student washing machine

IoT (Internet of Things)

More and more often you hear the term IoT. But what does it actually mean? IoT stands for Internet of Things. So in addition to "online people", there are now also "online devices".

The term IoT is used for the network of billions different devices connected to the internet to collect and exchange data. Important is that it is not about your own computer or telephone on which you yourself occasionally go on the internet, but that it is about devices that are always connected to the internet. By communicating with people or other devices, these devices can make independent decisions or perform certain actions autonomously.

In 1939, the producer of household appliances, Philco, came up with a device with which you could control the channels and volume of your radio. However, that is not a smart device, but a remote control. With smart devices it is not about operating a device, but the communication between devices without the user having to be involved.

There are many different devices part of IoT, for example a printer that is always connected to the internet and thus recognizes when the software can be updated online, or a fire alarm that sends an alarm signal to the fire brigade via a network itself. Although this sounds special, there are many more things where IoT plays an important role. Consider underground garbage containers in the city that send a signal when they have to be emptied. Think of city lighting, which can adjust the brightness of the light itself based on the amount of pedestrians. Or even sensors that measure the quality of drinking water in various places in the Netherlands.

In the future, IoT will become bigger and even more important, because the possibilities are endless. Imagine a man with a portable device such as his mobile that goes to his local gym. His phone automatically connects to the treadmill on which his sport preferences are stored. Then the television jumps to his favourite television program and after exercise he receives personal nutrition tips on his smartphone based on his weight, height, health and sports behaviour. Or imagine that your fridge knows when your food is out of date or that your shoes indicate that you are not moving enough.

The Homie washing machine is also a good example of IoT. Our "smart" washing machines are connected to the internet via the customer's Wi-Fi network. But where other smart washing machines often can only give information through an app about a malfunction or the washing time, IoT allows us to offer a Pay-Per-Wash concept. This is possible because the tracker in our washing machine sends a signal to the Homie server every time someone washes. And once the laundry is ready, our customers will automatically receive a notification e-mail including a payment request. Wonderful how easy these things go nowadays.