Imagine a world where refrigerators communicate with shopping apps to let you know when you need to buy more milk, where your undershirt can warn you that you’re coming down with a flu or where your dishwasher warns you that it’s about to break down. Well, that world is already here, and it’s being brought to you by the Internet of Things. Although it’s not a new concept, the Internet of Things, or IoT, has really started coming into its own. Still, we’re only at the very beginning of what is certain to be an amazing revolution–one that is being led by visionaries like entrepreneur Jason Hope.
What is the Internet of Things?
By now, most people have at least heard the term Internet of Things mentioned in passing, and plenty are fairly well-versed about what it entails. Put simply, the IoT refers to the collective connection of internet-connected devices and objects. Early examples of such devices include smartphones, smart watches and thermostats like the Nest. Today, internet-connected devices that transmit, receive and store data have expanded to include just about anything imaginable, from refrigerators to t-shirts to garage door openers. On the consumer level, they provide more personalized experiences and improved customer service; on the business level, they provide invaluable data that can be used for marketing purposes.
How Prevalent is It?
If you don’t already own at least one internet-connected device or object, you are increasingly in the minority. After all, even a smartphone is technically connected to the internet, so it is part of the IoT. Currently, it is estimated that there are approximately 15 billion IoT-enabled devices in use today. By the year 2020, that figure is expected to soar to 50 to 70 billion. Consider this: By the year 2020, it is believed that around 82 percent of new vehicles will be connected to the internet.
How the IoT Touches Every Aspect of Our Lives
Already, the IoT has transformed the way in which we live our lives. The market is already flooded with internet-connected devices that promise to make life better, easier and more convenient. Early on, programmable, internet-connected thermostats provided a clear example of what could be achieved with this technology. The Nest was among the first such device that could be accessed via smartphones and other internet-connected mobile devices. More advanced models can detect when you arrive home and adjust the temperature automatically, and they include many other advanced features too.
Although a lot of emphasis is placed on the benefits that the Internet of Things delivers for consumers, it is important to note that the true story here revolves around data. At the end of the day, the main thing that is revolutionary about the IoT is the manner in which it expands upon our already incredible capability to store, transmit, create and use data. Many consumer appliances like dishwashers now include internet connectivity. They automatically transmit information to a central repository and send alerts when maintenance is due or when something appears to be in need of repair.
Uses and Benefits for Businesses
To understand the most impressive qualities of the Internet of Things, you need to look at how it is being used in the worlds of business and manufacturing. This is where entrepreneurs like Jason Hope are really making their mark, as they explore the many ways in which the IoT can positively impact research and development into age-related diseases. As is often the case, businesses have been some of the earliest adopters of this cutting-edge technology, so the benefits have been well-established for some time. They include:
- Reduced Waste, Cost and Loss – By collecting data about how machinery operates, a company may be able to reduce waste. For example, internet-connected machinery may zero in on a step in the process that is subpar, and it can then be corrected.
- Improved and Optimized Operations – Data that is collected via the IoT may be used to identify areas in which employees and other resources may be more effectively put to use.
- Improved Customer Service – The IoT can alleviate much of the burden of customer service for firms, as automatic alerts may be used to, for instance, preventive alert consumers that their product is likely to break down if it isn’t repaired soon.
The above points are really just the tip of the iceberg here. The IoT can also help businesses understand their customers better by analyzing how they use their products. It can also help to improve general decision making by providing a much larger picture. Many businesses are already using the data that they collect to improve their offerings and to make other enhancements.
Where Does Jason Hope Fit into All of This?
One name that comes up again and again whenever the Internet of Things is discussed is Jason Hope. Indeed, Hope is one of the best-known faces in this rapidly emerging field. An entrepreneur, futurist, investor and philanthropist, Jason Hope is actively involved in a number of business pursuits at any given time. Lately, he has focused much of his efforts on promoting the potential of the IoT to combat age-related diseases. Not long ago, for example, Jason Hope donated $500,000 to the SENS Foundation. This California-based non-profit works to develop, promote and ensure access to biotechnologies that combat age-related diseases. This is just one example of the philanthropic work that he enjoys.
How did Jason Hope break into this industry? He holds a BS in finance from Arizona State University as well as an MBA from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. His educational background allowed him to hit the ground running with his entrepreneurial ventures, and the fact that he is a naturally ambitious and active person certainly helped too. Hope spends much of his time helping the next generation to achieve success in this field, and he routinely mentors high school seniors who dream of being entrepreneurs. It’s just one of the many ways that he tries to pay it forward.
Follow @jasonhope on Twitter.