Picture this: you decide to go away for a week with your family. You all could use some time away from the stressors of life and home, and so you book a week at a beach house a couple of hours away. You leave your beloved cat, Paws, at home. While you are gone, normal life does not stop. From your smartphone, you can monitor what is happening at your home. You can monitor the temperature of your home via your smart thermostat, and you can make adjustments accordingly. If someone stops by your house, your smart doorbell will notify you and record it. When your neighbor lets himself in to water your plants, you will hear a chime on your phone. When Paws needs to eat, you can feed him via his smart feeder. By the time you get home, everything will be in order and nothing will be a surprise.
You can do all of this because your smartphone and your smart devices at home are all connected via an IoT, or an Internet of Things. IoTs have revolutionized our modern life. So much of our day-to-day tasks can be automated and monitored that someone time traveling to 2021 from the mid 90s would be blown away by what we are capable of. IoT is incredible technology, and it is made possible by one thing: data connectivity.
Without data connectivity, the smart devices in your home could not be controlled via your smartphone. You would go away for a week and leave all of those Internet-enable devices laying dormant. In order to get IoTs to work, they all need to connect to one another. Imagine enjoying a day at the beach, only to discover that you had lost your connection to the feeder Paws relies on. Your beloved kitty could no longer get food. Once that connection is lost, you are left scrambling to either find someone locally to go look after your pet, or you are packing it up early to make it home to your four-legged friend.
When it comes to choosing an IoT to power your life, there are several things you should consider:
• Connectivity: Do not just purchase the first IoT package that is presented to you. First, take stock of what you need the IoT to do for you. Are you simply hoping to connect a wearable like a smartwatch for your smartphone that is usually with you? That connectivity is easier to achieve than the connectivity of the entire smart home outlined above. You need to know how many devices you want to connect, how vital the connection is, and what you will do if the connection fails.
• Security: The security between your smartphone and your fridge is not as vital as the security between your smartphone and your home security system, so make sure that you know what you will be using your IoT for and how vital it is to keep your information private.
• Data Aggregation and Management: How long do you want to keep data from your IoT? A record of the recent feedings that Paws got probably do not need to be stored for too long, but you may want your health information to go back years. Make sure you know how your IoT data is stored, and how long it is stored for.