Though the term Internet of Things (IoT) is not new, the concept is increasingly becoming prevalent in day-to-day life. The IoT is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.
The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.
Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50bn objects by 2020.
In the once-in-five-years Canon Expo in Paris earlier this month, the imaging technology major showed how the world of imaging is expanding rapidly in the age of the Internet of Things. The premise is that in the future nearly everything will be connected through smart devices, which rely on built-in cameras or sensors and the data they generate.
As a result, as Canon chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai predicted in his keynote address, the Internet of Things will largely depend on the “Imaging of Things”. For example, if you are returning from a trip, the moment you enter your home, pictures are automatically downloaded from your Canon camera by a technology named Intelligent Imaging for Life, uploaded to the cloud and displayed on a chosen wall. The pictures are tagged by the system based on the individuals in them, where and when they were taken and also the objects featured.
Intelligent Imaging for Life creates personalised displays, such as images from the beach during summer, previous party pictures on someone’s birthday or your favourite group photos of people coming for dinner. The pictures can be quickly organised and uploaded to the cloud also with the Next Generation Connect Station by just placing the imaging device on it. The station wirelessly charges your devices and processes photos and videos in 4K.
Images can be organised in a chronological order, event-wise or through your own search and filtering options to self-generate photo albums. Being on the cloud, the pictures can be viewed across a variety of devices, such as your smartphone, tablet or TV.
Designed to take your photos out of storage and display them in the home, the system allows you to organise, review and create collections that can easily be shared as well via the cloud. You can also use the technology to create framed prints, using the table to resize, crop and print photos to the exact size.
The IoT concept is also being applied to great effect by popular artistes. For example, on Taylor Swift’s “1989 Tour” that is criss-crossing the globe, concert-goers receive a wristband upon entrance to the venue. At some point during the show it magically lights up, co-ordinated to songs.
The wristband is powered by a company named PixMob, which specialises in wireless LED technology. Infrared transmitters, which work on the same technology in gadget remotes, are used to control the LEDs on the wristband. Bruno Mars, another famous singer, used the concept at the Super Bowl.
According to Microsoft, IoT is at an inflection point now. An inflection point can be considered a turning point after which a dramatic change, with either positive or negative results, is expected to result. Going by the trend, IoT could progress only in an overwhelmingly positive way.
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