Internet of Things
When one talks about the Internet of Things (or IoT for short), one is refering to the idea of objects being able to communicate to other objects or people over a network. By creating this connectivity, information can be both sent and received from these devices.
An example would be a smart thermostat that you're able to control with your smart phone and learns when you're usually at home and usually away. by doing so, the device can automatically turn itself on or off. In addition, the unit can optimize itself based on the model of AC/furnace unit you have, as well as notify you when a filter needs to be changed.
Another would be a heart monitor that can provide instant feedback to doctors over the internet. This real-time data can keep the doctor informed on any fluctuations or issues, allowing the necessary treatment to be delivered before it's too late.
At this point, the possibilities are endless. As devices get smaller and smaller while becoming increasingly energy efficient, the future is most certainly a connected one.