Today, everything from phones and watches to refrigerators and thermostats are available in “smart” versions. You’ll often see all these devices bundled under the umbrella concept of something called “The Internet of Things,” or IoT. In simplest form, the term refers to what it sounds like: “things” connected to “the internet.”
IoT for Social Good
Despite the simple definition, IoT innovations are exciting, and in some cases even life-changing. For example, SweetSense makes smart sensors for hand-pumps in rural areas to monitor and optimize water flow. Propellor offers a smart inhaler system to help patients manage asthma. Bigbelly is transforming how cities address waste management challenges.
“Everyday” smart devices are also proliferating—speakers, cameras, heaters, doorbells, routers—everything from espresso makers to lawn sprinklers. These are fascinating, but much bigger changes are still to come. It’s one thing for a device on your wrist to count your steps, report them to the cloud, then send back actionable feedback. It’s another thing altogether when we’re talking about cars and trucks on the road.