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3 Internet of Things devices that will make your life easier

Internet of Things is truly a great concept and we are yet to see its true power. CES 2016 is just on of the evidences that some exciting years are ahead.

Internet of Things is truly a great concept and we are yet to see its true power. CES 2016 gave us evidence that some exciting years are ahead.

It’s 5PM January 2016th. You have finished your work, but still have to wait for the printer to print out some documents before you can head home. Though it might not take too long, with every additional minute wasted on printing you are adding to the time stuck in traffic. Only after you head out and feel the January chill in your bones do you remember that you haven’t turned the heating on before you left for work. Once you make it through traffic and overcome the initial impact of the freezing atmosphere of your home, you realize that your fridge is empty and that you have to go out again to get something for dinner.

Sounds familiar? If so, it is time you said goodbye to days like these and say hello to the Internet of Things.

In the following lines we will explore the world of devices that will enable you to get home on time, with your work material waiting for you in the study, dinner in the fridge, and warmth in your living room.

I am printer

Though you might not think so, printers are actually the pioneer tech of Internet of Things. In the world of business Managed Print Services (MPS) represent a combination of B2B (Business to Business) and M2M (Machine to Machine) concepts. What this means is that you hire an outside company to manage all your printing services and maintain your “printing fleet”. Printers in such networks are monitored by other devices. Everything is automated, from printing itself to maintenance reports (paper amount, ink levels, toner cartridge conditions, etc.).

Thanks to the development of tiny computers, similar “services” are available for home use. Nowadays you can connect your printer to any of your devices, handheld or not.. When you need to print out documents for working from home, you can simply forward the files to the printer and leave the office instantly, as the printer will do all the work while you are on your way home. Not only that, smart printer is capable of doing all the diagnostics and submitting the report to your device.

Is it just me or is it cold inside?

Traditional ways of heating basically work in two modes. You can either keep the heating on all the time, or crank it up when needed. However, both ways have its drawbacks. With the first one, you will waste excess energy, and when it comes to the second one, you are bound to sit in a cold house until it heats up.

Smart thermostats are improving the way we control energy usage and maintain the temperature of our living quarters. It all started with programmable thermostats which could be set to output different amounts of heat during different periods of the day, only to evolve into smart thermostats which are controlled via internet from our wearable devices. This way of managing heating has vastly improved energy efficiency of our homes. Currently, scientist are working on developing a GPS enabled thermostat, which will adjust its functionality based on the distance of your smartphone from it, improving the energy efficiency of your home by further 7%.

Food is scarce

We’ve recently discovered a great application called Hello Alfred. What this app does, is that it finds you an Alfred (the name is to remind you of Bruce Wayne’s butler), and have him do your chores for a fee. They do groceries shopping for you, pick up your dry cleaners, and do other errands you hardly have the time for. Combining this “invention” with an even greater one – a smart refrigerator, creates a perfect symbiosis of modern science and business.

Smart fridge

Smart fridges are capable of scanning the remaining groceries to inform you of what you need at the moment, as well as to indicate if any of the food has expired or nearing its expiration date. This enables you to easily pass that information to your Alfred and inform him of your needs, even without opening the fridge.

Internet of Things is truly a great concept and we are yet to see its true power. Though we have the technology, the development is not going as fast as it could be. The reason behind the slow process lies in the security risks that Internet of Things brings along. With every device being connected to the internet, the infrastructure is widely open to hacker attacks and data thefts. We do see an improvement in the security, but the pace is not satisfactory. We can only hope that by involving big players like Microsoft and Samsung, whois CES 2016 presentation showed some interesting IoT inventions, will finally bring some much needed order and organisation to the concept.

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Marcus is an Australian IT support professional. He’s running his own business, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.

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