The Internet of Things is taking off, with connected devices likely to be a big part of our future.
In fact, Google's Eric Schmidt has even said that the Internet will "disappear" from our consciousness, as it simply becomes a part of our environment, largely due to the uprising of the Internet of Things.
Billions more devices are expected to come online over the next 10 years, making people's interaction with technology commonplace. At the end of a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Schmidt said, "It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room."
There's even a new operating system for IoT devices. To speed adoption, chipmaker ARM is debuting an operating platform specifically for connecting everyday objects that is based on mbed hardware and software, and includes both a free operating system and a server-side software product that brings everything together.
So what kinds of devices can we expect?
1. Smart Refrigerators
OK, sure, you might be saying that smart fridges already exist. That may be true, but they also aren't really that smart, they just have a screen that can connect to the Internet.
Imagine if your fridge could analyze what is in it, and then build you a shopping list based on your previous food-buying habits. or even order the groceries for delivery on its own? Or if it could sense when you're going to be home from the GPS signal on your phone and put a frozen pizza in the oven through a little door in the side?
2. Smart Couches
Heated seats are nice, especially in the middle of the winter. While the oven is cooking the pizza that the fridge put in, it would be great if your couch was heating up so that you have a warm place to sit down and eat. The same concept could be applied to dining chairs, too, in case you don't want to eat on the couch.
3. Smart Toothbrushes
Smart toothbrushes are another item that already exist, but they are still in their early stages. Currently they can detect when you haven't properly brushed certain areas of your mouth. However, smart toothbrushes could go one step further. One day, our toothbrushes will be able to detect the healthiness of your teeth, telling the user when it's time to go to the dentist.
4. Smart Plates, Bowls and Cups
Tracking what we eat can be difficult, especially when we're hungry. But what if our plates and bowls could track what we're eating? This could not only help us with our diets, but could make waves in the health system as a whole. It could help make our health insurance cheaper and could help us live healthier lives.
5. Smart Cars
No, I'm not talking about the small cars made by a company called "Smart," which is owned by Daimler. I'm talking about cars that can sense when you're about to exit the mall and drive up to the curb with heated seats and music playing, to pick you up. Gone are the days where we forget where we parked, because our car will do it all for us.