The Internet’s third wave is about to become a tsunami.
That third wave is known as the Internet of Things, or IoT, the interconnection of all kinds of devices — from thermostats to traffic lights — via the Internet.
“What the first and second wave have in common is we have to connect to the Internet and ask it to do something. The third wave is the Internet connecting with us,” said Marty Skolnick, an account manager with Siemens for Sterling Ranch, a smart residential development project in Douglas County, Colorado.
Skolnick and Steve Cerocke, founder, IQ Technology Solutions, spoke at the Sierra Nevada Forums event, The Internet of Things: How it is Transforming Our Lives, held Tuesday in the Brewery Arts Center’s Performance Hall.
Skolnick said the IoT should go from 3 billion devices connected today to 40 billion devices in 2020. IoT’s economic impact should hit $11 trillion by 2025, he said.
“It’s amazing how far and fast we’ve come and incredible to think it is only going to speed up,” said Cerocke.
Cerocke highlighted one application he is involved with, a truck monitoring application called Samsara Dashboard, which helps a trucking company train and monitor its drivers and collect data on its fleet to increase productivity. The data is collected through cameras and sensors, sent to a cloud-based server, and analyzed in real time. The application is also now being used for school buses. A token carried by each student is recognized by a sensor and data on where the bus is located is collected and relayed to parents.
Other IoT applications range from parking sensors that tell a driver entering a parking garage where available spots are located to beacons that track shoppers inside a store and send messages about sales to their smart phones.
And there is remote monitoring of everything from farm crops to recently discharged hospital patients recuperating at home.
“One big trend is knowing when equipment is going to fail just before it fails,” said Skolnick. “Sensors on heavy equipment track temperatures and vibrations.”
The technology is also part of a smart cities approach growing in the United States, where there are a dozen so-called smart cities now and 450 projects on the drawing board in 2019, said Skolnick.
Nick Marano, Carson City manager, who introduced the speakers, said Carson City has instituted several smart city concepts, including Carson Connect, the online application for reporting problems, and an app for realtime information on the city’s bus system, Jump Around Carson.
The third wave comes with challenges, though, said Skolnick, from cybersecurity issues, privacy protection concerns, and questions still surrounding the collected data, including who owns it.
And the technology is disruptive in other ways, creating new jobs while it eliminates old ones.
“We should mindfully embrace it,” said Cerocke.
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