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What Is the "Internet of Things"?

The "Internet of Things" is everywhere. But what is it exactly? And how does it affect your life? Tech Talker delves into this hot new buzz word.

By
Eric Escobar
February 27, 2014
Episode #114

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What is the "Internet of Things" or IoT?

This new buzz phrase has been floating around the internet for a while and is now beginning to make its way into mainstream media. Naturally when words like this enter the general lexicon, I get a lot of questions about them!

This one is near and dear to my heart, so I'm going to roll up my sleeves and try to explain away this catch-all term!

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First of all, what is the “Internet of Things”?

What is the Internet of Things?

Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like: things that have internet!

What sorts of things you might be wondering? Well just about anything from an internet-connected refrigerator, to a smart TV, a plugged-in laundry room, and even your WiFi wired actual house!

I’ve done episodes on products that would be considered within the scope of the “Internet of Things,” such as the Nest thermostat, Apple TV, Chromecast, and even security cameras! All of these things fit into the category of internet-enabled things.

What's the Big Deal About IoT?

So why is this becoming such a big deal all of a sudden? Well this is something that has been ramping up in the past few years because of the ever growing size and speed of the internet. Once people began to get internet on their phones, forward-thinking geeks started to wonder: What else could you plug into the internet?

At first it seemed ridiculous. Why the heck would you want your toaster, fridge, washer, or dryer hooked up to the internet? Then companies such as Nest began to develop and their thinking was, "What if you had your thermostat connected to the internet? What if you could turn it on remotely and adjust the temperature settings of your home from anywhere?"

Then the question changed into "What if you could build intelligence into such a device that it could learn your schedule and adjust itself accordingly?" Pretty soon that ridiculous idea was bought by Google for a whopping $3 billion!

Devices like the Nest smart thermostat are beginning to hit the mainstream because of the ease of use they provide to consumers and because of the lower cost of the components that make up these devices.

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