Now that we have smartphones and smart homes, the idea of an Internet of Things may seem obvious. But it wasn’t always that way.
Back in the 1980s there were a few people trying to remotely monitor vending machines, toasters, and other devices. But it wasn’t until 1999 that a computer scientist named Kevin Ashton coined the term “Internet of Things.” By the mid-2000s cell phone and internet technology had advanced enough to make the IoT really blow up.
Companies like LG began to offer smart refrigerators that could be controlled from afar. At the same time, businesses and governments were developing remote monitoring technology for security purposes. By the mid 2010s, smart thermostats and smart speakers were becoming common household items.
These days, almost every electronic device, from TVs to bicycles, is online. This means that the lines are really blurring between the Internet of Things and the “real world” itself. In a way, the true IoT meaning is constantly shifting as we connect more and more of our world to online networks.