How will new IoT applications change people’s way of thinking? And where are we comfortable with them taking us?
For around sixty thousand years, humans have roamed the earth. Through important developments we were able to advance to where we are today. But, where are we going; what will the next advancement bring to our culture and way of life? How will those new technologies change our security, economy, society, politics and environment?
Around 200 years ago, the Industrial Revolution allowed us to overcome the limitations of muscle power, human and animal, and generate massive amounts of useful energy at will1. Today, computer and other digital advances are doing the same for mental power by giving us the ability to understand and shape our environment. “In a few decades’ time, computers will be interwoven into almost every industrial product”, wrote computer scientist Karl Steinbuch in 1966. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), this concept is finally coming to fruition.
One thing IoT promises is that it will make our lives much easier and safer. We can all agree that many IoT applications are making our lives easier, but, when it comes to safety some would argue that we are more at a risk. We are constantly worried about security/cyber attacks when it comes to our phones and desktops, but what about our smart refrigerator or smart car? With more reports on cyber hacks of different Internet-connected devices coming out, security will be the No.1 concern on consumers’ list when purchasing an IoT device.
The new technology within the automotive industry has definitely been on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Driverless cars are starting to become more of a reality than just a futuristic sci-fi idea. Although Google is known as being the first to accomplish this idea, many auto players, including Nissan, Audi, Daimler, Volvo, Delphi and Tesla plan to take a go at this new smart technology as well. How will this affect our lives goes far beyond the obvious reasons. “We’re not getting rid of the pilot. This is about releasing the driver from tedious tasks so that they can focus and provide better input,” states a spokesman from Tesla. Driverless cars would not only affect a driver’s time, but also insurance costs, which are thought to decrease since there is less of a risk of a car accident. It would also change how we deal with accidents. If an accident did occur, would it be the person piloting, but not driving the car or the automaker itself that is responsible? Driverless taxis or limos entering the market will also impact companies like Uber. There are many aspects that driverless cars could affect, but that’s not where it ends with the auto industry.
We are slowly starting to turn away from gas-powered vehicles and switching over to more environmentally friendly power sources. The zero-emission fuel-cell vehicles generate electricity using hydrogen or natural gas. These new technologies, once they take off, can change how oil plays in our everyday life.
Tesla has recently announced that they are creating a line of batteries with SolarCity, the nation’s largest residential solar installer, to go into homes or businesses. This is still in the testing stage, but may be similar to existing home batteries that can store excess solar power and back-up the power supply in case of an outage. Google and Apple’s campus in California have already installed those batteries as a backup system. Auto and utility companies will have to make a radical transformation within their technology, internal operation and marketing plan if they want to make it in this new “smart”, environmentally friendly market.
IoT’s have also entered into markets that would make some almost uncomfortable. The new Smart Toothbrush by Kolibree collects data on your brushing habits, including duration, frequency and neglected zones in your mouth and then sends the data to your smartphone or directly to your dentist. Other examples of product and service fusions are Nest’s innovative way to reduce your energy bill, Tesla’s cars that can service and fix themselves whenever there is a problem, LECHAL’s shoes that navigate for you, and Ambient’s umbrellas that checks the local weather.
As these applications develop, they will become more powerful, more energy efficient, cheaper, smaller and wireless. The growing Digital Revolution is going to create more demand for IoT devices while forcing us to adapt to the changes in technology. To stay ahead of the market trend, chip manufactures, OEMs, EMS and distributors need to be fully prepared for the dramatically changing electronic industry.
At Advanced MP Technology, our profound foundation of global sourcing capability will be a valuable resource for procurement needs from OEM and EMS.
1 Brynjolfsson, Erik, and Andrew McAfee. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. Print.