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The Internet of Things
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In the dark ages, the Internet was nothing more than a toy or a hobby for those who liked to live on the “cutting-edge” of technology. Slowly, it morphed into an individual tool for employees to use when doing extensive research on a particular topic, then it became a tool for those looking for art or photographs. The first wave of Internet business tools provided new ways for companies to promote, position, and advertise their goods and services.

Innovations followed swiftly – and the Internet morphed from a one-to-one tool to a one-to-many tool, and ultimately to a many-to-many tool with the advent of social networks such as Linked-in and Facebook.

What’s next? The latest buzz is all about the upcoming Internet migration from being a tool that is used mostly by people, to one that extends its reach to objects. Can’t visualize your company’s inventory interacting with the Internet? Read on…

RFID tagging – where small radio frequency transmitters are placed on containers of materials, piece parts, etc will drive one of the first waves of “things” interacting with the Internet. Small radio waves will be sent from every container, box, or even individual component that will correlate with serial numbers, date codes, or any other piece of data you want to track. Boxes in a storage facility can be tracked to exact location with the combination of RFID tracking and GPS technology.

Delivery vehicles can be tracked, and all individual shipping containers per delivery vehicle can also be tracked. And this technology extends far beyond simple package and inventory tracking! It can be used to track retail products purchased by individuals (imagine how useful it would be to have your cereal box announce that it is no longer fresh once past its use date), auto parts installed in your car, medical equipment used, and even articles of clothing.

Another wave of this movement will happen as the “Smart Grid” replaces the antiquated world power delivery systems. This will use the Internet as a communications platform between your home and power distribution stations – saving you money, saving power, and allowing selective shut down of some less critical appliances and outlets in the advent of a brown-out or overload. No more blown transformers or complete black-outs!

Home Appliances can become “smart” as things increasingly begin to interact with the Internet. Your refrigerator can IM you to let you know you are about to run out of eggs, or that the milk has gone bad (based on days of storage). You can tap a few keys on your computer before leaving work, and come home to a warm hot tub and soft music to unwind from your day.

Your business – small or large – as well as your home needs to be equipped to take advantage of these new trends. This means having a solid networking backbone based on either a cat 5e or cat6 cable scheme, and a well-designed data storage and delivery system. It also may mean consulting with professionals, like structured cabling installers, in order to plan for both current, and future needs for your “smart” home and business.

If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our Network Cabling website as the original source).

Mark Doyle
Mark Doyle is a cables/wires specialist and the founder of “The Wires Blog”: