IoT, the Internet of Things, refers to the system of billions of physical devices connected to the internet. The term seems to be thrown around in the tech sphere these days, perhaps without a comprehensive understanding of what it means. It is not an old term (it was coined in 1999), but it has enjoyed a resurgence recently, especially with the advent of voice assistants and smart fridges. The interesting part of the term is that it was made during a time when internet companies were becoming the norm. Examples of these companies would be the now famous (and exuberantly profitable) Amazon (founded in 1994), the company that would create a whole new word in the dictionary (Google - founded in 1998) and the company that would invent payment on the internet, PayPal (also founded in 1998). After two decades, these internet companies have still remained while other startups at the time (like Pets.com and Webvan.com) and now, some of these companies (like Google and Amazon) are now turning their attention towards making IoT devices. It is clear that it has great potential, and will definitely be a mainstay of the technology ecosystem for this decade.
Now why exactly is IoT going to be the next big technology of this decade? One of the most prominent reasons would be the wide variety of uses for IoT. From making smart lamps that are connected to the internet and adjusted with voice commands, to smart speakers that can play music just with a simple ‘Hey Google’ or ‘Hey Alexa’. Companies like Google and Amazon have already taken IoT direct to consumer, launching powerful yet affordable smart speakers like the Google Next Mini and the Amazon Echo Dot that can be used by even the least tech-savvy people. Another use of IoT would be its use in connected cars, making autonomous driving the new reality (alongside providing regular driving licenses to those who want to take their car out for a leisurely spin). IoT is having substantial impacts on every strata of society, even those in the blue collar sector. The advent of IoT tools and machinery are making jobs easier and more functional, while increasing output and therefore GDP.
Therefore, it can be easily concluded that due to the wide range of uses for IoT, it is truly evolving into a technology that will not only change lives for the benefit of mankind, but it will also be worth writing in the history books with authors ebulliently portraying it in a positive light.