Nowadays we can feel in our daily lives how the internet has had impact everything around us. We are now connected more than ever to information, places and people from all over the world. And in this book from the "The MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series" called "The Internet of Things", Samuel Greengard tells us how connectivity with objects will impact all the industries and how we interact with everything in our lives.
As working in the automotive industry, I started getting interested in studying how autonomous cars will impact mobility in the future. After reading the article "How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025" by Zack Kanter on Medium, I realized how closed to this future we are, and how big will be the impact in the transportation industry. Google's self-driving car has already driven 1 million miles by itself and they are planning to launch to public in 2017, as long as Tesla is planning to launch late this year a car which can operate 90% autonomously. It means that in the near future cars will be connected and see everything around them, preventing millions of deaths per year, saving billions of dollars by energy optimization and making traffic much more fluid. The way people interact and move in the city will be changed by the growing of sharing economy and connectivity, providing a much more integrated mobility system. It will be easier to request a car only when you need, and more people will realize the waste it is to own a vehicle that stand still 96% of the time considering the astonishing costs for buying it and maintain it (you can see it in Morgan Stanley's research). That's why services like Uber and Zipcar are growing up so fast as an alternative car ownership, and their main goal for the future is to have driverless cars in their fleet.
This is the Internet of Things taking shape to provide a better mobility system. And Samuel Greengard shows us in the book a lot of examples in how the IoT will transform almost all the industries to provide better solutions, from the way we buy products and interact with things in our home to healthcare and manufacturing. With things connected to each other by the growing of mobiles, cloud computing, RFID technology (radio-frequency identification) and sensors, we will be able to access data and measure patterns to identify problems and provide better solutions. Solutions like Fitbit will make us to have control of our health situation and help researchers to identify the cause of diseases and prevent them in the early stages, farmers using sensors embedded in machinery and fields to dispense fertilizers and pesticides at more precise and environmentally friendly levels, smart thermostats like Nest optimize performance and reduce energy consumption by as much as 40 or 50 percent, and connected manholes like Bueiros Conectados from my college Andrei Speridião provides better maintain against floods and water logging by showing in an app the status of each manhole in the city.
Greengard show us that the IoT is in the early stages, and there's a lot of concerns and risks we need to pay attention, including a widening digital divide and threats to privacy and security. But technology has transformed society through centuries, and it's real that this connected revolution - which some adopters are calling 4th Industrial Revolution - is transforming a lot of big traditional industries from all over the world.