The “Internet of things” (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. The concept of IoT has the potential to impact not only how we live but how we work as well. But before getting deeper into this subject we need to know the basics of “Internet of things” and what impact is it going to have on us in future?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of devices or “things” embedded with electronics, softwares, sensors, and network connectivity, so that these devices are connected with each other in order to collect and exchange. In simple words, it is basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet. IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.
“Things,” in the IoT sense, can be refer to a wide range of devices such as smartphones, headphones, coffee makers, washing machines, watches, heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, automobiles with built-in sensors, DNA analysis devices for environmental/food/pathogen monitoring or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue operations and almost anything else you can think of.
With the increase in the use of Broadband Internet more and more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them. All this is possible as technology costs are going down with decrease in cost of internet connection. People are now much more exposed to latest technology and smart devices than ever before. This is creating a “perfect storm” for the Internet of Things.
Major Capabilities of IoT
Internet of Things is not the result of a single novel technology; instead, several complementary technical developments provide capabilities that taken together help to bridge the gap between the virtual and physical world. These capabilities include:
- Communication and cooperation
- Embedded information processing
- User interfaces
How IoT will impact us in future?
The new rule for the future is going to be, “Anything that can be connected, will be connected.” But the important question is what is the need to connect so many devices with one another ? There are many examples for what this might look like or what the potential value might be. Say for example your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you, isn’t that be great? What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working? All these are possible with IoT. There are so many applications of IoT that we have never thought would be possible someday. But these IoT applications are what we need today. This will not only make our lives easier but also ensure a technologically advanced future. Other fields where IoT plays a major role are-
- Home and Building Automation
- Healthcare sector
- Environment conservation
- Workplace productivity management etc.
The IoT can be viewed as a gigantic network consisting of networks of devices and computers connected through a series of intermediate technologies where numerous technologies like RFIDs, wireless connections may act as enablers of this connectivity.
- Tagging Things: Real-time item traceability and addressability by RFIDs.
- Feeling Things: Sensors act as primary devices to collect data from the environment.
- Shrinking Things: Miniaturization and Nanotechnology has provoked the ability of smaller things to interact and connect within the “things” or “smart devices”.
- Thinking Things: Embedded intelligence in devices through sensors has formed the network connection to the Internet. It can make the “things” realizing the intelligent control.
Challenges in Developing IoT-
It is absolutely correct that IoT opens the door for endless possibilities but there are many restrictions and hurdles in this path. First thing that comes to our mind when we think of connecting so many devices with one another is the issue with security. With millions of devices connected with the internet, there’s a high risk one’s data and information getting hacked. Moreover, big organizations and companies may face privacy issues while sharing data through connected devices. Other technological hindrances faced while developing IoT are issues of scalability, Inter-operability, excessive data volume and power consumption, unavailability of strong wireless connections, etc. Although these challenges seem pretty extensive but with advancement in the field of technology, these problems will also get sorted soon.