Over the past few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become one of the most important technologies of the 21st century, due to the fact that it is making the world around us smarter and more responsive, merging the digital world and physical world. Geoff Mulgan, a professor of Collective Intelligence at University of London (UCL) once said “as the internet of things advances, the very notion of a clear dividing line between reality and virtual reality becomes blurred, sometimes in creative ways.”
What then Is The Internet Of Things?
In simple term, the Internet of Things is the concept of basically connecting any device with the Internet (and/or to each other). IoT is a term that describes the growing number of electronics including everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else that aren’t traditional computing devices, but are connected to the internet to send data, receive instructions or both.
Coined in 1999 by British technologist Kevin Ashton, the IoT brings the power of the internet, data processing and analytics to the real world of physical objects. By means of low-cost computing, the cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile technologies, physical things can now share and collect data with minimal human intervention, making IoT possible.
How does IoT Works
IoT are devices that gather data through the internet, so they each have an IP address the same protocol that identifies computers over the World Wide Web and allows them to communicate with one another. They are as complex as autonomous vehicles that haul products around factory floors and as simple as sensors that monitor the temperature in buildings. They also include personal devices like fitness trackers that monitor the number of steps individuals take each day. There is a need to collect, process, filter and analyze the data in order for it to be useful.
Collecting the data is done by transmitting it from the devices to a gathering point, processing can take place in data centers, cloud or through edge computing, then it can be filtered and analyzed for use.
Benefits of IoT
The benefits of the IoT depend on the particular implementation. The idea is that enterprises can have access to more data about their own products and their own internal systems, and a greater ability to make changes as a result. Different fields can apply IoT including:
- Urban planning: A “smart cities” can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use – helping us understands and improves how we work and live. Also when sensors that have an IP address are placed under a busy street, it can alert drivers about upcoming delays or accidents.
- Manufacturing: IoT enable proactive maintenance on equipment when sensors detect an impending failure, measure when production output is compromised, check equipment for accuracy, reduce operating costs, get better uptime, and improve asset performance management.
- Automotive: sensors can detect impending equipment failure in vehicles already on the road and can alert the driver with details and recommendations.
- Healthcare: helps in monitoring of chronic conditions and tracking hospital assets.
- Business: Business uses for IoT include keeping track of customers, inventory, and the status of important components.
There are still many privacy concerns that are yet to be addressed concerning the Internet of Things. Though the technology has advanced, this is much faster than the regulatory environment which birth potential regulatory risks for companies that are expanding their range of Internet-connected devices.