The Internet of Things or “IoT” is starting to boom. By definition, the Internet of Things is a network of hardware devices, home appliances, cars, and smart gadgets with installed software, electronics, sensors, connectivity, and actuators. Using wireless technology, this system of networks can connect and communicate with each other, share data, and talk to us as well. Every device is recognizable by its installed program but can also operate interchangeably within the boundary of the Internet infrastructure.

From microchips to enormous machines, IoT is significantly rising at an astounding pace: the estimated 2 billion “things” in the year 2006 are expected to blow up by 200 billion in year 2020. In fact, the number of smart devices in 2016 grew 31% (8.4 billion) in 2017 alone. It is projected that 26 smart devices will be owned by every single person on Earth.

So why is this Internet of Things such a hit? In a bigger perspective, corporations see these things as a means to innovate in every area, from small items to large scale ones –whether it’s a simple sprinkler that operates when a lawn is already dry or a huge irrigation system that stores up water within wide and dry land fields. In day-to-day living, an employee who is traveling to a meeting can easily navigate their way with the assistance of his vehicle that has access to their calendar and appointments, finding the smoothest route to take. In case there is a heavy traffic ahead, the car can send messages to the list of attendees to notify them that he will be late. Another good example is an alarm clock that wakes up a person at exactly 7:00 o’clock in the morning, and then notifies a coffee maker to begin brewing a hot coffee.

IoT can be largely applied to many things including transportation systems. “Smart cities” have already started to reduce waste products and develop efficiency for energy usage, thus helping people improve and understand the way they work and live.  In reality, IoT enables vast opportunities and endless connections to offer, and a lot of them are not yet recognized or wholly understood by society nowadays. The value of IoT tech across the world is projected to be more than $6 billion by year 2025, according to Intel. Most of its prices are heavily concentrated in manufacturing and healthcare services, and from agriculture to retail to utilities, the future applications will be widely distributed.

Big cities and large companies have already embraced the utilization of Internet of Things. In the Downtown Innovation District of Las Vegas, connecting corridors have traffic system that can communicate with vehicles installed with newest technology. An ongoing sharing of real-time data is implemented not only with car-to-car but also with car-to-infrastructure, which is proved to be helpful to car companies, department of transportation, and fire and police departments, providing them an accurate details of the way traffic behaves and how it responds with cyclists and pedestrians on the road. Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services is one of the best examples of IoT in the business setting. Whenever a project gets too complicated, the company’s ability to abstract a large subset of data from the voluminous information is really a great feat. Since 2015, Amazon has been offering a wide array of IoT services on its Amazon Web Services platform. The services include a fundamental interconnection layer, analytics, sync feature with AWS Greengrass, and support for easy IoT activities such as ordering via the Dash buttons.

IoT has a lot more to offer in the coming years. Talks about the “smart things” have been going on across the globe as researches seek to understand the full impact of IoT in our daily lives. With more and more companies and tech giants joining this path, it is vital to understand the challenges and opportunities this technology may present. For the meantime, the best action that we can do is to learn the potential impacts of IoT and enjoy its benefits in our everyday lives.