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What is IoT and how will it impact the commercial kitchen?

Every couple of years, the world of technology is taken over by a new and surprisingly popular buzzword. Several years ago, the big thing in tech was the Blockchain, the underlying technology behind Bitcoin. Now that has become more mainstream, the next big thing is IoT or Internet of Things.

What is IoT?

Despite all the high-tech chatter about IoT, all you really need to know is that it is a method of describing and designing connected products. In an IoT world, everything from your car to your thermostat becomes “a thing”, and they all connect to the Internet so they can talk to each other, hence the Internet Of Things, or IoT. In a nutshell, all this means is devices can talk to each other using the Internet. Suddenly the buzzwords are not so complex, are they?

Think of all the technology you have around you that never used to have any kind of connection – a tech friendly home may have an Internet doorbell, WiFi thermostat, voice recognizing assistant, remote start for the car and more. All of these connected devices are part of the Internet of Things.

The foodservice industry has taken note – more and more pieces of new equipment are being developed with connectivity, and owner/operators are increasingly turning to technology to help run their kitchen. It is not uncommon for a typical installation to require power, water, gas and Ethernet (a network cable).

The kitchen of the future is full of equipment that sends performance reports to a central location, or creates its own emails when something isn’t working right, automatically scheduling a maintenance visit.

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For now, service technicians don’t have to become network engineers, and manufacturers provide a good amount of documentation, but it isn’t unthinkable that some basic network knowledge may be a requirement in the not so distant future. Soon, we’ll publish a series of articles providing TechTOWN experts with networking basics, ensuring you have the knowledge you need if you run into an installation that includes connected equipment.

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