If you quickly looked up the Internet of Things from your preferred search engine, there is a high chance that you will find incredibly technical definitions of the term.
This explains why, whereas most people know of the Internet of Things, most do not have a clearly defined idea of the concept. This article seeks to provide a more straightforward insight into the Internet of Things and its significance. For concise purposes, we shall interchange the Internet of Things with its common abbreviation, IoT.
What is IoT? This, basically, refers to the worldwide connection, data collection, and sharing of all devices that are connected to the internet. It mainly ranges across all physical devices that are online, hugely accelerated by affordable processors and remarkable wireless networks. Therefore, your smartwatch, a heart-rate monitor, or an autonomous car are all part of IoT. It follows then that IoT is applied on devices that typically would have no connection to the internet.
IoT works on the ability to share for these devices to communicate and share data in real-time, hence blending the digital and physical worlds together. The fundamental principle is communication, through sensors and artificial intelligence, of the physical devices across the networks without human intervention. We can, therefore, abstract, that IoT is the convergence of our cultures’ interconnectedness- “things”- with that of the digital information system- the internet.
Why Does IoT Matter
IoT is proving to be immensely significant in everyday life. It would go without saying that it certainly makes living smarter. This is evident in how much more control we have over our lives. In the sense that, nowadays, our homes are largely automated. From the smart light bulbs to smart refrigerators. The smartwatch you have at the moment can even keep track of how long you walk at any given time, down to the precise number of steps. Think of the smart homes that are increasingly becoming popular and ostensibly inevitable.
The key application of IoT, nonetheless, is in business. This certainly varies in a particular necessity and implementation strategy. However, IoT primarily enables businesses to keep track of all aspects of their systems in real-time. This means that a company can promptly have a look at their machinery’s efficiency in terms of performance, logistics, and even the chain of supply. This usually presents the chance for better and faster responsiveness.
IoT allows companies to effectively automate their processes, hence bringing down their expenditure on labor. As such, the companies can then improve on the provision of their service and delivery more transparency in their transactions. For instance, when you have a paper written for you, automated processes only limit human interaction between you and the paper writer. The rest is smooth processes in between orders and transactions.
IoT is currently being applied in large scale agriculture all over the world. Sensors in the farms monitor either the crop or animal yields. For the crops, they monitor the essential components necessary for healthy growth, thus predicting the patterns of growth. For the animals, the farmers can track their movement, consumption, and yields. This, in turn, is boosting the agricultural sector in terms of output.
As time goes on, the applications of IoT continue to broaden. In recent years, IoT has been applied to smart cities to help residents manage their energy consumption and waste disposal more efficiently. It has seen the conception of smart grids for home utilities such as electricity, water, and gas. This has enabled these cities to meet some of their sustainability milestones, with the potential increases exponentially.
What does IoT Offer
IoT is presenting a gateway for industries and companies to rethink their approaches to business and reshaping their strategies. The Internet of Things is allowing them to.
• Keep track of their processes overall.
• Save on time and money.
• Improve productivity from their employees.
• Adapt integrated business models.
• Make better decisions for the business.
Privacy and Security Concerns
Despite the immense potential that IoT has to offer, connecting billions of devices on the internet creates legitimate security concerns. These devices provide an expansive surface that is easily susceptible to targeted attacks, such as the botnets in the Mirai attack. The close connection implies that merely exploiting one vulnerability can render all the data unusable.
Also, most users are required to provide their personal information. When this falls into the wrong hands or improper purposes, there are plenty of privacy risks that become of grave concern. However, it is expected that stringent measures will continue to be implemented to cover all vulnerable bases.
The future of IoT is incredibly promising. There is a lot that we are yet to unearth at its full potential. Whether in manufacturing, transportation, or sustainability, we are about to revel in its profound impact.