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The Internet of Things and the future of smart devices

04 June 2015

The Internet of Things really started back in 1982 at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, with the creation of the very first Internet Coke Machine by students Mike Kazar, David Nichols, John Zsarnay and Ivor Durham, in the School of Computer Science.

This intelligent machine was able to not only inform thirsty students of whether their coke was cold, but also to send out information to vendors whenever it needed re-filling. At the time, this form of communication was M2M (machine to machine), but over the last 33 years we have seen the technology evolve into so much more than that.

What is IOT?

Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to an up-and-coming range of devices - or "things" - which are connected to the Internet, either directly or via a central hub. Once online, these "things" can be used to provide a range of functions, such as smart home security, health and fitness monitoring, and even remote control of your central heating.

According to analyst firm Gartner, there will be over 26 billion connected devices by 2020, with a market worth $20 trillion. Everyday products like your dishwasher, washing machine or coffee machines have the potential to become part of the connected IoT space, making this sector one of endless possibilities to enhance and enrich our daily lives.

Getting connected

However, with the amount of data communicated via devices all over the world set to dramatically increase, the online space will need to adapt to make room. This is where IPv6 steps in, the next generation Internet protocol which will provide trillions of IP addresses to the innumerable amount of people and devices that will connect each day. The global use of IPv6 is essential as it will play a vital role in providing the infinte space for data transfer commanded by IoT products.

The future

IoT is here to change the way we live our lives. As people become busier and more distracted, it is helpful and reassuring to know that smarter, communicative devices and objects will make our daily routines run much more smoothly.

Welcome to the future!

If you are an Internet of Things start-up looking for investment from Mercia, please contact Rob Johnson.

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