This can be done by putting WiFi modules and programmable microcontrollers like the open source and easy-to-learn Arduino into everyday objects like lamps, light switches, refrigerators, or air conditioners to give them added functionality.
Imagine being able to program and control your household appliances over the Internet. Or automate your office appliances. Or if you live on a farm, hooking sensors in your fields up to a larger network to adjust automation based on weather reports and market prices. There's even ways to have your home save energy by automatically turning off appliances when you leave, and by using GPS, turn them back on when it sees you coming close to home.
All of this might seem like a lot to learn, but actually, in a single workshop, you can learn how to do all of this and even walk away with a simple IoT project of your own to use as a base to build on top of.
Most makerspaces offer these workshops regularly, so check them out and don't be afraid to ask. Makerspaces love teaching people new skills and will be glad to help answer your questions and match you up with a workshop appropriate for your skill level, even if you think your skill level is "zero."
At a recent tech fair in Bangkok, we caught up with the creators of Anto.io. They were showing off a "smart power strip" which is essentially a regular power strip you would use in your home, but with the added ability for you to control it over the Internet, including setting timers and GPS proximity switches. It's still in the process of being developed, and you'll find that a lot about IoT is "being developed," but it already offers a suite of tools you can use to begin exploring the possibilities of connecting your physical world to the digital.
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