Teaming Up with Technology
- We’ve gone from the Internet to the Internet of Things (IoT) when it comes to making our lives easier, simpler and more efficient.
- IoT is a network of physical objects or things that are connected with embedded sensors, software or technology. Sounds technical, but it’s part of your everyday life.
- IoT includes smart thermostats, remote monitoring of heart devices and radio frequency ID (RFID) tags within common household items.
*** SAVE THE DATE—Spring Cleaning BBQ, May 16th, 10am to 2pm, to get rid of old documents, recycle electronics and donations for Goodwill.
Remember the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey”? When an astronaut said, “Open the pod bay doors, HAL,” the all-knowing computer responded, “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I cannot do that.” Oh, it sent chills up your spine with the thought that computers could take over the world and just leave us in such a desperate state. Well, that’s so pre-2000.
Today we have something called the Internet of Things, or IoT.. It’s a fairly new term and it refers to a network of physical objects (i.e., things rather than computers) that are connected by embedded sensors, software or technology. Where did IoT come from?
Back in 1982, programmers at Carnegie Mellon University were annoyed that they had to go down several flights of stairs to get a soda and invariably find that the vending machine was empty. So they put a sensor in the vending machine enabling them to see if it was stocked and to determine how long the sodas had been chilling inside—without leaving their desks. That’s an early example of IoT.
Today we have smart thermostats, remote monitoring of heart devices and RFID tags within common household items that can be networked together to give you information about them on your computer, your tablet and even your smartphone. IoT is really going to explode in the next three to five years.
Now if you’ve retired, IoT can be like a team member or administrative assistant you used to have in the workplace. If you are currently working, IoT can also help you get stuff done faster and more efficiently. So instead of complicating things, technology is finally starting to simplify things for us.
A few months ago, astronauts used a 3-D printer to make a perfectly good plastic wrench they needed for a repair job on their space station. Rather than waiting for a delivery from Earth, they simply uploaded software to their 3-D printer and created the wrench without having to send out for parts, tools or raw materials. We’ve come a long way from the HAL era—technology is helping us rather than controlling us.
If you’d like to talk in person about the future of technology or about your finances, come by for an old-fashioned Spring Cleaning BBQ on Saturday, May 16th, from 10am to 2pm in the parking lot outside our offices. We’re co-hosting it with our neighbors, the accounting firm Weiss & Company. You can bring outdated documents to shred, old electronics to recycle and donations to Goodwill. A live band will be there as well. Come join us.
Until next time, enjoy.
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