My Manila Folder Just Updated Its Relationship Status: What is the Internet of Things?

Not so long ago, in an office cubicle far, far away, a large manila envelope disappeared. The envelope itself had little-to-no value to anyone, but the doctor’s records and X-ray images inside it are a completely different story. Somewhere between this cubicle and the hospital’s mailroom four stories below, your medical records are sitting unsecured.

However, no one is panicked. A few keystrokes tell the technician that the envelope’s network-connected silicone chip never made it to the elevator, nor did it leave via a stairway. After a couple of minutes spent retracing steps, the technician finds the envelope: it fell from the desk and landed between two filing cabinets.

Your medical records are once again secure and headed towards your new doctor thanks to what’s called “The Internet of Things” (IoT).

How we got here

The Internet 1.0 was all about connecting the world to the Internet and standardizing basic services like email and HTML. The Internet 2.0 was about putting users in control of the web, which allowed for social media, start-up e-commerce and file sharing.

Today, the Internet 3.0, also known as the IoT, is the ongoing push to connect the environment and materials you interact with every day to the Internet. Once connected, programs will capture relevant data that allows you to proactively eliminate inefficiencies, errors, mistakes and lost revenue in a million little ways. In fact, analysts at Gartner anticipate as many as 26 billion devices – excluding PCs, smartphones and tablets – will be connected to the IoT by 2020.

So for example, when an important file goes missing the technician can check the network at the latest location update sent by the tiny chip inside the manila envelope. Had it passed through the invisible scanners at each door, the network would know it.

The IoT today

This technology is already being implemented in a variety of different methods across the world: Disney parks already use RFID chips in their mugs and cups to track refills, and irrigation systems interact with local networks to optimize water usage and crop production.

The IoT has already proven itself cost-worthy for many Enterprise level organizations, and as the costs come down, NSG is keeping an eye on how this revolution makes a daily impact in homes and offices across the world.

NSG is Nashville’s premier provider of Managed IT Services and end-to-end business technology. For more information on how we can help your organization today, visit nsgllc.com or call us at (615) 577-4390.

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