bots are normally there to allow the human element to stay free of normal and standard questions, so that they can instead focus on customers who have questions and concerns which need the attention of someone real. Now that we have made so many advances in machine learning, however, it is possible and likely that chat bots will be able to more fully take over the role of communicating with customers, as they will be able to learn from interactions, and from others, as to what to do when they come across a particular problem.
New Data Infrastructure
The Internet of Things will mean a lot of things to different people, but what it will definitely mean going forward is a focus on new and different ways of gathering and disseminating information. The Internet of Things, since it is based on a flow of information, means that there will be too much information for our current methods to work properly, and so an entirely new infrastructure will likely need to be devised. It is likely that this data infrastructure will itself be machine-governed, as the data involved will be too much for humans to handle.
Infrastructure is how the information we currently have is corralled into useful streams of information – this infrastructure is good for now, but 2018 is predicting a vast increase in the amount of information that will be coming in at any given time, due to the Internet of Things.
As a direct result of the above section, 2018 will, as a result of the Internet of Things, likely see a collaboration between Information Technology and Operational Technology, as a means of collecting and curating all the new information and ideas which are coming out of the Internet of Things. This collaboration will likely result in more ways in which the Internet of Things can be used, and in making the Internet of Things more accessible and ubiquitous across all platforms.
Having the Internet of Things made more easily accessible means making end-point technology more accessible to people who want to use it – this will naturally mean that more people from either side of Information technology and Operation technology will need to work together, as the collaboration for information streaming and the need for communication will increase by a huge amount. This collaboration is necessary because there will necessarily be a far greater need to help support the information which is being moved around.