We live in the age of IoT, whether we realize it or not. And while some of us are more steeped in these habits, modes, and ways of moving than others, it’s a growing phenomenon that will continue to shape our societies moving forward.
Today we’ll look into the definition of IoT. We’ll explore the controversies surrounding the term. Additionally, we’ll look at the role of package lockers in the age of IoT and unlock and unpack some examples in the real world.
A Quick Recap Of IoT
IoT stands for the “Internet of Things”. It is a categorical term people use to describe any physical objects that connect and exchange data with other physical objects or systems via the internet or other communicative networks.
These objects may utilize sensors, computation, and internal software to operate and connect with broader systems. It’s an evolving playing field that changes each time technologies converge.
Some people consider IoT to be a misnomer. This is because these physical devices do not actually need to be connected to the public internet. They can also operate on alternative networks.
Smart lockers are an easy example to focus on in this case. They are an example of IoT that is easy for even the most tech-averse people to understand. They are also accessible to most of us today. These smart lockers are an advanced system for secure and efficient locker storage. This system connects to delivery professionals, building managers and employees, mail room staff, and package recipients via smartphone or tablet.
Smart Technology For Everyone
If you’ve been alive and paying attention at all (not to mention reading these words on a screen) you know that smart technology has absolutely revolutionized our lives and our planet. The age of IoT is an exciting process to witness. The category stretches into every industry, into the nooks and crannies of our lives. However, it hasn’t always been accessible.
Many people first heard of “smart houses” of the uber-rich in the early aughts. This is another example of IoT. The technology sounded more like a fairytale than a reality. However, as the years pass, elements of the IoT have indeed become more mainstream and less exclusive.
The concepts and inventions have traveled from the most affluent private homes into neighborhood grocery centers, libraries, and even college campuses – places where we find and utilize smart lockers and other tech advances.
The IoT in our everyday lives is an especially exciting prospect o consider in the face of the climate crisis and climate predictions. There are farmers using IoT to better utilize organic fertilizer. There are pharmacies using IoT to immediately contact patients with anonymity. At its best, IoT can fluently empower individuals to work and live as efficiently and sustainably as possible.
Community Settings Transformed By IoT
So let’s look at the community settings transformed by IoT:
One such setting is Eldercare. This is a billion-dollar industry that remains a fragile, barely viable option for the average aging adult. As we continue to struggle to care for and properly fund eldercare in our society, we need to make sure that elder community living spaces are as clean, clear, and efficient as possible. Package lockers have a lot to offer in this regard – especially in supporting eldercare staff. These are people who have a difficult jobs. IoT can save them time, stress, and labor hours that are better spent in other areas of the job.
Another example is college campuses. These are buzzing and hyper-active environments. Students, professors, and staff often do not have an extra minute to spare. Many keep odd hours. Again, this is a situation where smart lockers, and other improvements, can solve problems. Smart tech can mitigate delays, utilize space, and boost existing systems These advances can connect various elements of learning with ease – from the library to the dorm building, to the cafeteria, and beyond.
Concerns Around IoT
All of this is exciting to witness and participate in. But it’s not all technology rainbows and sparkles in the world of IoT. There are concerns surrounding security and privacy. These factors are something to consider whenever using smart technology. This should come as no surprise. As our engagement with IoT deepens, so too should our understanding and legislation around the topics of security and privacy.