March 26, 2015
You take out your smartphone and summon your car to pick you up at the time and place of your choosing; that concept will soon become reality on some new cars. The media and business world are abuzz with the term Internet of Things (IoT), sometimes also called the Internet of Everything (IoE). According to Dr. John Barrett of the Cork institute of Technology, the IoT will make the current internet and its impact on society trivial… please refrain from jumping out the window. The “things” in IOT refers to embedded (tiny) computers in virtually every object on the face of the planet, from cars to pets and even humans all communicating with other devices. Do you have an smart watch yet monitoring your heart rate and exercise routine? In the next few years there will be billions more devices in the Internet of Things than there are humans on the planet.
Equipment in Cal Lutheran server rooms, facilities lighting controls and air conditioners have been getting “smarter” for years, communicating when lights should come on and when heating and cooling should come on and when to send panic signals for humans to intervene. Equipment such as classroom projectors send and receive signals to shut down to save energy or when it’s time to replace light bulbs. What impact will the Internet of Things have in the lives of Cal Lutheran students other than being able to tell when a laundry machine is available in their residence hall or when their food is ready? With the growth of online and hybrid learning, the Internet of Things can help remote students connect to devices embedded in plants in the Cal Lutheran garden or to participate in laboratory experiments. In addition, it will provide new opportunities in fields of study, preparing our students to create the technologies of the 21st century from self-driving cars to embedded heart monitors and devices we have yet to imagine.
There are various sources of information on the subject of IoT, Dr. Barrett’s TEDxCIT talk on the Internet of Things is a great primer.
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