The Next Big Thing Is Already Here: The Internet and The Internet of Things

Leaders, CEOs, Innovators and Small & Large Companies alike are always looking to stay ahead of the curve.  They are always looking for the next big thing.  They are always looking around the corner to see the future.  But at last, the future is here.

The Internet has been by far deemed to be the greatest innovation of the past decades.

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide.

Starting in the 1960’s the federal government’s research empowered agents to build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks.[1]  This was the first the world saw of the Internet.

Now in an age where everyone in the developed world has access to super computers via cellular phones it may seem that the world is due for another great innovation.  Some are looking to virtual reality and artificial intelligence but ignore that these new technologies are contingent on the Internet.

Similar, enters the term The Internet of Things.  The term refers to the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.[2]

internet of things

This connection between everyday objects and the internet are already changing the way people live, do business, research and interact with each other.  Now, your smart phone can close the garage door or start the coffee machine.

“Smart homes filled with connected products are loaded with possibilities to make our lives easier, more convenient, and more comfortable. Imagine that you’re driving home on a hot summer day. But rather than turn the air conditioner on when you get home and wait for your house to cool, you simply use your smartphone when you leave your office to tell your smart thermostat to lower the temperature.”[3]

So is The Internet of Things the next big thing.  Well, it’s not next…its now!  And we don’t even have to go that far to change the world.

History has shown that older technologies, even just marginally older technologies can impact developing nations greatly.  Before the birth of America as we know it, the cotton loom design and patent was stolen from England and birthed an industrial revolution in the United States.[4]

While theft is not the issue, transferring older technology to developing nations still has benefits.  Africa for example has benefited greatly from the “ancient” American technology of analog phones.  While 6g technology is the norm in America, Kenyan startup BRCK, which makes the  BRCK wifi device, secured $3 million in funding from supporters Jean and Steve Case and the Ted Organization, as covered by CNN. The BRCK solar-powered gadget provides 4G internet and electricity for up to 20 connections.[5]

So why wait for the next emerging thing when we are at the infancy of the internet era.[6]   Social Media celebrities are making millions from Instagram accounts and bloggers are earning six figures.[7]  Meanwhile large corporations are struggling to leverage ecommerce[8] or social media[9] to increase profits. Are they looking for the next big thing?  Or are they just not focused on what is right in front of them?

It may be that corporations simply need to work on the technologies available and perfect how they can scale their businesses with existing technologies.  The data and case studies available can help these corporation move into the future with more certainty than in the past.  The future, the next big thing, is already here.  Is your business using it correctly?

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[1] IPTO — Information Processing Techniques Office. http://www.livinginternet.com/i/ii_ipto.htm

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things

[3] How IoT & smart home automation will change the way we live http://www.businessinsider.com/internet-of-things-smart-home-automation-2016-8

[4] We Were Pirates, Too http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/12/06/we-were-pirates-too/

[5] Watching Technology Trends Emerge In Africa https://techcrunch.com/2016/02/03/watching-technology-trends-emerge-in-africa/

[6] The Internet is in its Infancy 2016 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/internet-its-infancy-michael-chase

[7] How to earn a SIX-FIGURE salary from a blog: Top writers reveal the tricks to cashing in on your hobby – and turning it into a high-flying career http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3780371/How-earn-SIX-FIGURE-salary-blog.html

[8] Retailers Struggle Getting E-Commerce Goods to Customers, Study Says https://www.wsj.com/articles/retailers-struggle-getting-e-commerce-goods-to-customers-study-says-1446634802

[9] Social-Media Companies Forced to Confront Misinformation and Harassment https://www.wsj.com/articles/social-media-companies-forced-to-confront-misinformation-and-harassment-1479218402

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