The 'What Ifs' of the Internet of Things

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Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies recently posed the question, is the Internet of Things all hype, or is it a reality? He writes, "The discussion around [the Internet of Things] typically has been about the possibilities — the big 'what ifs,' particularly as it relates to consumers. There are many interesting ideas that will offer new conveniences and life-changing applications. We talk about 'what if' we could connect the Internet to the things in our everyday life. At the 2013 International CES last week, we heard a lot about Internet-connected crockpots, washing machines and other home appliances. In a nutshell, it’s about using data to make objects smarter and more responsive to our needs."

He goes on, "But I also see Internet of Things as a way to address important business challenges and critical global issues. 'What if' we could connect the Internet to the things in a hospital — such as medication and expensive, critical equipment — to improve patient safety and ensure the right tools are available when doctors needs them. Or, to the things we eat, ensuring we can track food from the farm to the shelf to the home or restaurant, dramatically changing the outcome of food recalls. These are big ideas. But are they really possible? Yes, they are, and we are already making strides to address big issues like patient safety and food traceability through IoT solutions."

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