Imagine: The Internet of Things

Imagine this if you can

Driving home from a long trip, you find yourself completely beaten. You glance down, bug-eyed, staring at your feet. A car zooms towards you and your heart skips a beat. But before the metal squeals or your face goes through the windshield, a voice comes on: “Please stand by while your car directs you to safety.”

Both cars move seamlessly apart and a device sends a message to your doctor and your spouse, reminding them to keep tabs on you. This is only partly because of the almost-accident; it is also because something inside your body is looking out for you.

You let your car take over. There’s no need to worry. It knows the way home and the other cars will mind their own business. So you lean back, thinking about dinner. You ask the device what ingredients you have at home. It lists everything in your pantry and fridge, even reminding you which ingredients may be on the verge of expiring. You start your oven (no need to worry about a fire) then close your eyes and take a nap. You forget to turn your house A/C on, but that’s ok because the system knows you’re coming home. Oh, and traffic is great because the road can talk to cars.

When you get home, the oven is ready and the house is cool. You use the device to turn the lights on, put on some music and start the laundry machine. The dryer will run no longer than needed and will use little energy. The music volume will adjust to your distance from the speakers. After dinner, you lean back in your favorite chair and dose. The lights dim and the music stops, because even machines know better than to bother you while you are sleeping.

 

Actually… that’s kind of how it is

If this story felt believable to you, it’s because it is. Ever heard of the Internet of Things? (IoT) Well you should have by now, because it’s going to make real life better than science fiction. While most experts agree that the IoT is coming, many disagree on how. Some dream of a cellular world, where smart phones communicate constantly; some envision a grand marketing information scheme, where advertisements are based on our actions. Freescale dreams bigger. We have the unique perspective of a company that gets to deal in every aspect of the IoT future, from the tiny chips inside of our bodies to large sensors on the freeway. You know that term connected intelligence that keeps bouncing around everywhere? Well this is sort of what we had in mind.

Forget phones and tablets because those are old news. Instead, imagine a world where every object, from the dishwasher, to your car, to the freeway, is communicating. Imagine less pollution, perfect supply chain management and complete control of your entire home with a single gateway device. Now that, is the future we envision. So next time one of your friends is going on about how nifty and innovative their new phone is, try to be nice, because it’s not their fault they don’t know.

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