What is the Internet Of Things (IOT)?

There has been a lot of talk recently about “The Internet Of Things”.

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But it’s sort of a confusing phrase and doesn’t necessarily mean anything for most people.

Today we are going to help clear that up with simple language for you.

So, the Internet of Things – what does that even mean, and why should you care?

First, a bit about IP Addresses…

An IP address is like your home address. It’s a way for mail to arrive at it’s intended destination, and a way for people to find you.

Up until a few years ago, all Internet connected devices had IP addresses like this:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

This was called IPV4.

There were four places for IP Addresses

111.222.333.444

A typical IPV4 address might have looked like this:

192.168.123.184

The problem with this was that humans were literally running out of IP addresses.

So many new devices were coming online that the planet didn’t have enough addresses.

So the world switched to IPV6.

That looks like this:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

What does this mean?

It means that it will be a long, long time before we can make enough devices to use up all of the available addresses.

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It also means that every device (literally anything that has electronics in it) can have it’s own unique address.

  • Your coffee maker can have it’s own IP address.
  • Your fridge can have it’s own IP address.
  • Your dishwasher can have it’s own IP address.
  • Etc.

 

What would be the advantage of this?

Maybe it’s been a week since you last ran your dishwasher. It can send you a text message to let you know that it needs to be run.

Maybe your smart fridge will scan some of the items on the shelves and drop you a quick email to let you know that the same gallon of milk has been sitting, untouched, in the back row of the fridge for more than two weeks and that you may want to check the expiration date.

While this kind of hyper-connected total information awareness may be a bit overwhelming for some, the Internet of Things allows us so many abilities and tools for home automation.

The above examples may seem a bit benign, or easy to ask “What would the benefit of that be?” but then, you can look at something like your sprinkler system having it’s own IP Address.

  • You go on vacation and leave your sprinklers set to automatically run every day for 20 minutes. While you’re on vacation, you read the weather report back home and discover that it’s been unseasonably raining every day at home. It will continue to rain back home for entire time you are on vacation. You simply open an app on your phone and turn off your sprinklers.
  • Total savings during 10 days on vacation from this one small example?
  • $60 off of your water bill at the end of the month.

The Internet of Things is essentially a much more effective way for individual things to communicate with each other. Anything with sensors can be linked up for machine to machine, or machine to human interaction. The Internet of Things makes it possible to control anything from anywhere, because as long as you are on the Internet, no matter where you are, you can access the device via it’s own IP address.

This can be set up as well to be password protected so that only you and those you choose can access these devices.

The Internet Of Things and Home Automation

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The Internet of Things affects everyone, and a variety of industries. When it comes to automating your home, it brings about new opportunities at every turn. Can you see what your kids are watching while you’re not home? Sure. Can you access security cameras from anywhere in the world? No problem. Can your cell phone send a signal to your home when you’re 5 minutes away from your house to turn up the heater and start the gas fire place? No problem.

Whether it be a coffee machine or a t.v., you can have complete remote control access, or automate any portion of your technological life. You can take control of devices that are outfitted with the right technologies, which can make life very convenient even when you are great distances away from any device.

Who Will Internet of Things Affect?

The Internet of Things will affect everyone.

In picking a example relevant to automation in the Woodlands…

It’s easy to see how rapidly the population has grown rapidly in this community. More people = more traffic. More traffic equals more likelihood of accidents.

Maybe it’s December, and your house “knows” to turn down the heat during the day since no one is home. You normally get home at 5:30 PM. Your home normally “knows” to turn on certain lights, start the fire, begin boiling water in the electric tea kettle, and turn up the heater, so that your house is ready for you to walk in the door right at 5:30. But because of an accident up ahead of you on the road, your phone sees you’re going to be about forty-five minutes later getting home, and so it automatically communicates with all of these devices (fire, tea kettle, home heat, home lighting system) and delays all of them by 45 minutes. Your normal routine for coming home will be the same, even though your commute was irregular on this particular day.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Internet Of Things can be of benefit for you, or to learn more about how we can help automate your life, please contact Lighthouse Technologies.

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