When people talk about the Internet of Things conversation often moves quickly to some of its more novel examples. We’ve all heard how your kettle can ‘talk’ to your fridge, which then informs your local supermarket that you’re running low on milk. But we’ve also managed to live our lives without needing such a service so far; is it really necessary?
Technology has already been fundamental in removing mundane tasks and allowing us to do more with our time. Several decades ago, inventions such as the washing machine reduced the time needed for household chores, computers changed the way we conduct business and the widespread adoption of mobile phones allowed us to contact people from anywhere, without needing to hunt for a phone box or get back to our homes or offices. Each of these changes has made us more efficient as human beings, giving us more time and freedom to do other things. And whilst we survived before these inventions, today, we couldn’t imagine life without them. The world is drenched in technology that constantly serves to make life easier. We probably don’t even realise some of the roles that technology plays in the way we live and work, or the scale of change that is just around the corner as the Internet of Things starts to become mainstream.
So what does a day in a connected world actually look like?
07.30am – you open the curtains and realise it’s a frosty morning. But there’s no need to rush. Recognising the temperature drop through in-built sensors and using your previous behaviour to predict that you are likely to be using the car today, it has already automatically defrosted the windscreen.
09.30 – you are on your way to the office and realise your tyre pressure is running low, thanks to the alert from your in-car display, which is linked to dozens of sensors inside your vehicle, monitoring performance and letting you know if anything’s not behaving normally and may require attention. You use voice command to ask where the nearest garage is, and the in-car mapping system suggests the closest one to you, but also the nearest branch of your favourite garage, in case you’d rather take advantage of a loyalty scheme. On making your choice through the gesture-controlled dashboard interface, the car finds the quickest route and guides you there, providing real-time traffic information and adjusting accordingly.
11.30 – once at the office, you join a video conference call with colleagues working on another continent regarding a new project (imagine, if you will, that you work in construction). You are shown live-streamed footage from a drone being flown over the site and controlled remotely, demonstrating how the latest build is progressing and whether all of the windows have been installed on time.
13.30 – finally it’s lunchtime! You tuck into some fish and chips – because it’s Friday after all. In order for the fish to end up on your plate it has been responsibly caught by a fishing fleet which relies on data-driven insights to choose where they need to cast their nets. Vehicles with remote climate monitoring and control then bring the fish from shore to store so that it’s as fresh as possible for you to consume.
18.30 – the afternoon flies by and it’s time to head home. On your way, using voice command, you make sure your children have done their homework instead of sitting in front of the TV, by using your connected home application to see which appliances are currently in use. As you’ll be home soon, why not take advantage of that connected kettle after all and switch it on so you can have a cup of tea as soon as you walk through the door!
19.45 - once home, you use a healthcare app on your phone to relay data including your heart rate and blood pressure to your doctor so that it can be determined if you need to change your new medication dose at all, or if it’s working as intended.
10.30 – it’s been a tiring week and the whole family goes to bed slightly early. Recognising that everybody is in the bedrooms, the house management system adjusts the ambient temperature earlier than usual.
All these new capabilities have contributed to making your day easier, and more efficient. Through the Internet of Things data can be collected, exchanged and interpreted to unlock value across all aspects of our businesses and our lives making them simpler, helping to keep us safe and saving us time.
What does your connected day look like?