The recent European Football Championship held in France brought back memories of the last time the Championship was held in England. The summer of 1996 seemed to hold such promise: could England actually win something? No, of course not but, unlike this year, they played well and made it to the semi-final (and a meeting with Germany…). We can think back to 1996 and it doesn’t really feel like a distant time at all.
But then you think about how our lives have actually been changed since then. How many of us were using the internet twenty years ago? As the technology was then in its infancy, the answer is not that many. Today, the reach of the internet is almost universal and it touches every aspect of our lives. It is how many of us get our news, do our banking and shopping, engage with our friends and family and experience entertainment. In just twenty short years, the internet has transformed the way we live our lives.
Technology never stands still; it’s a continuously developing evolution. The next advances will shape the way our homes look and, crucially, change the way in which they behave.
The Internet of Things is a term used to describe how appliances within the home (and other buildings) can be connected through embedded electronics and sensors. A basic and existing example would be smart home energy management, which allows you to control your home heating system remotely from your smart phone. Another currently available appliance is the smart fridge which takes three photos of the interior every time the door is closed. These images are then sent to your smart phone so you always know what is in there, allowing you to plan and shop as required. Or how about a smart pet feeder that enables you to feed your pet from your phone. It even has a built in webcam so you can see what your four-legged friend gets up to when you’re not at home.