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5 interesting TED talks to watch to get to grips with IoT

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing topic that impacts our daily lives in ways we often don’t even realise. Put simply, IoT is a global network of devices with internet connectability. These devices range from temperature sensors to coffee machines and smart fridges; the key feature is that they can collect, store, and send data.

As with any technology, IoT devices are advancing at considerable pace and new smart devices are being released with increasing functionality all the time. IoT is still a widely discussed – and sometimes misunderstood – topic, so we’ve put together a list of five TED talks that explore IoT in different ways.

If you’re keen to take a deeper dive into the world of IoT, read our comprehensive PropTech guide and take a look at some of our other IoT-related content.

1. Internet of Things is Now and the Future

Our first TED talk comes from Wei Xiang, an Australia-based IoT expert and university professor.

Xiang’s talk is a great introductory exploration of IoT as a whole. He highlights the presence of variable IoT technology in our lives, from devices like smart watches which use sensors to monitor our blood pressure, heart rate, and countless other things every minute we wear them.

As Xiang explains, this doesn’t just benefit us smartwatch wearers individually, this increase in data collection and sharing is actually having a profound impact on the wider healthcare industry.

Watch Xiang’s talk to see how IoT applies practical uses of data analysis, how it can improve water quality in the Great Barrier reef, and ways it can help to monitor rainforests in the fight against global warming.

2. The internet of things: Lorna Goulden at TEDxAmsterdamWomen

Lorna Goulden, Director of Creative Innovation Works and a founder of Internet of People, explores the role of IoT in our everyday lives.

The talk is from 2012 (as we know, nothing dates faster than technology, so expect 2020 predictions and mentions of older, less sophisticated IoT devices) however, it’s really interesting to see how far IoT has advanced in only 9 years, and how much more knowledgeable we are now.

Goulden draws on key topics that we’re still discussing in 2021: the capabilities of data, interconnected devices, and the rise of sensors to monitor everything from sleep quality to LED lighting.

3. The internet of things | Jordan Duffy | TEDxSouthBank

Our next TED talk comes from Jordan Duffy, an entrepreneur and tech innovation expert. Duffy provides a comprehensive overview of what IoT is and how these products can – and do – improve everyday activities.

The rise of IoT means that data is constantly evolving, Duffy states it’s even becoming the ‘universal language’. Software can then interpret, analyse and actually use this data in valuable ways: for example, sensors provide us with more knowledge about our surroundings that we’d ever be able to access without them.

These smart systems are cost-effective, easy to use, and simplify everyday tasks. From monitoring the capacity status of our fridges to scheduling our favourite TV shows to record, the impact of IoT is not to be underestimated. To see how IoT will continue to impact our everyday lives, Duffy’s TED talk is a must watch.

4. Internet of Things Security | Ken Munro | TEDxDornbirn

Ken Munro is a specialist in the field of ‘ethical hacking’. Through his TED talk, he offers an interesting perspective to IoT that can often be overlooked: security.

As more and more parts of our homes and workplaces are being made ‘smart’, does this pose an increased security risk to us? Munro’s job is to explore the safety of these devices by reverse engineering smart products to identify any potential safety breaches in their design.

He’s hacked into Teslas, fingerprint padlocks and interactive children’s toys to demonstrate how vulnerable they can be. Although IoT products make everyday life so much easier, it’s necessary to be aware of the risks and how to mitigate them.

5. Curious ingredients of PropTech start-up and beyond | Hussain Hilli | TEDxCityUniversityLondon

Our final TED talk isn’t strictly about IoT, but we thought it was worth a mention.

Entrepreneur Hussain Hilli explores technical innovation in property and real estate, and how PropTech is revolutionising the industry.

Through digital implementation, we’re able to gain a better understanding of the entire property journey, from signing legal documents to physical building attributes.

Hussain’s talk is worth a watch if you’re interested in seeing how real estate has already been shaped by tech innovation, and how PropTech will continue to impact the entire industry through exciting developments, such as AR and VR innovations.

As IoT continues to evolve, we’re excited to watch even more TED talks offering new perspectives from industry leaders.