What is Internet of Things and how will it connect our future?
Everyone is eyeing on the next big thing after the .com boom which will make riches. The world has never been the same after the advent of the Internet. Today, the emergence and accessibility of the wireless technologies, broadband Internet, smart products and complete software solutions are slashing connectivity costs. Most of the devices are now equipped with WiFi, Bluetooth, and integrated with sensors. All of these factors are gather a “perfect storm” for the Internet of Things (IoT) which plays a central role in the way and we’ll also live over the next decade with it.
The "Internet of things" (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation that relates both in the workplace and outside of it. It's a concept that not only has the potential to impact on how we live but also how we work. But the question is - what exactly is the "Internet of Things" and what is the impact of it going to have on you. There are a lot of complexities around the "Internet of Things".
So, what is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is a system that interrelated to computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people which provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Mean to say, it includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything. It also applies to components of machines, for example, a jet engine of an airplane, the drill of an oil rig.
In the Internet of Things, a thing can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network. IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), microservices and the internet. The convergence has helped tear down the silo walls between operational technology and information technology, allowing unstructured machine-generated data to be analyzed for insights that will drive improvements.
How will it connect our future?
The new rule for the future is going to be, "Anything that can be connected will be connected." Today computers and, therefore, the internet are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes of data available on the internet were first captured and created by human beings by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a barcode. The World Wide Web has transformed into an Internet of Things (IoT) world where everything, yes everything is or will be connected to the Internet. Furthermore, see how IoT gives shape or can change our life, business and everything around us through ubiquitous networking. Augmented Reality, Homekit, Google Glasses, NFC Payment, Beacons, and Wearables are going to change, shape and transform everything around us.
The problem is people have limited time, attention and accuracy for all, that means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we have computers that know everything about things to using data which can gather without our help. We would be able to track and count everything that will greatly reduce waste, loss, and cost. We will probably get the information when things need a replacement, repairing or recall, and will know whether they fresh or not.
There are more than 12 billion devices that can currently connect to the Internet, and researchers at IDC estimate that by 2020 there will be 26 times more connected things than people. IPv6's huge increase in address space is an important factor in the development of the Internet of Things. According to Steve Leibson, who identifies himself as "occasional docent at the Computer History Museum," the address space expansion means that we could "assign an IPV6 address to every atom on the surface of the earth, and still have enough addresses left to do another 100+ piles of earth." In other words, humans could easily assign an IP address to every "thing" on the planet. An increase in the number of smart nodes, as well as the amount of upstream data the nodes generate, is expected to raise new concerns about data privacy, data sovereignty, and security.
Practical applications of IoT technology can be found in many industries today, including precision agriculture, building management, healthcare, energy, and transportation. Engineers and application developers are working on products and systems for better connectivity options of electronics by the use of IoT technology. The first internet appliance, for example, was a Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University in the early 1980s. The programmers could connect to the machine over the internet, checked the status of the machine and determine whether a cold drink was awaiting them or not.
Not only that, the security is also a big issue that is oftentimes brought up. With billions of devices being connected together, what can people do to make sure that their information stays secure? Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and thereby get access to your entire network? The IoT also opens up companies all over the world to more security threats. Then we have the issue of privacy and data sharing.
The reality is that the IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can't even think of or fully understand the impact of today. It's not hard to see how and why the IoT is such a hot topic today; it certainly opens the door to a lot of opportunities but also to many challenges. As we enter a connected future, the potentials for amazing innovative deployments and concerning hazards increase almost as fast as the connected devices themselves. No matter which one you hold, IoT is certain to change our future in many ways that we cannot imagine now.