I grew up reading books about futuristic societies and watched The Jetsons Cartoons. Today, movies such as Back to the Future Part II, Enemy of the State, IRobot and After Earth, depict what life could look like in the future. But what many of us do not realize is that if man can conceive it, he can realize it, and bring it to fruition. The future is here. We now have the ability to send and receive data via the internet. We are on the eve of the release of an immensely important development called “The Internet of Things”. This is only way the developer could reasonably describe what it is that “The Internet of Things” is capable of doing. This technology uses sensors to measure a physical quantity and convert into a signal which can be read by a device or a person. These microscopic sensors, or MEMS technology, can be placed in almost anything conceivable; a lightbulb, wristwatch, clothing etc. These microsensors wirelessly transmit information and utilize the internet as a vehicle for transmission of data; hence, the internet of things. These sensors are produced in common shapes in a wide range of sizes as well as custom geometries to meet the needs of any application.
We will be able to send and receive information, via the internet, for everything imaginable. Someone has devised a way to use data in almost every aspect of our lives. Buildings are able to “sense and predict” the temperature outside and adjust heating or air conditioning systems inside. Cars are able to drive themselves with the use of cameras, sensors and processors. Test models such as the Google car and Toyota Prius have had remarkable success. This will reduce fatalities; no more car accidents and moving violations such as speeding or drunk driving citations. Imagine your car being your designated driver and with one command, “take me home”, and you are safely transported, even in your inebriated state. Cars, motorcycles, and trucks will become “aware” of every vehicle on the road.
Parents will love the digital diaper. It sends a diaper tweet. There will be no need for peeking, touching or sniffing; this technology alerts you when the baby’s diaper needs to be changed and analyzes the urine for the onset of infection. There are also sensor mats that can be placed under the mattress in the crib to monitor the baby’s health; temperature, breathing patterns and heart rates.
Our electricity and water grids are capable of self-diagnostics. We have been utilizing ocean sensors to track sea temperature and currents. Farms use sensors to track the health of the soil and determine what is necessary to maintain optimally fertilized soil. Now the same types of sensors are available to alert you when you need to water your flower or vegetable garden.
Are you brushing your teeth properly? There is an app for that. Watches can now tell you how many calories you've consumed, how many steps you have taken, and the quality of your sleep. The next generation of these watches is already here; they collect data as to your geographical location and your body functions. These sensors come in pill form so when swallowed they transmit information from inside the body. You've seen the television commercials advertising home security connected to your internet which is connected to your smart phone.
Instead of us keeping up with technology, now technology will be literally keeping us with us. The future is here!