We turn on the lights in our house from a desk in an office miles away. Our refrigerator alerts us to buy milk on the way home. A package of cookies on the supermarket shelf suggests that we buy it based on past purchases. The cookies themselves are on the shelf because of a “smart” supply chain. When we get home, the thermostat has already adjusted the temperature so it’s toasty or bracing, whichever we prefer. This is the Internet of Things – a networked world of connected devices, objects, and people. In this book Samuel Greengard offers a guided tour through this emerging world and how it will change the way we live and work.
Greengard explains that the Internet of Things (IoT) is still in its early stages. Smartphones, cloud computing, RFID (radio-frequency identification), technology, sensors, and miniaturization are converging to make possible a new generation of embedded and immersive technology. Greengard traces the origins of the IoT from the early days of personal computers and the Internet and examines how it creates the conceptual and practical framework for a connected world. He explores the industrial Internet and machine-to-machine communication, the basis for smart manufacturing and end-to-end supply chain visibility; the growing array of smart consumer devices and services – from Fitbit fitness wristbands to mobile apps for banking; the practical and technical challenges of building the IoT; and the risks of a connected world, including a widening digital divide and threats to privacy and security. Finally he considers the long-term impact of the IoT on society, narrating an eye-opening “day in the life” of IoT connections circa 2025.