The Internet of Things that look like other things
Imagine you’re having breakfast in your kitchen before you leave for work. You see that fridge? It’s not a fridge, it’s a smart fridge. It has a 21-inch LCD screen, and every time the fridge doors close three cameras take a series of photos of the inside, these photos analyse sell-by dates and remaining quantities. It knows when you’re out of milk and so it orders more milk for you through the in-built shopping app. That bottle of water in the fridge? It knows how much water you’ve consumed today. It will connect to Bluetooth and send a message to your watch to remind you that you’ve not drank enough. The watch on your wrist organises your social calendar, tracks your heart rate, and sends text messages to your loved ones.
No, this isn’t an episode of “The Jetsons”, these are all real products that are on the market today. Smart tech has come a long way since the invention of the Roomba – the smart vacuum cleaner that would flit around your living room bumping into coffee tables and/or your feet. As cloud technologies have advanced, the list of things we can do with it has grown exponentially. It’s called the “Internet of Things”, a range of devices and products that have evolved due to smart technology. By 2020 it’s estimated that there will be 50 billion smart devices connected around the world. Now your internet-enabled phone can connect with your internet-enabled house and with the press of a touch screen you can turn off all of the lights, lock the doors, check the smoke alarms, and open the garage ready to leave for work.
Your car is self-drive, it will take you to the office with your only input being the insertion of a key and a postcode. When you get to work and remember that you forgot to feed the dog, don’t worry, you can press another button on your phone and your dog will be fed by a machine that portions out meals for your pet based on what you select on the app – from wherever you are. You click the ‘feed’ button and the internet-enabled feeder picks up the signal and opens the hatch that allows food out. And, if you’re bored in a meeting, you can connect with the 8 on/off AC outlets in your fish tank and check the pH levels of the water. Because, why not?
We now demand that everything in our lives be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. We’re busy. We haven’t got time to stand up and turn off the lights at the switch on the wall. Why waste all that valuable time and energy when you can just press a button on your phone and summon darkness from the ether?
That’s kind of our way of thinking with the day-to-day operation of the CloudNX servers we offer at Fasthosts. Everything on your server can be managed, adjusted, and scaled quick and easy. Which leaves you with more free time to spend managing the important things, like finding out what your dog is thinking by looking at the colour of its collar, or adjusting how moist the soil around your marigolds is.