The internet of things will transform everyday life, from managing airports’ passenger flow to heating buildings and caring for the elderly.

The ability to network electronics in a standard way is set to revolutionise intelligent device control. It represents the world defined by the so-called internet of things (IoT), where electronic equipment transmits data into the cloud over the internet using TCP/IP.

As Computer Weekly reported earlier this year, GE is developing a sensor networkbased on the principals of IoT to monitor turbines constantly in order to reduce downtime.

In the home, internet-based home automation is now possible thanks to low cost computing devices – such as theRaspberry Pi – RF networks and infrared-to-IP interfaces. British Gas’s Connected Home business, for example, sells a £200 internet-connected central heating controller.

IoT scales up to city-wide initiatives. For instance, Xerox Parc has developed a system for managing traffic flow in Los Angeles with dynamic pricing at parking meters. The company deployed 7,000 sensors around the city to detect if a parking meter was occupied and adjusted pricing dynamically to ensure 20% of parking spaces were always available.

The IoT is a revolution that promises to change people’s lives, from inside the home to right across society. The reason it will happen is because of the boom in low-cost computing. In fact, Steve Furber, who was the principal designer of the ARM processor, believes IoT will be the next big growth area for ARM.

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