What Is the Internet of Things? 6 Applications You May Not Know About

White kitchen

By Tricia McKinnon

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to devices that collect, transmit and share data through the internet.  These devices are growing in popularity and it is estimated that there could be as many as 200 billion internet connected devices on the market by 2020. From smart doorbells to stoves that practically work on autopilot here are six practical IoT applications.  

Not at home? Not a problem. A smart doorbell along with a smart camera will identify when someone is approaching a homeowner’s front door. Then a text message is sent to notify the homeowner.  Using the smartphone app the homeowner can see who is waiting outside and can either grant or deny access.  All of this can be done while sitting on a couch at home or from the office.  

Smart refrigerators have a wide range of features including sensing when grocery items are running low and providing a notification to restock them. Equipped with internal cameras consumers can see what is inside of their fridge on the way to the grocery store by using a connected smartphone app.  If the homeowner has other smart home devices by looking at the interface on the fridge they can see who rang the doorbell and even check on a sleeping baby in another room.  

Smart stoves allow homeowners to start pre-heating their oven before they arrive home.  These stoves also come with the ability to adjust the temperature and turn the oven off remotely.  Some smart stoves are also integrated with recipe apps such as Yummly where it is possible to select a recipe from the app then the stove will automatically pre-heat, cook and then turn off when the recipe’s specified cooking time is over.  

Light switches.  No need to walk around your home turning off and on the lights each night.  With smart light switches it is possible to turn lights on and off remotely using your smart phone, whether you are home or not.  

With an automatic replenishment device shopping has never been easier.  Amazon launched its “dash button” in 2015.  It is the size of a key fob and can be placed anywhere in a customer’s home.   According to Amazon the “Amazon Dash Button is a Wi-Fi-connected device that reorders your favourite item with the press of a button”. It enables easy reordering of household staples such as Tide and Glad garbage bags. 

Fitness trackers which calculate calories burned and monitor sleep function are one of the most well-known IoT devices. 


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