I was Guest Speaker at the monthly meeting of a Parramatta seniors computer club in July 2014 and gave a talk on “The Internet of Things”, a topic that the group themselves choose.
So far the internet has been used to connect people and computers but the next revolution will involve the everyday things in our lives and connect them to ourselves and the internet. Many companies such as google, Samsung and Apple are preparing for this already with new products expected to be released soon. The things that could be connected to the internet include anything in the house such as lights, air conditioners, security, entertainment and home automation systems. An example would be your front door bell. If someone press this button then the sound system playing in your house mutes so that you can hear that there is a visitor. If you are not home then the call is related to your mobile phone via SMS or email with a photo of the person at the front door. If the person tries to break in it triggers the alarm system and informs you again via email or SMS. At the July meeting I proposed two courses for seniors computer clubs members next year:
- An overview of the Internet of Things with demos and discussion. Demos would include how to use the Philips Hue Lighting System at home and using Parrot’s Flower Power to look after pot plants at home. All of these would connect the item such as the plot plant to the internet and monitor the health of the item.
- A practical hands on course using the home automation system, Ninja Blocks. There would be a preliminary session in late 2014 for members interested in this course so that they can order equipment such as Ninja Blocks on time. Members doing this course are expected to do projects like developing a home security or home automation system based on the Internet of Things.