Table of Contents Technology ShowcaseBuilding an Engaging Online Student UnionTechnology Showcase: Implications of the Internet of Things (IoT)Technology Showcase: The Natural Limitations of Technology: 4K TVsTechnology Showcase: Students Organize HackathonsTechnology Showcase: LEDs EvolveTechnology Showcase: Beyond Facebook: Social Media 2.0Technology Showcase: The Potential of Virtual Reality GamesTechnology Showcase: What Event Planners Need to Know About WiFiTechnology Showcase: 10 Pro Tips for Using Microsoft WordTechnology Showcase: It's Just a Video in PowerPoint–What Could Go Wrong?Technology Showcase: Competitive Presenting with PowerPoint RouletteTechnology Showcase: Adjusting Procedures to Provide Better A/V SupportTechnology Showcase: Tracking A/V Inventory in DEA EMSTechnology Showcase: Applying Innovative, Inexpensive Technology in a Theatre SpaceTechnology Showcase: Raspberry Jammin'Technology Showcase: Road Test: Apps for NotetakingTechnology Showcase: Road Test: Student Employee Scheduling ProgramsTechnology Showcase: Road Test: Project Management Software10 of the Top Commons Posts of 20152015 Education and Research Fund DonorsNeeds Assessment Identifies Strengths, Room for GrowthCAS Provides Better Tools for Relevant Functional AreasNew Team Provides Educational Tools, Discussion Opportunities Related to Campus ViolenceVolunteerism In the AssociationFrom the President: Who was Your First?From the Chief Executive Officer: Promoting Dialogue About Campus ShootingsMarch/April 2016 KioskOn the JobUnion Spotlight: Linda E. McMahon Commons at Sacred Heart UniversityUnion Spotlight: Andorfer Commons at the Indiana Institute of Technology
Volume 84 | Issue 2
March/April 2016

Technology Showcase: Implications of the Internet of Things (IoT)

I woke up freezing this morning. Three of the five alarms I set on my phone went off before I got out of bed. I didn’t have much motivation to put on clothes, make breakfast, pack my backpack, and run out to catch the bus. But what if I hadn’t woken up freezing? What if the room was warm, I knew some hot coffee was waiting for me, and knew the exact moment to leave my house to catch the bus?

This could all be possible with the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Gartner, Inc., the Internet of Things is “the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or impact with their internal state or the external environment.” It is a relationship between sensor and machine.

With the IoT, the thermostat would automatically keep the room a temperature I like, the coffee pot would start brewing when I get out of bed, and I would receive a notification when to leave and catch the bus.

Any item a sensor can be put on and connected to the Internet (and/or to each other) can be in the IoT network. This includes thermostats, cars, lamps, phones, projectors, bridges, and many other things. All that can be connected, will be connected.

In 2015, there were around 4,900 IoT units installed, according to Gartner. Gartner estimates that 20.8 billion things will be in use by 2020.

Carnegie-Mellon University has become a living lab for the IoT with a $500,000 grant from Google and access to unreleased technologies. The Google-sponsored project, GIoTTO, will have things such as bus stops and coffee pots fitted with wireless sensors and accelerometers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Cornell, Stanford, and the University of Illinois are working with the project and researching security solutions.

Security is a difficult problem to solve. A hacker could potentially hack an IoT device, and those devices provide a lot of behavioral data about a person—where they go and what they do.

Carnegie-Mellon researchers at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute have already created Snap2It, a system that lets users link to a printer or projector by taking a smartphone photo; and Impromptu, a system that accesses shared apps only when needed—such as a campus transit app when standing near a bus stop.

With this project, the teams will push to innovate with the help of those on campus. The IoT has the ability to create an interoperable system of IoT technology on campus with embedded sensors in buildings and everyday objects.

What does this mean for college campuses?

Each person on campus could be connected. A student could be notified when a seat opens up in a computer lab, the coffee shop on campus will have your favorite drink ready by the time you walk in, and your phone could bring up a facility map as soon as you walk through the door.