Blog > What is the Internet of Things and how can it help your company?
The Internet of Things: what is it and how can it help your company?
Businesses are always on the lookout for new technologies to help them move forward. From the telegraph to the laptop, history is littered with technologies which have revolutionised the way businesses work.
With each passage of change, there have been companies who pioneered the new technologies to huge success. We believe that the Internet of Things represents the next big technological step. If this is the case, businesses which understand and utilise the Internet of Things are in for good things.
The 'Internet of Things' may have a sci-fi sound to it, but it's a phenomenon which is already very much underway. Here, we take a look at what the term means, and consider precisely how it might help your company.
What is the Internet of Things?
Let's begin at the beginning:
The Internet of Things traces back to Carnegie Mellon University and the 1980s, when a group of programmers became tired of traipsing downstairs in search of refreshment, only to discover an empty Coke machine. So they came up with a solution.
What the programmers came up with was a finger command which allowed them to check if the vending machine was empty without leaving their desks. The end product is now widely considered to be the first 'connected device'. But that cold can of Coke was to be just the tip of the iceberg.
The Internet of Things is the connection of everyday physical objects in the world to the internet. We're seeing this already in our homes. New television sets connect to the web to provide streaming services and software updates. New fridges know when they are empty and can place food orders online automatically. Heating thermostats can be controlled through our smart phones, enabling us to control the temperature of our home from anywhere in the world.
This 'smartification' of everyday objects might seem unnecessary or superfluous at time, but we believe it has huge implications for business. Let's consider an example.
A case study: the connected car
It's no surprise that at All Fleet Services, the connected device which has really caught our attention is the connected car. On the roads today, this doesn't translate to much more than advanced entertainment and navigation tools, but the future holds a great deal.
In the next few years, we can expect to see a spectrum of connected vehicles, ultimately ending up with a driverless vehicle. Each stage of development brings good news for businesses and their fleets. Here's a taste of why.
With real time information being fed to the car's computer, vehicles are set to become safer than ever. Data on road conditions can lead vehicles to advise drivers on the safest approach, for example. In time, driverless vehicles will provide an even safer option, as vehicles communicate with one another in real time.
Advanced navigation tools and live updates on road status are sure to cut journey times considerably. Not only will this get employees where they need to be in record time, but it is also likely to use less fuel.
As automation reaches advanced stages, employees will see a large amount of time opening up on their journeys. With the ability to carry out work related tasks on the move, there is potential for increased productivity and reduced working hours.
The bigger picture
Of course, the Internet of Things is about far more than connected cars but this one instance of hyper-connectivity is representative of the bigger picture. The Internet of Things is a project whose end goal is the increased automation of menial tasks. It's not difficult to see why this might put a smile on the faces of business owners.
There's no doubt that the Internet of Things is developing rapidly, progressing and transforming on a daily basis. For some businesses, it's hard to keep pace. If the idea of the Internet of Things sounds like something you'd like to be a part of, give us a call today to discuss how you might be able to work the cutting edge into your business environment. Whether it's connected cars, or something more general, we'll do all we can to help.
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