Worth the Buzz? Let’s look at the Internet of Things

Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence – our world, and also our work lives are subject to drastic change. But what is all the buzz really about? We want to leave the controversy aside for a moment and focus on the changes they will bring along for our personal careers and for our future way of working.



IoT is the interaction of physical devices and items like vehicles, buildings and other items. All those items are embedded with sensors and software and connected to the internet, which allows them to communicate amongst each other. This way, smart cities, smart cars and smart homes become a part of our everyday life.

One of the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, Gartner, Inc., forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day.


Things like talking dolls, communicating refrigerators or fully connected homes have stopped being crazy scenes from science fiction movies. They have found their way into our every day life since the Internet of Things is not only relevant for industry and machinery, but also increasingly interesting for consumer goods. These developments have a great impact on our daily patterns and the way we handle our things. You are not quite sure what we are talking about? Let us give you some examples.

Smart Fridges

Some refrigerators now have screens, that allow consumers to use their phone to post content, use a calendar, pin photos and write notes on the fridge. That doesn’t seem totally groundbreaking to you? Well, there are also cameras embedded in the fridges themselves, which allow you to look at its inside from anywhere, anytime. You can use the fridge to do online shopping, manage recipes and compile or compare shopping lists. Some fridges are able to detect when you will be running out of your favorite chocolates or beer and send a message to the supermarket – which will then provide you with exactly that product within a few hours’.

Talking Dolls

Another example is Mantels „Hello Barbie“, a talking doll. She plays games, tells jokes, inspires storytelling and even listens to the kids’ preferences and adapts to those, depending on their age and their need for information. All this is possible because this doll has WiFi capability stored in the cloud, a complex speech recognition system and can be fed with data at all times.

You find all this pretty amazing but not close enough to your personal world? Be prepared, because this is just the tip of the iceberg. Fully connected electric cars, that can already be charged by just a klick on your smartphone and that will be able to drive all by themselves are already in the stage of development.

Insurances, for example car and life insurances, can now be based on your personal way of driving or living. This is made possible by the integration of special devices in your car that keep track of your habits. Based on all the generated data, insurances can establish personalized and individual insurance premiums, while the car itself is able to tell you how long you have to wait until the traffic light in front of you will turn to green. How? Because in a smart city, your car will be connected to the sensors inside the traffic light.

As far as your health ist concerned, similar tracking devices, integrated for example in your clothes, can measure your level of fitness, your blood pressure as well as the heat of your body and forward this information to an app that pushes medical alerts whenever somethings is wrong with you.

And after all, IoT and Big Data can also have a big influence on where and when we consume information and on its relevance for us. This means, for example, that if you pass a certain lamppost every morning on your way to work, your smartphone depicts this pattern by connecting to the lampposts’ sensors and the next time you pass it, the upcoming departure times of your bus appear immediately on your phone.

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