If you have heard anything about the Internet of Things (IoT), it may sound like something straight out of science fiction. Or at least The Jetsons.
Your refrigerator orders groceries automatically when it’s low on supplies.
Your furnace changes temperature on demand through your smartphone when you are held up on a business trip.
Your television allows you to make Skype telephone calls, stream video services, and respond to physical gestures.
These weird-and-wonderful products are not in research and development but are available, right here, right now. And your next home might already be equipped with them. Or can be quite easily.
But what exactly is IofT? According to IDC Canada, the Internet of Things is actually quite straightforward and is the next evolution in manufacturing. They define it as “a network of uniquely identifiable end points (or things) that communicate without human interaction, most commonly over a wireless network.” This machine-to-machine technology, made possible by a wireless network, will allow your toaster, your security system, your garage door and your washing machine to talk to your smartphone, with either operation being done automatically or on command by you. They may also talk to each other for routine tasks without intervention from you.
These “smart” technologies are growing in popularity by leaps and bounds. A recent study estimated that annual IoT spending by Canadian businesses is predicted to grow from $5.6 billion in 2013 to $21 billion in 2018 – a 375% increase. Another international survey predicted that the economic impact of the Internet of Things could be $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion per year by 2025, or 11% of the global economy. And, in January 2015, Samsung CEO B.K. Yoon announced that 90% of the devices his company sells will connect to the Internet by 2020. That’s only in four and a half years.
A quick search of your smartphone apps store will show what is already available and ready to go. But is there a cost to all this convenience? As in any wireless application, and or use of technology, there are opportunities for the systems to experience interruptions. Not unlike running an unsecured home wireless network, these areas will need attention at installation to ensure your security and limit the potential for disruptions.
But will the installation of smart technologies/appliances increase your property’s value? Perhaps. Homes that monitor and control energy usage may provide sellers with a competitive edge. And refrigerators and freezers that advise you wirelessly if there is a power shortage may reduce your insurance rates. But if your system is just too smart, buyers might think twice about your buying your property, even if it is chatting with you on a daily basis.
To learn more about a home’s smart technology, smart appliances and energy efficient rebates talk to a Toronto Real Estate Board Professional REALTOR.
Article by Mark Mclean from www.torontosun.com