The future is now. They’re talking to each other.
Not people. Machines.
Yup – you read that right. This is no longer the stuff of science fiction. We’ve advanced beyond the level of people interacting with machines. Machines have been talking to each other for a while, but activity is at a level where the phenomenon now has its own acronym: IoT, the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things even had its first world forum in October 2013.You may not realize it, but you’ve already experienced the IoT.
- Starbucks has installed Internet links on more than 500 brewing machines in stores around the United States. These links send information to the corporate headquarters regarding sales of particular roast blends.
- Factories are installing sensors to synchronize production and link manufacturing machines to reduce energy consumption.
- Oil refineries and water treatment plants are connected to the IoT, allowing them to order parts automatically.
- Schlage and other companies manufacture locks and security systems that can be controlled from your smart phone or tablet…even when you’re not home.
- Every time you use wireless technology to connect to the Internet or print a document from a remote location, you are benefitting from the IoT.
This is only the beginning of what Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers calls the “fourth wave of the Internet.” Cisco is the largest supplier of Internet equipment, and they anticipate that fifty billion devices will be interconnected in the next five years.
What would happen if you and I were as well-connected as the machines? If we really talked to each other…and listened? If we stopped seeing each other as competition or threats, and started working together in true unity?
In John 17:11, Jesus asked the Father to protect us so that we may be one – Christians united in Christ. Sad to say, the IoT is putting us to shame.