The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the various devices used every day around the world that are connected to the internet. This includes your smart phone, but it also may include things like your thermostat, your television, your watch, and even your coffee maker. Each of these “things” sends its data somewhere, ostensibly to become “smart” and therefore better cater to your needs. Your thermostat remembers what time to turn itself up in the morning. Your coffee starts brewing while you’re in the shower. Your watch nudges you to take 45 more steps this hour. Each of these devices is intended to make your life a little easier by collecting and analyzing information.
More and more, this concept is being applied not just to “things” inside our houses, but to the actual buildings in which we live and work. You may have used sensors in your research; there are companies putting them into completed buildings to continue to monitor performance and receive advanced warning of defects. Sensors in concrete can monitor curing and drying, and report back data on strength, temperature, and relative humidity. IoT-connected sensors can also monitor for things like unusual vibrations within a building. As with any new technology, there are costs and a learning curve associated with adoption. Data safety is also a concern, and a reputable company should keep customers informed of how their data are being protected and used.