Internet of Things (IoT) has been on the news a lot lately, and more products interconnected are being launched every single day. It is very common to see more gadgets and more apps related to those products available promising to solve some of the problems that we probably did not know we had.
The main definition of the IoT is that the network of physical devices such as sensors with connectivity, applications that remotely manage your home, knowledge of the city information, industry, environment, vehicles, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data. Why is this important and what would be the impact if we are exchanging data in a single, local and massive way?
The IoT applications are endless and everyday there are new developments that come to market. However, I will talk today of an example to trigger ideas for further industries. In fact, one of the most common gadget launch is the smart watches. These are equipments that are connected to our smart phones with a set of applications that vary from healthcare, organization, logistics, alerts, home management, just to mention some. As a matter of fact here are some of the potential benefits. For healthcare you watch can give you heart rate monitoring, walking, physical activity, sleep disorder, blood pressure, amongst more information. Such information can help you on tracking if your heart is performing within your range or even can compare your heart performance with several million people to see any deviation that you might have, to trigger an alert and potentially save your life, such as was claimed in the following article (www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/10/15) where "An Apple Watch notification helped save a man’s life after it alerted him to needing immediate medical attention for a blood clot in his lungs". Moreover, if we consider sleeping disorder, according to the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/), America’s sleep problems are a public health epidemic, estimating that about 50-70 million American adults have a sleep disorder. Sleep monitoring can show how many hours of sleep you’re getting, and if that sleep is restful by monitoring breathing and heart rate. For physical activity your watch and app can monitor if you are doing enough exercise based on your weight, height, daily activity and compare each activity with previous weeks or even with more people, suggesting you new potential activities or habits. In fact, all these devices will be empowering people to take ownership of their health every day and make necessary improvements.
How other industries will play since it seems easy to see applications wearing a watch, since it feels more common. How about an older people that doesn't remember to take his medication, what about caps that fit prescription bottles and via a wireless chip provide services that help people stick with their prescription regimen; from reminder messages, all the way to refill and doctor coordination, or allows you to know what pill and the day to take it or babies that you lost your sleep looking at them all night to guarantee they were breathing. Another example to change the healthcare industry and get into the car industry would be on vehicles, what if by knowing and tracking your activity your car knows where it has to drive and do that by itself, is able to detect other vehicles with the same capabilities avoiding accidents. These seems a little more off but you start to get a sense of the possibilities we are facing by having a network of devices connected among them interchanging information, allows a series of possibilities and benefits that change the way we operate today.
If we are moving into a more connected world and more people will be willing to provide their personal information as we are doing today through Google 7 main brands that have more than a billion users, Apple devices, Samsung, etc, but more companies will start gathering the information to anticipate the service they will be willing to provide, what would be the impact to many current industries?, would we require too many doctors?, drivers?, workers?, how are we preparing ourselves to all these changes and how would the economy be affected or benefited by it. These are some questions that are not in favor or against technology, but moreover, for industries to embrace change in anticipation to avoid experiencing what many companies are going through by not evolving at the pace require to keep their businesses. I am sure that IoT will anticipate us in many things, however I don't see how it will anticipate in business decisions and how to evolve to the economy to the future.
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