The internet of Things is the interconnection of smart devices. It is the infrastructure of the information society and it is coming to your home, your cities and even your vacations. The stylized hashtag for it is #IoT.
IoT now refers to mostly smart homes and home automation but eventually it will expand into automation of smart cities and a smart grid.
Examples of IoT? Let’s take a look at 3.
1. Our Smart Home is part of IoT. We have a home automation system set up with a hub that talks to everything and connects the lights, thermostat, front door lock and the Amazon Echo & Dot. You can see the video here:
2. Disney World is part of IoT. They are building their own smart city and they are using technology to make vacationing feel like magic. There are sensors all over the parks and Disney is now like one giant computer. Disney World uses RFID technology which is radio frequency identification and they made a wristband or wearable technology – of course with a mickey on them. They call them MagicBands. You wear the MagicBand on your wrist & it can open your room, you can pay for everything in Disney with it, it holds your park tickets, stores your fast passes and for Disney it tracks everything you are doing and buying. A little scary to be tracked but the idea is it will track everyone’s behavior and Disney will be able to serve and anticipate the needs of their guests better and make your trip magical. With just one piece of technology you are connected to the entire infrastructure of the theme park.
I go to Disney often. Here is my MagicBand opening our room & my MagicBands:
Here’s a fun example how Disney used the magic bands to create magic. We were in line for Rock N Roller Coaster. When you first walk in the building there are concert posters on the wall. All of a sudden it said Laura will be playing a concert live in West Chester. It pulled my information from my MagicBand and like magic there was a poster for my upcoming rock show. It switched too fast to the next guest in line & I couldn’t get a picture.
Disney also has a My Disney Experience App where you can make fastpass reservations (front of the line pass) & make restaurant reservations that seamlessly hooks up to your MagicBand. You can see park maps and estimated wait times at attractions too.
Eventually this technology can be implemented in cities and towns across our world. How exciting!
3. Transportation will be a part of IoT. Self driving cars are here and experts see a future where people don’t own cars. Imagine homes will no longer need garages. People will use an app similar to uber to order a self driving car. We will be connected through the app for ordering a car, the cars will be connected to a GPS system to navigate the car & eventually the cars will be able to connect to each other so the system is automated and efficient. That will eventually spread to all forms of transportation. Data from this technology will eventually be gathered and we will be able to set up smart traffic control & that will lead to less traffic and safer roads.
Here’s a quick 2 minute video by Tesla showing the self driving car:
We are on the brink of exciting technological advances. A lot of it is here already and will eventually be in everyone’s homes and hopefully IoT will help transform our world into a better, more connected, more efficient & magical experience. It’s the internet of things!