According to Wikipedia, "The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices." In short an object that can connect to the Internet.
Two headlines caught my eye recently, "Is your toaster a security risk" and "Barbie gets Internet connection".
What struck me by these stories was that there seems to be no area of life that is out of reach these days when it comes to connectivity.
When I was a child, you played with your friends, they became the characters of the game and you used your imagination. If toys can now answer back, will this stifle creativity, or offer opportunities to learn and explore that are far greater? Whichever is the case, 'smart toys' are set to become more prominent in the market given the number of prototypes released at the recent New York Toy Fair.
It's no surprise that in the home, more and more objects are becoming connected. There are the obvious with smart TVs and games consoles etc, but then we move onto fridges that know what shopping you need to order and systems that mean you can control you heating and lighting remotely. In a recent conversation, I also came across a CCTV system that would allow you to unlock you door to let a (welcome) visitor in if you weren't there, all from a mobile phone app.
With the Internet affecting daily life, you would like to think that you can escape the technology when you got to sleep, but no! Manufactures have recently developed a smart bed, which feeds information about your sleep patterns to your phone. The intention is to monitor sleep behaviour to help you sleep better.
What may be surprising, given the perception of connectivity, is that current statistics suggest only a small percentage of objects are connected (around 10 million worldwide), roughly equating to 1.5 connected devices per person. However, this is predicted to reach 50 million, or an average of 8 connected devices per person in the next 5 years.
One of the big connected device launches that has been in the news recently will be the driverless car, but how long will it be before my shoes can give me directions or my toothbrush can send data to my dentist? Well, apparently, they already can!
What connected device would you like to see? Let us know using the comment section below.