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The Internet of Things (IoT) – that’s just connected cars, smart thermostats and self-replenishing fridges isn’t it? Well, no actually. The seemingly endless possibilities presented by IoT could significantly improve efficiency, reduce costs, improve customers’ experiences and potentially even save lives – not to mention generate an abundance of new opportunities for our very own channel.

What is IoT?
First things first, let’s explain what we’re talking about here. The Internet of Things is when everyday objects (such as cars and thermostats) are connected to the Internet and ‘talk’ to each other and to other systems to enhance the consumer/user’s experience and automate relatively basic actions.

For example, most of us have heard of smart thermostats by now (e.g. Nest and Hive). A thermostat that can be controlled either by your mobile, tablet or PC or can detect and automatically utilise data it receives from your home environment. In some situations it can even learn your behaviour to turn on and off at appropriate times, set the most comfortable temperature throughout your home and help you to reduce or at least monitor your energy consumption.

That’s just one example of IoT that is growing dramatically in popularity, helping us to create ‘smart homes’. In truth, the possibilities really are endless and new ideas and applications are being released every day – from connected cars that relay information to your insurance company, find parking spaces and book a mechanic, through to unobtrusive heart monitors for remote medical monitoring by doctors. The links below provide many more interesting examples if you are intrigued:

What’s all this got to do with me?
More and more smart devices and connected appliances mean an ever increasing reliance on connectivity and further increases in bandwidth consumption. Whether it’s business users employing comprehensive utility monitoring and management devices to reduce energy bills, control heating and automate lighting within an office; or more simple smart thermometers in the home, they all need to be connected to the Internet to work – it’s in the name after all!

As this market continues to grow as expected, customers’ connectivity requirements are also going to increase – providing you with further opportunities. Whether you upsell faster, higher bandwidth broadband packages or upgrade business customers to higher capacity Ethernet and leased lines – the fundamental principle is the same. As users we will continue to send and receive more and more data across the Internet and we will continue to demand more and more from our connectivity.

Not convinced it will ‘catch on’? Well Google are! They recently purchased Nest, one of the leading manufacturers of smart thermometers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for $3.2 billion.

So, basically, we’re saying – whether the growing adoption of IoT is fast (as expected) or comes at a slower pace, it will inevitably bring with it increased opportunities for ISPs and therefore should be embraced. It’s one to watch!

Have your say!

Do you think IoT will catch on or is just the latest fad? Have you identified customers with multiple work vehicles who could benefit from reductions in connectivity and motoring costs by adding a mobile data hub to their vehicle that reports telematics back to HQ (All new cars in the EU have to offer connectivity from this year)? Are you already experiencing increased opportunities due to customer’s early adoption? Share your experiences and let us know your opinion by leaving us a comment below.

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