Whether you’re aware of it or not, the Internet of Things (aka IoT) impacts your life daily. But where exactly did the term IoT come from? Here's what you should know about IoT:
1. The term “IoT” was coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton
While working as brand manager at Procter & Gamble, Ashton developed the idea of using RFID chips (this stands for Radio Frequency Identification, and you’ve probably seen these chips on everything from books to the ExpressToll reader in your…read more about it here) to manage inventory on an Oil of Olay lipstick that kept selling out. In an effort to talk about his process to a less tech savvy audience, he came up with the term “Internet of Things.” That said, Ashton’s goal to spread awareness of the term wasn’t the most successful — to this day, 87% of people still report that they don’t know what IoT means.
2. The first IoT device was a Coke machine
Over three decades ago, a vending machine became the first device to connect to the internet. In 1982 at Carnegie Mellon University, a Coke machine was connected to the internet in an effort to to send inventory data and information about whether or not the drinks inside were cold. While it was the only device of any kind operating this way at the time, this idea was just the beginning of a boom of “smart things.”
3. Your car is probably an IoT device
Does your car connect to your phone via bluetooth for hands-free calls? If the answer is yes, then your car is using radio signals to wirelessly connect to your smartphone. But that connection doesn’t stop at your phone.
In the auto insurance world in particular, programs like Progressive’s Snapshot use bluetooth-enabled and internet-connected devices to monitor things like driver safety. This is a great example of how IoT could benefit you in the long run — in exchange for good driving behavior, you’re eligible to receive discounts on your monthly rates.
And on a more futuristic note, self-driving cars will rely on various IoT technologies, not only to collect information on performance and maintenance, but to also track other cars on the road. These sorts of innovations could ultimately prevent accidents and shorten your rush hour commute.
4. Some ATMs are IoT devices.
While ATMs were first introduced in the 1960s and haven’t changed much cosmetically since then, today’s ATMs have many smarts built inside. This makes it possible for your bank to remotely monitor its ATMs, make sure your experience is personalized to you, eventually allow you to access money at a card-free ATM through an app on your smartphone, and ensure your transactions are safe and secure.
5. By 2020 there will be more connected “things” than people on the planet
IoT devices are spreading so quickly that half of U.S. homes with internet have a connected device. According to IoT Analytics, within the next 3 years there will be between 2 and 6 connected things for every person on earth. This means nearly 50 billion connected devices and an extremely profitable market.
But is there such thing as too much IoT?
Digital fatigue is real and having too many IoT devices certainly contributes to that fatigue. Sometimes controlling every aspect your life with a device can be overwhelming, and frankly make some tasks more cumbersome. Do you really need a smart toothbrush or connected hairbrush?
Follow the rule of everything in moderation. At Notion, we believe that just because something can be “smart” doesn’t mean it should be. We’re committed to building products that keep you more connected to your home in a thoughtful and purposeful way, so you can focus on the moments and people that lead to a better life.