The Internet of Things (IOT)
Photo and graphics created by Kate Couch with Canva
What is the IOT and how will it affect AV?
Written By: Kate Couch
Earlier this month we mentioned how we would be going into depth about the Internet of Things. What is the Internet of Things? Simply put the Internet of Things is: device, connection, and data collection. It also is the number of devices connected to the internet. With everything from scales, TVs to your refrigerator “everything” nowadays is a smart device, meaning that it has the ability to be connected to the internet. The idea that everything will soon become connected to the internet or how many things are connected to the internet is called The Internet of Things or IOT.
Currently, there are 27.6 billion gadgets connected to the internet according to multiple sources. People also predict that by the end of 2021 there will be 46 billion devices connected to the internet. These numbers are insane And according to an article done by Sloan in 2018, there were 17 billion devices connected to the internet so in three years an roughly additional 10 billion Devices were created to be able to connect to the internet.
Audio-visual has a huge play in IOT mostly because audio-visual falls under a lot of the categories of these gadgets. Microphones, sound systems, TVs, projectors, smart audio, and lighting equipment, all of these things are now connected to the internet. Earlier in an AV career, a considerable amount of these things would not be connected to the internet. There was no need for your projector to connect to the internet, it connected to your computer which connected to the internet. There is no need for your light bulb to connect to the internet or your microphone but now all these things do and it heavily affects how we do things in our industry.
A huge part of IOT is data collection. The idea of data collection scares a lot of people. It goes back to the age-old belief that the government is wiretapping your homes and now for most people that is in-home assistant devices like Alexa. There is no proof for this theory that the government is listening to your conversations even when you do not interact with your home device. However, there is still data collection behind those things. In a corporate office, this can be extremely useful for a multitude of reasons.
The nice thing about data is it’s universal so even though it's only collecting one type of data it can apply to many different areas. If you want to cut your electric bill cost down you can look at the data your smart devices have collected to see where you're wasting electricity. If you want a performance scan on your projectors or your audio equipment you no longer have to have people come out and tell you that your equipment is outdated or have them troubleshoot. A lot of times now the beginning steps of troubleshooting can be done from your phone. Many of the smart things we see in our homes will soon be incorporated into the corporate office.
We talked about this on our blog a couple of weeks ago. The idea of having a smart home can look much like having a smart office. The ability to control lighting, sound, what doors are locked, who's in who's room, all from the small device that fits in your back pocket.
This data collection in addition to being used for clients of AV homes and offices can also be used for audiovisual team members themselves. Through this constant data collection, you can see how your customer’s equipment is performing or understand the needs of your client better through data collection of other smart devices in their home. The options of data collection through IOT are endless and it's honestly the most astounding part. Even though it's cool that all of your devices can be connected to the internet the part that really stands out, unlike any other time in history is the data collection. This is the first time in human history that we can collect and retrieve data so fast. To instantly get the analytics on any device we have almost no matter what it's used for... it's revolutionary.
IOT is a large subject that we will be going more in-depth within later weeks. But the takeaway today is that the Internet of Things is a vast, interconnected world that doesn't just affect AV it affects nearly every industry, in every aspect of life that involves a device.