When you think about the Internet what comes to your mind? A picture of various websites? or perhaps you think of e-mail as being part of that? or does the ‘cloud’ come to mind?
Perhaps you think of Facebook or Twitter, with other words the internet connects people?
All of the above is of course quite right, but the future internet may yet surprise you. Some years ago we saw the first pictures of refrigerators with a screen on the front connected to the internet, now they are becoming popular, and there we were being mildly amused of the somewhat ridiculous thought as to why we would we want an internet connected fridge?
Tempus Fugit as it said on an old Grandfather’s clock in my parents home, and indeed time moves on and here we are connecting all sort of things to the internet. In the factory the machinery has been connected and is monitored at a central point for all the factories via the Internet to ensure that servicing and performance is top notch, and the tools and meters used to check the performance are themselves connected so standards are adhered to.
Result is that the people responsible get information live and in real time enabling quicker and appropriate responses.
For the farmer that could be a real boon, imagine the cows having a chip relaying information of their general health so the farmer could quickly deal with any burgeoning illness, or the vet being called automatically for serious problems.
For cropping examining samples of seeds and comparing results with similar samplings from other farms may well be of interest to improve yields and quality and all done while growing at times when intervention may be possible.
We have gradually got used to using the cloud, as indeed we do for e.g. e-mail, and many of us use various storage facilities in ‘the cloud’ for photos and personal files we don’t want to lose in case of computer is hacked or subjected to malicious damage, even stolen.
Business uses the cloud for a number of activities, e.g. accounting, where several companies offer services run on their servers rather than on your own computer saving you time and hopefully money as well. No need for you to acquire the expensive software to run it all, as long as you have a browser you can connect to their services.
Back to the fridge. Why would we want one connected to the internet? The answer is of course that the fridge lets you know what products normally stored in your fridge are running low or out, and it can reorder it for you from you local supplier based on your normal usage and frequency of ordering. That way the hassles with writing out the shopping list and forgetting half of it is a thing of the past, what you need is delivered to you once a week or daily depending on you preferences and your card is debited accordingly.
For your entertainment your TV is also connected, you just log into the website or alternatively your free to air or cable programme or you Skype your friend in Timbuktu for a chat, all via the courtesy of the Internet.
Just lately we see a lot about driverless cars, Google, Volvo and Toyota among others, all are working on different concepts on making us all useless for the best of intentions, and all are courtesy of the Internet.
The internet also enables you to keep an eye on what goes on at home whilst you are out, via your smartphone or tablet, and you can check on your child in the kindergarten or see who is burgling your house, all via the internet.
At home you can wire your house so all electrical functions are steered via your smartphone, a click here opens doors,a click there lights your candelabra.
But in can’t yet light your candle when the power cuts out.
Meanwhile, let’s enjoy what we have.
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