For twenty-seven years the Internet has been part of the lives of millions of people. For many the internet is as important as the oxygen we breathe. In the twentieth century began the conquest of homes by appliances. More than 100 years ago, the first electric refrigerator in Chicago was put on sale; followed by the toaster, the washing machine, the iron, the radio, the TV, the dishwasher, the dryer, the freezer, the microwave … Without realizing it we were surrounded by things that made life easier, in most cases, but lacked intelligence.
The widespread use of electrical appliances affected directly the way we live today and our quality of life. The key to the success of these products, then evolved to brands was that they brought great comfort to people, as well as the possibility of having more leisure time.
Today, most of these “things” are “intelligent”, they are connected, not only to the electricity grid, but also to the Internet. The invasion that began last century is no longer silent, and now even has its name: Internet of Things, also known by its English initials IoT (Internet of Things).
The IoT will make the connection total. All will be connected: homes, offices, cars, the human body. By 2020, the Internet of Things will add 57,000 new things to the Internet, per second.
And I wonder if this second revolution of things will manage to give the human being more free time and a better quality of life.
For now, in the near future, the refrigerator will place your order for food and drinks directly to the supermarket. Much of the order will arrive before the time it was made.
In 2015 Amazon reached an agreement with 18 brands to start using the Dash button. The “Dash button” is a device that only costs 5 dollars and that is identified with the label of the product that is going to consume regularly. In order to work, it must only be connected to the internet and by pressing it you send a purchase order of the desired product to Amazon. Thet have already included 255 cleaning products, cosmetics and food: toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, razor blades, cream, diapers, milk powder, coffee doses, animal feed, cereal bars, mineral water , among others. A click away, without a computer, in real time and without bothering to go to the supermarket.
Other advances that we will enjoy will be that the electric meter that will monitor local consumption and help to make more efficient use of it. The thermostat will learn your preferences and you can adjust the climate in each room, every hour, every day. The chairs and armchairs will adapt to our ergonomics and our physical energy. Domestic help will be robotized. Sensors from the outside will tell you which part of your garden you need to fertilize or fumigate or which tree needs care. Smart houses will not only save money and energy but will also be more humane.
The body will also be really connected. Doctors will be able to check the vital signs of their patients all day by means of tiny sensors. Stomach chips will control each person’s diet to help you lose weight. The biometrics of each person will be monitored instantly, the drugs will have a level of sophistication that will allow to individualize each treatment, with personalized remedies. Brain chips will allow you to absorb data while you sleep. We will live much more. Nanobots will perform medical procedures inside our body, generating less painful postoperative and faster recoveries. We will be witnessing organ transplants generated in 3D printers.
The clothing will also be connected and the materials will evolve so much that they will also be cleaned by itself. It will not be necessary to take shelter so much in winter nor will suffer heat in summer. The clothing itself will regulate body temperature and will be comfortable and fashionable. Then mobile technology will not be usable on clothing or on the body but will be on the skin, above and below it.
Self-driving will reach the general market. Trucks, taxis, buses, cars, airplanes will be driven by machines.
An article in The Guardian newspaper even speaks of The Internet of Food. Their meat could come from a connected cow, smart sensors will be used to improve agriculture and livestock; from meat production to lettuce plantations – and even for the protection of bees. The use of sensors can also improve animal welfare and reduce the use of increasingly scarce resources, such as water. For food production, IoT makes sense; not only it has the potential to reduce costs but also to increase food production. According to a Beecham report predicting that the use of IoT techniques for agriculture could increase food production by 70% by 2050.
Face-to-face education will be a luxury restricted to a few. The factories will be almost totally automated. Athletes will be super athletes. Internet will be the village where we buy, communicate, sell, learn, interact.
There will be apps designed for the needs of every human being. There will be no more coins, except for collecting, money will be digital, and all financial management will be invisible. All this opens a new debate, but that does not stop the future: what kind of legislation will need the connected society. And above all, what ethical scenarios will present a society in the hands of machines and robots. We are closer to the year 2030 than we are of 2000.
We are entering a scenario where we need to create new futures, but also to be smart when taking a road, or another. The Internet of Things is one of the most solid legs of this digital revolution and therefore it is necessary to give it the importance it deserves.
For many it is easier to copy existing models than to create new ones. That is why creativity and innovation, coupled with willpower and an open mind seem to be essential characteristics of those who are creating our tomorrow. The outcome of each decision will lead us to a more human future or less. To a scenario where curiosity is greater than fear and where the true conquest is not only to have created a more connected world, but a better world.
The Internet is changing our society, our life, our relationship with things, the way we see the world and also our brains and our heart, in a way that we can only begin to value over the years.
Internet is causing endless changes in other habits and our behaviors impact is very difficult to measure to assume and to understand yet some of these habits may be more immediate and others may have a longer term impact not only on each one of the persons but in the most widespread and shared social norms.
And this is just the beginning…