You’ve heard the term Internet of Things (IoT for short) and experts talk it as the great technological innovation of our generation which will change the way we interact with our environment and our environment interacts with us and with itself. By definition, IoT refers to a network of physical objects that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity which enables them to collect and share data. So what does this mean? These real world applications will help to solidify the power of connectivity that IoT enablement can deliver and perhaps spark an opportunity for your business or product to become differentiated by leveraging IoT capabilities.

  1. Healthcare integration

New wearable devices pop up everyday. We have wearables to track bio-metric data and these will only get smarter, monitoring mental health indicators, sugar levels, hydration and so on. In the future, wearable devices will have the capability to automatically detect abnormalities, create and send reports to your healthcare provider. An aging population will benefit greatly from IoT advances in the home, as a fall or change in behavior will trigger notification of emergency services and emergency contacts.

  1. Improved Shopping Experiences

Pairing your everyday shopping items, important events and plans in your calendar, your location and inputs from retailers, your device will be enabled with real-time offers on items curated specifically to suit your needs.

  1. Smart Cities

Imagine a time when an accident on your route to work will be the trigger to send your device (or Smart Car!) on the best route for the day. This day isn’t too far away, nor are IoT applications to control traffic signals, roadways and transit systems. Cisco is leading the way with its partners in enabling Smart Cities around the world.

  1. Improved Experiences

Experiences can be transformed when curated for the individual. Cue Context is changing the way that visitors experience cultural institutions like zoos, aquariums and museums. They create concierge mobile experiences informed by the places people go and situations they encounter to the right content at the right time and with the right context to deliver richer experiences.

Beyond the real world applications that will affect our lives, the data generated through IoT initiatives will help organizations make better, more informed decisions. As you are thinking through long-term strategy for your business or product, consider the value creation that may be enabled by integration of IoT innovation.