Jason Hope and other leading futurists are investing their time, energy, and funds into the Internet of Things, a concept that can change the way humans live, work, and play. The Internet of Things is self-explanatory; it is simply the massive network of all devices that are connected to the Internet. When the Internet was first introduced to the world, this network included a few government computers. However, this network has rapidly evolved into a complex web of mobile devices, fitness trackers, virtual assistants, computers, and other technologies.
While the world is already being changed by the Internet of Things, new technology can push us deeper into a world of efficiency and greater interaction. The Internet of Things may alter business, government, and other institutions that affect humans on a daily basis.
Internet Solutions for Global Problems
Leading entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Jason Hope are optimistic that the Internet of Things has a critical role to play in dealing with poverty, government failures, and inequality across the globe. In Africa, Chinese and American companies are working to upgrade the telecommunications infrastructure. If successful, these infrastructure projects will give millions of Africans access to the Internet of Things.
Many skeptics of Internet-based solutions wonder how infrastructure upgrades can alleviate poverty. This skepticism is natural since the Internet is a fairly new tool for humanity, but the online world presents many routes to prosperity. First, by accessing the Internet of Things, people in poor and isolated villages can overcome geographic barriers that prevent them from accessing labor markets. Workers who can telecommute can earn income without facing insufficient roads, travel costs, and culture shocks. The Internet also allows people in the developing world to access low-cost financial services with a mobile phone. With these financial services, people can use low-interest loans to engage in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is one of the best ways to grow an economy, so easy access to credit is a necessary step in escaping poverty.
The Internet of Things also allows people to rapidly share information across the globe. With access to a mobile device, a woman in Mali could access free educational courses from Harvard and MIT to prepare for a job that will push her family above the poverty line. These examples are just some of the ways that the Internet of Things will combat poverty, but the expansion of knowledge and opportunities will make the world a fairer and more competitive place.
The Future of Business
The benefits of the Internet of Things are not limited to the developing world; entrepreneurs and CEOs can use the network to improve the efficiency and revenues of businesses.
Without the Internet, technology has taken the place of human labor for many jobs. However, the Internet of Things can improve automation. With machines connected to Internet, universal updates can ensure that production goals are met. As factory machines become more intelligent, these updates can be used to upgrade the machine-learning capabilities of internal software. This means that machines can make data-based decisions with algorithms to overcome optimization problems. This reduces the risk of human errors associated with overproduction or underproduction.
For all jobs, the Internet of Things may result in fairer wages that reflect a worker’s productivity. Imagine a device that a construction worker wears while working throughout the day. This device could track the worker’s activity to determine their productivity. Workers who work significantly harder than others can receive promotions or wage increases. This allows workers to be rewarded for their efforts. Individual productivity data collected by the Internet-connected device can be publicly available to ensure transparency and fairness. With this data, workers can negotiate for fairer wages while the company benefits from greater productivity.
Companies that require real-time data can also benefit from the Internet of Things. As 5G data networks become available, the Internet of Things will no longer be plagued by latency issues. Time-sensitive task, like day trading, will improve from this upgrade. With reduced latency, virtual assistants may be an excellent resource for research firms and organizations that require information-based decisions. In the coming years, futurists expect advanced versions of Amazon Alexa and other virtual assistants to help people make decisions. At research firms, researchers can command the virtual assistant to browse an academic database for longitudinal data and peer-reviewed journals. This method saves time because it allows researcher to quickly understand the existing literature. Virtual assistants may also be able to perform complex calculations that affect business decisions.
The Internet of Things will also improve data analytics for the business world and beyond. Since clothing, cars, and utilities will be connected to the Internet, companies can analyze usage data to understand consumer behavior. This means that companies will be able to detect preference trends, and they will plan accordingly. This increases revenue while reducing economic inefficiencies.
The Changing Role of Government
Libertarians, social critics, and mindful citizens frequently criticize government officials for corruption, inefficiency, and waste. Fortunately, the Internet of Things may be able to respond to some of these complaints. By automating some of the repetitive aspects of government services with machine-learning algorithms, the size of bureaucracies can be reduced. With fewer government employees and more efficient methods of providing services, taxes and waste may decrease. Internet-connected devices can also monitor the behavior and actions of politicians and bureaucrats to help fight corruption.
By analyzing the data from devices connected to the Internet of Things, the government can also understand the behavior and needs of citizens. Policymakers can use this information to track poverty, consumption, and unemployment across the country.
A Hopeful Future
While the Internet of Things offers a range of optimistic possibilities for the future, its improvements require funding and support by professionals. Philanthropist Jason Hope and several forward-looking venture capitalists are investing in technologies that will make this bright future a reality. Jason Hope has already supported innovative technologies with his donation to the SENS Foundation, and he continues to craft a better future with the Internet of Things.