The internet and the physical world are converging right under our nose. Everyday objects, such as toothbrushes and air-conditioners are being embedded with sensors and gaining the ability to communicate with one another.
Many experts believe this surge in connectivity, known as the Internet of Things, will reshape how we interact with the world around us. I agree, and I think that this fascinating trend will bring about changes in the whole communications industry, as well as in how we work, rest and play.
There are lots of estimates about how many billions of connected things there are in the world today. According to TechCrunch, for example, there are already more than 10 billion connected devices in the world. By 2020, it predicts that number will jump to more than 30 billion devices.
I think connectivity will revolutionize how the communications industry helps businesses be more efficient. It’s already helping me to work in a more sustainable way, reducing my environmental impact and costs.
It’s also helping the company I work for improve efficiency and performance. Time-consuming business tasks like tracking inventory or measuring productivity can be completed in real time using connectivity, resulting in better decisions in terms of ordering and efficient warehousing.
At Citat Finland, a Nordic Morning subsidiary, we are exploring the opportunities this connected world can create for our clients. Recently, Arman Bastani, a Los Angeles-based inventor from Oval Integration, visited us to present his inventions and vision of the future.
Bastani was in Helsinki participating in the IPSO Challenge 2013 contest. His invention, which made it to the finals, is a small, handheld, IP-enabled electronic game based on Lights Out – a game popular in the 1980s.
Bastani connected the small handheld electronic game to a much larger display made with IP-enabled light bulbs. A low-cost transmitter was embedded into each light bulb, giving it a unique IP address. Once the devices were connected, Bastani was able to control and mirror both displays. It was cool.
I thought Bastani’s creation was a really fun way of showing what technology is capable of, but the really inspiring part is the opportunities increased connectivity can bring to society.
While it’s hard to predict what this new era will bring, the digital landscape of the communication industry will undoubtedly continue to diversify and grow.
In my job, it requires me to think differently. As communication channels evolve and devices like smartphones replace the TV as an advertising medium, it’s my job to help my customers find innovative ways to adapt to the new digital landscape.
Since transmitters can be embedded in almost any object at a very low cost, I expect we’ll find them turning up in lots of unusual places.
Besides designing and developing digital programs and websites for Citat, in my spare time I like to get my hands dirty on a small farm near my home in Helsinki, Finland. Until recently, I dreamed of a day when my crops could remind me when they need watering. But thanks to connectivity, today my dream is a reality. Farmeron is helping professional farmers efficiently manage their crops. I think that’s brilliant!