The Internet of Things – What is it? How Does This Impact You?
IoT “the internet of things” is becoming a rapidly growing topic of discussion in the workplaces and also outside of them too. The internet of things is a concept that does not only have the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. But what is basically the term “Internet of things” and what impact is it going to have on you, if any? There are a lot of complexities around the “Internet of things” but first we will discuss the basics. A huge number of technical and policy-related discussions are being had but many people are still just trying to grasp the foundation of what the heck these conversations are about. Let’s begin with understanding few of the things.
The broadband internet is becoming more easily available and in result the cost of connecting is decreasing, majority of the devices today are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them, the costs of technology are going down, and smartphone penetration is sky-rocketing. All of these things are creating a “perfect storm” for the internet of things.
So What Is The Internet Of Things?
Keeping it simple internet of things is the concept of basically connecting any device to the internet connection with an on and off switch (and/or to each other). This concept of internet of things includes cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and all the other things that come in this category. This basic concept also applies on the major or minor components of machine, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig.
As I have discussed above that if it has an on or off button then it has most of the chances being a part of the internet of things. The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices… this number of connection is huge (some of the experts even estimate this number to be much higher, over 100 billion). The internet of things is a huge network of connected “things” (this connection also includes people). The connection relationship of the people will be between people-people, people-things, and things-things.
How Does This Impact You?
It is expected that the new rule for the future is going to be, “Anything that can be connected, will be connected.” But the question rises here that why on earth you want so many connected devises to talking to each other? There are number of examples for what this might look like or what the potential value might be. For example let’s say you are on your way to attend a meeting; and your car can access your calendar and find the best possible route for you. And if you are stuck in traffic so your car might send a text to the third party notifying them that you are stuck in the traffic.
How does it sounds that if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more? 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?
On a vast scale the internet of things can be easily applied to things like transportation networks: known as smart cities, these cities can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use; this helping us understand and improve how we work and live.
Actually the internet of things allows for virtually unlimited opportunities and connections to take place, a lot of them are like which we can’t even think of or fully understand the impact of today. It is not very difficult to understand why internet of things is such a great topic of discussion these days; fortunately it opens the door to an unlimited number of opportunities but also welcomes the vast number of challenges.
One of the biggest issues related to this concept is security issue. With billions of devices being connected together, what can people do to make sure that their information stays secure? Is it possible for someone to hack your toaster or alarm clock and thereby get access to your entire network? The internet of things also opens up companies all over the world to more security threats.
On the other hand we also have the issue of data sharing. This is a hot-button topic even today, so one can only imagine how the conversation and concerns will escalate when we are talking about many billions of devices being connected. Another issue that many companies specifically are going to be faced with is around the massive amounts of data that all of these devices are going to produce. Companies need to figure out a way to store, track, analyse and make sense of the vast amounts of data that will be generated.
Benefits that the Internet of Things provides
The Internet of Things provides a large number of benefits, these benefits are also for the companies, and according to an analysis these benefits are also for the individuals. This means better control of costs and therefore savings. Not only have that, the internet of things adjusted maintenance, not based on hours of work, but on the actual consumption of resources.
For agriculture, the internet of technology can find real time in the field, by optimizing the management of the work resulting in cost savings. Agriculture becomes in effect “Precision”, supporting decision making of the farmer and the interventions such as irrigation, fertilization and use of pesticides. This not only saves time and money, but also protects the environment.
The Internet of Things is able to allow a cost saving of 40% not only in the agricultural sector but also in industry.