They are among the many companies that are investing in product innovations enabled by the rapidly advancing machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies that are at the heart of IoT. Those technologies, often in the form of intelligent sensors, are being embedded in just about everything, allowing any number of devices and objects to sense internal and external states, analyze and communicate that information and ultimately affect some kind of action. The result is a plethora of “smart products” that are now available or soon will be.
Among them: lawn sensors that tell a sprinkler when a lawn needs to be watered and how much water is needed based on moisture levels; running shoes that clock your pace ─ and notify you when you’ve run so much that it’s time to replace your shoes; and refrigerators that let you know when food products are reaching their expiration date ─ and how they can be combined and whipped up into main courses while they’re still good.
That’s not all. The Internet of Things is connecting energy grids, building systems, manufacturing operations, schools, healthcare facilities and transportation systems to the Internet, generating data with the potential to feed solutions for increasing efficiency, improving safety and enhancing quality of life.
What’s driving ─ and in fact, enabling ─ companies to pursue these innovations is the cloud.
The Internet of Things is basically a network of connected objects generating large streams of data that are crunched and analyzed by sophisticated, power-intensive applications. Harvesting that data and running those applications requires processing power, storage and interconnectedness. That’s what the cloud delivers.
In fact, with so much data flowing in from potentially millions of different connected objects, the cloud is likely the only platform suitable for filtering, analyzing, storing and accessing all that information in useful ways. The cloud can easily handle the speed and volume of massive amounts of data, and has the ability to scale according to demand. At the same time, it is accessible from anywhere and from any device.
That’s not to say there aren’t challenges when it comes to a cloud-powered “Internet of Things.” Thanks to Edward Snowden and the NSA, privacy and security are concerns for many companies. There are also bandwidth issues. However, companies like Peak 10 are equipped to tackle those challenges head on with cloud services that feature robust, compliance-grade security, performance and governance accompanied by IT service management platforms and a customizable menu of managed services.
More and more companies are jumping on the Internet of Things bandwagon, and they are counting on reliable cloud services to help them deliver the goods. With all the potential the Internet of Things offers, it’s one fad you don’t want to miss out on.