It’s becoming clear that out of the top tech trends this year, the Internet-of-things (IoT) is one of the most interesting. With any hope IoT will quickly evolve from simple trinkets to extremely powerful connected devices. So what’s next? you ask, Vordik thinks the cloud will have a lot to do with it.

IS YOUR TOASTER TALKING?: AN INTRO TO IOT

The Internet of Things is simply a label that has been tacked on to the concept of machine-to-machine communication that has existed for around 15 years. In the same way that computers can interact with each other and share information via their IP address, any object can now be assigned its own IP address – thus enabling it to connect to the Internet.

With technology advancing and prices decreasing, practically anything can become “smart” in the right hands. As a ridiculous example, take a look at this toaster that gets upset and jealous when it’s unused.

IOT AND MOBILE

If the world is going to be a more connected place, then mobile and IoT quite obviously seem to be natural fit for each other. In an earlier article on the smart home market, we touched on the role that mobile has played in making the running of your home from afar possible. Essentially, with IoT, the mobile phone becomes a universal remote that allows the user to interact with connected items, as well as gaining valuable feedback. This brings on a whole new paradigm in mobile tech in that the physical and cloud worlds are merging in a meaningful way.

So, how exactly will this impact cloud computing?

Automation
Large-scale companies have long been developing ways to speed up manual processes and all but eliminate the need for mundane tasks that are easily susceptible to human error. From transport systems to healthcare processes, this is quickly becoming a reality as embedded chips are sending vital information to the cloud, speeding up processes, and altogether solving universal management issues.

Reports and Analytics
For the first time ever users will be able to gain extensive information in the form of reports and analytics on everyday objects that could not previously be tracked. As new systems form and develop, there will be new jobs to fill in IT. These positions will be tasked with collecting and interpreting the many terabytes of information being pushed through M2M networks on a daily basis. This, in turn, means a much heavier emphasis on cloud strategies and solutions.

Security
In the previous article of Vordik’s cloud series, we rounded up several cloud security basics. For the time being, these are effective tactics to carry out in order to protect sensitive information. However, with the rise of IoT, trust issues will remain at the top of the list as major concerns for the industry. In order to meet full potential in this new area of technology, privacy and security measures will have to be taken very seriously and carried out at the same speed, or even faster than the introduction of new objects. Increased regulation will have to be implemented in order to ensure that consumers’ most prized possessions are not easily hackable. In the coming years, cloud developers will play a vital role in building up and maintaining trust in the cloud alongside IoT.

City in the Clouds
With growing concern over the world’s physical environment, more and more companies will look towards using IoT and the cloud for good. Although once considered a distant dream, companies such as Libelium are in the business of making “smart cities” a reality. As shown in a graphic pulled from the organization’s website (below), the potential of connected objects could include reducing the impact of major environmental issues such as air pollution and forest fire detection.

As always, I think the outlook for cloud is sunny!