Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably already heard about the Internet of Things. Sometimes called the Internet of Everything, the Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to devices and other objects that connect to the internet to collect, transmit and store data. To be considered part of the Internet of Things, an object simply has to be able to connect to the internet. New products increasingly do so–and not just things like smartphones. From simple fitness trackers that you wear on your wrist to driverless smart cars, the IoT revolution is in full swing. It’s being led by a group of incredible visionaries, including entrepreneur and philanthropist Jason Hope.
The Internet of Things has already started changing the way in which we do business. While consumers tend to think of this technology as being primarily for entertainment, the truth is that it holds incredible promise across a wide array of industries and fields. The boom in internet-connected devices and products is no mistake. This technology truly makes a huge difference, and we are only in its very earliest stages. As entrepreneurs like Jason Hope know, the changes that this technology will cause can only be imagined at this stage.
Currently, it is estimated that there are around 15 billion internet-connected devices out there. This number grows exponentially by the year. In fact, it has been estimated that there may be as many as 50 to 70 billion IoT-enabled devices and products out there by the year 2020–and that is less than three years away. Those who have already adopted the technology are poised to benefit the most from it, but it is never too late for businesses and consumers to get on board to see what all of the fuss is about.
Internet-connected devices are nothing new. After all, smartphones have been fairly ubiquitous for many years now, and mobile devices like tablets have been widely available for a long time as well. Smartphones are considered to be among the earliest internet-connected devices, but some argue that ATMs hold that distinction because they transmit data. Either way, what started with very basis devices has ballooned into something that touches seemingly every product category imaginable. Early on, though, fitness trackers like FitBit and programmable thermostats like the Nest initially captured the public’s imagination. Since then, however, the real excitement has been occurring in the worlds of manufacturing, business and even medicine.
The Internet of Things has already transformed how many companies conduct business. For manufacturers, the implications of this technology are vast. Inventory management, which is typically a major thorn in manufacturers’ sides, can be managed far more efficiently and effectively through internet-connected devices. Specialized machinery can be designed to detect when components are nearing the end of their life cycles, allowing them to be replaced preemptively before major problems develop. Vast amounts of data can be collected to more accurately assess when inventory must be replenished, making it easy to maintain just-in-time inventory levels for a healthier bottom line.
Another area in which the Internet of Things is making a huge difference is in the world of consumer goods. Things like appliances are increasingly being upgraded to include internet connectivity. This technology also allows alerts about product recalls to be sent electronically directly to devices. Consumers will then be alerted when attempting to use the device and can participate in the recall more easily. There are refrigerators that track the contents of the fridge and that can alert you when you are running low on something important. Truly, the possibilities for this technology are endless.
Wearable technologies like Apple smartwatches and FitBits have been popular for some time. In fact, more than 78 million such devices were sold in the year 2015 alone. The wearable fad isn’t going away, but it has been overshadowed a bit of late by the surge in interest in smart home technologies. Most people know about things like Nest thermostats that let you control indoor climate from your mobile device and that offer many convenient features. In the last few years, however, products like internet-connected window shades and virtual assistants like Alexa have cemented the Internet of Things’ place in the world of modern consumerism.
The Internet of Things isn’t just making life better for consumers and business more efficient for companies. It is also helping to advance some pretty amazing medical and scientific causes. Wearable technologies, for instance, may be used to continually collect vitals from wearers. Someone who suffers from high blood pressure, then, might be alerted when theirs suddenly spikes. Also, data from such devices may be transmitted directly to physicians who can then interpret the results and provide more customized treatment plans for patients. Jason Hope is one of many entrepreneurs who are working to realize the full potential of the IoT in the health care realm.
Who is Jason Hope, exactly? His name is virtually synonymous with the Internet of Things, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this fascinating entrepreneur. A native of Tempe, Arizona, Hope currently resides in Scottsdale, where he is involved in a number of business ventures. Chief among them is finding ways to use biotechnologies, including IoT technologies, to address age-related diseases. In fact, Hope recently made a $500,000 donation to the SENS Foundation to support its efforts to promote, develop and ensure access to biotechnologies that may be used to fight age-related diseases.
Jason Hope isn’t just all about business, however. As successful as he is, he also knows the importance of paying it forward and giving back. He is well known for his philanthropic activities as well as for his involvement in many great causes. One of which is assisting budding high school entrepreneurs to achieve their long-term career goals. He has also done work exploring how the airline industry uses IoT to improve customer service. Hope is a leading authority on such technologies, so if you want to stay on top of the latest developments, be sure to follow his blog.
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