What is the Internet of Things?

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a common term that gets thrown around in the tech world, but if you are not part of that world on a daily basis you may not realize what all is covered by that broad term. Developers are pushing the boundaries of technology every day, and the Internet of Things will eventually be a part of everyone’s home.

On a broad spectrum, the IoT is an intricate system of devices that are connected and can transfer data over a network. All of these connected devices are considered “things” and the network is the “internet” giving us the Internet of Things.

A thing can be a smart car with a chip to notify the driver of any internal issues, a refrigerator with an internal camera that can be accessed from another thing (cell phone, tablet, etc.) remotely. A coffee maker that can be set to brew from your cell phone would be another example of a thing. Essentially, anything that can be assigned an IP address and has the ability to transfer data falls into this broad category of things.

Access to the internet is becoming widely available, and the cost of high-speed internet is also becoming more affordable each year. The cost of technology that allows devices to access the internet has also been increasing in affordability. These trends are allowing developers to take devices that are already mainstays in most households (fridge, microwave, coffee maker) and upgrade them with Wi-Fi capability and allow users to access them remotely via their cell phones.

The rush by developers to create Wi-Fi capable items and devices has experts excited about the future of the IoT. There are three relationships for these network connections: human-human, human-thing, and thing-thing. With the early success of the IoT, there is a mindset of “if it can be connected, it should be connected” and that mindset has grown the IoT tremendously in the past few years. Experts are forecasting that there will be over 26 billion connected devices by 2020, and most believe that is a conservative number. The real number could be upwards of over 100 billion.

The IoT will have a large impact on most American households in the not so distant future based on those forecasted numbers. Most people have one of two mindsets when it comes to this world of connects. They either wonder why you would want to be so connected to everything, or they wonder why you wouldn’t want to be. No matter what your thoughts are on the IoT, the reality is that these devices are already in production. I wouldn’t mind living in a world where my alarm clock goes off and sends my coffee maker a notification to start brewing, but that’s just me.

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The Best Travel Apps to Download Today

 

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Here’s my favorite travel agendaCheck into the hotel. Set the alarm for an early morning. Rise and set out on foot to explore the new city’s charm.

To explore a new city on foot, you’re able to discover the inner workings of the place. You’re able to find the hidden cafés, dusty bookstores, old bars.

When you travel like this, you might ask yourself: technology? Why would I need technology to practice the art of traveling. An art that’s been practiced for centuries without any technological device.

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Let’s not kid ourselves. Technology is embedded in our lives no matter where we go. And whether we love it or hate, there’s no denying that it has real purpose when used correctly.

I’m an advocate of slow-travel, like the slow-eating movement. But that doesn’t mean I’m not incorporating tech into my day. Professionals and recreationalists alike can use technology to make their vacations more enjoyable and less hectic. Check out the following travel apps. There’s a clear reason these are the most popular apps downloaded today.

  1. Instagram / Snapchat

It’s your call. But for any photo-snapping traveler, enlisting an app to help document your journey is a great idea. Instagram works well for the traveler looking to share and archive their photos. Snapchat? Great for families or friends who want a fun way to stay connected when they’re apart. Both are useful. Both are easy.  And, both offer great filters to add a custom feel to your photos.

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  1. Bring Fido

If you bring Sparky on all of your vacations, you’ll want to download this great app. Bring Fido will let you explore the area and help you navigate which hotels, restaurants, shop are dog-friendly. The best part? The app directs you to nearby parks. A great tool to make your trip, and Fido’s trip, a great time.

  1. CityMaps2Go

When you plan a trip where wifi may be spotty, be sure to plan ahead and download a few maps to get you through your stay. This app is a great resource and offers articles for research so you can map out a solid game plan for you arrive.

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  1. Untappd

Part of the appeal of traveling is finding unexpected places along the way. But there’s another appeal, too, when it comes to finding the best beer in a new town. Check out Untappd, a great new app that will point you in the direction of whichever beer you’re craving that day.

  1. Heads or Tails

Great for those mornings when you set off on foot and find yourself in a new corner of town. You walk a few blocks, searching for a small café to stop for breakfast. But, which direction should you go? East. No, West. Now, finally, there’s a way for you to decide. A coin flip! This basic app has one function. It’s a coin flip. But be careful. Once you start using this old-school method of decision making, you’ll find yourself employing it more and more back home!

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