By Beverly Macy
A few short years later and we’re witnessing a new example of (smart) little things having big impact. Stephan Ferber puts it this way in the Harvard Business Review: “If you are not familiar with the term, the Internet of Things refers to a dramatic development in the Internet’s function: the fact that, even more than among people, it now enables communication among physical objects. By 2015, according to my own firm’s projections, not only will 75 percent of the world’s population have access to the Internet. So will some six billion devices. The fact that there will be a global system of interconnected computer networks, sensors, actuators, and devices all using the Internet protocol holds so much potential to change our lives that it is often referred to as the Internet’s next generation.”
The collision of big data and machine-to-machine connected information—all in the cloud—will be explosive. Add to that a layer of billions of consumers with smartphones on social networks and wow.
Companies are just beginning to think about what this is going to mean to their industry—from automotive, to retail, to heavy equipment, to health and pharma, to consumer electronics, to home security—the list is endless. My smart home will know everything about me and will serve me in ways I can’t even imagine now. My car will communicate with the manufacturer to schedule service, and even my smart toothbrush will collect data about me and my health.
Just imagine the smart and connected hospital bed that takes vital signs regularly and communicates via big data systems to healthcare providers about your elderly mom’s condition—it can even text or tweet you that everything’s alright. And when she comes home, her pill bottle will know if she’s in compliance with her medical procedures.
Chaos? No, highly promising and intriguing. We’re just at the beginning of a new butterfly effect.
Beverly Macy is the co-author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post.