Internet of Things (IoT) is the integration of computing, sensors and network connections into everyday objects such that they can report data and be centrally controlled and that were previously unconnected. It is a long term technology trend that is driven by the availability of cheap computer processors, sensors and networking techniques such as wifi and 5g mobile networks. The internet of things can make everyday objects “smarter” but also involves a number of security and privacy issues. It is an approach that has significant economic potential. The internet of things also has potential to have negative impacts in areas such as privacy and quality of life.

Here are some examples…

A bridge that reports its structural condition and external forces such as wind for safety and maintenance purposes.

A vertical farm that is managed by an artificial intelligence that runs out of a data center.

Smart windows that coordinate with a building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. For example, if an empty room is overheating the windows could allow air to flow through.

Train tracks that report their condition to trains and maintenance systems.

A bottle of juice with computing and networking capabilities that allow it to display advertisements to customers from an ad service. It is possible the juice would be distributed for free in exchange for the ad space.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods
A carton of milk with computing resources and sensors that allow it to warn you if the product has gone bad or has been recalled.

Apps, communication tools, games and information access integrated into clothing and accessories.

An advanced future kitchen appliance that prepares fine meals from scratch using an artificial intelligence that potentially surpasses the skill of a human chef.

Pervasive games that take place in public spaces such as parks with participation by objects in those locations. For example, a park bench could project a hologram when a player approaches.

Supply Chain
Self-tracking packages that reduce shrinkage.

A city that uses networked wet infrastructure to retain all water runoff and direct it to purposes such as growing plants. Such infrastructure could be centrally coordinated by an artificial intelligence.

A toilet that performs medical tests on biological samples.

A ventricular assist device that reports health data to a service that monitors a patient for risk of a health emergency.

A bicycle that is aware of objects, road conditions, cars and pedestrians with safety features such as automatic emergency braking.

A solar road that is centrally controlled by a service that optimizes an entire grid for efficiency and resilience.

Entertainment & Media
Integration of entertainment and media into the walls, floors and ceilings of rooms. A room could have the ability to project holograms and sound from any direction.

Measuring air and water quality at billions of points in a city to identify sources of environmental problems.

Embedding small devices in nature such as trees and rocks to enforce conservation laws such as protection of endangered species.