What is Internet of Things? How it will connect our future?
Information, Fri, 18 Nov 2016, 08:24am GMT
Everyone is eyeing the next big thing after the .com boom which will make riches. World has never being the same after advent of the internet. Investment gurus and statisticians may have many proposals to make but one thing is for sure, the next big move which will shape the century will depend on internet and embedded technology.
The "Internet of things" (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It's a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. But what exactly is the "Internet of things" and what impact is it going to have on you. There are a lot of complexities around the "Internet of things".
The Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig.
A thing, in the Internet of Things, 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 it will 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 bar code. The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things using data they gathered without any help from us - we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best.
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+ earths." 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. Connectivity options for electronics engineers and application developers working on products and systems for the Internet of Things include:Although the concept wasn't named until 1999, the Internet of Things has been in development for decades. The first internet appliance, for example, was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980s. The programmers could connect to the machine over the internet, check the status of the machine and determine whether or not there would be a cold drink awaiting them, should they decide to make the trip down to the machine.
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. Security is 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.