5 ways the internet of things will change your everyday life

9 Oct 2015

The internet of things (IoT) is both present and future, as the explosion of sensors rockets ahead. But, for the uninitiated, what aspects of life will be affected? Well, pretty much all of them.

IoT Makers Week graphic

Internet of things: Home

The most obvious aspect of IoT is smart homes. From the moment we wake up, devices-permitting, our homes will be reacting to our very existence.

Alarm clocks will be synced up to weather and traffic apps, reflecting what time we need to get up and into work. Heating systems will time it so that we have hot water in time for our shower, while lights will be synced up to turn on only in the rooms we frequent at ungodly early-morning hours.

Coffee machines will chug into gear just in time to hand us a fresh cup as we walk out the door, as the lights, once more, operate throughout the day to make it seem like somebody is home.

Smart doorbells – think Ring – will alert us when there is someone at the door, meaning we can accept deliveries even when abroad, or appear to be home even when in work.

Pets won’t go unaffected, either, with a smart doggy door opening and closing as our pooch goes in and out of the back garden, while the humble smart watch connects to a home system so we can communicate with our lonely dogs, or a programmed laser toy can keep cats entertained.

Internet of things: Waste

Partly dealt with above, syncing your heating, lighting and air conditioning into a smart grid will drastically cut down on waste.

Lighting systems that reflect your location mean no more well-lit, unattended rooms. Dim settings can make considerable savings, too.

Heating that reacts to you, rather than reacts to your ill-advised inputs, can only help, with air con falling down the exact same lines.

Interestingly, food waste is something that will be tackled too. Bins can sync with refrigerators, monitoring exactly what it is you don’t get through in time. Basically, bye bye bags of lettuce.

Internet of things: The commute

Hall doors will beep to alert the last person leaving the home that they haven’t a house key on them, while our car doors will open upon a prompt from the smartphone in our pocket.

Right there in front of us, our in-car monitor will tell us the route, the trip time and the arrival time of the journey as we sit back and let the new world order of autonomous vehicles hit the road.

The cars, too, will be synced to iOS or Android, depending on your preference, with the ability to start work from the road thanks to most of the apps we utilise today.

Of course, throughout the day, meetings off site can crop up. With smartphones synced to calendars, taxis can be alerted in advance, meeting us at the front of our office.

Smart cities, a prerequisite of major urban areas in future, will be sensor heavy and, through this, alert you of accidents, delays, bad weather or the likes.

Internet of things: Personal health

Today’s wearables already show us largely where this area is going. Watches, wristbands and smartphones track sleeping patterns, heart rates and even vitals in this nascent stage of IoT.

These can be documented so that, when we need to visit the doctor, an accurate health log can be handed over to the GP.

The fridge at home can remind us when we haven’t had enough fruit or vegetables, and numerous apps can record data and scold users after daily diets have been logged. These smart fridges will populate a shopping list and connects to stores who deliver to homes when it best suits.

Internet of things: Sport

Pick a sport, any sport. IoT will change it, especially on your amateur level.

If it’s cycling you are into, then how about these elaborate gizmos to help you cycle faster, monitor distances, performance, health, etc., and locks that, like your car, react to your proximity.

Tennis? Try a racket sensor that monitors your stroke, power, reliance, effectiveness and, more likely, your mistakes.

Football? Sensors in boots. Swimming? Wrist wearables tracking your repetition, technique, speed and endurance.

After all five of these lifestyle avenues sync up and smarten up, you will be worry free.

That’s until you see how advertising adapts to this interconnected world. Oh, and the security concerns. Don’t forget about them.

IoT Makers Week explores the internet of things revolution and the makers driving it with reports on Siliconrepublic.com from 5 to 9 October 2015. Get updates by subscribing to our news alerts or following @siliconrepublic and the hashtag #IoTMakersWeek on Twitter.

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic