Crucial Things to Know About the Internet of Things
Have you heard about the ‘internet of thing’ (IoT)? The topic is becoming more popular in the workplace and outside of the same. It is an idea that not only can affect how we live, but also the way we work as well. However, many people have been left wondering what IoT is and the kind of impact it might have on us if any. Given that the topic is quite technical, there is a lot of jargon being used making it difficult for most people to understand the subject.
What is IoT?
Simply put, IoT refers to the ability of physical devices across the world to connect to the internet while collecting and sharing data. The plan has been made possible by the cheap processors and wireless networks. The devices connected include cellphones, washing machines, wearable devices, and headphones among others. IoT adds a degree of computerized insight to gadgets that would be generally moronic, empowering them to impart ongoing information without a person included, successfully blending the digital and physical worlds.
History of IoT
Kevin Ashton coined the term in 1999. The concept of including sensors and intelligence to physical devices was being discussed for several centuries now. However, apart from a few internet-connected gadgets such as the vending machine, the progress was then sluggish due to the fact that technology was not ready.
To actualize the idea, the right processor had to be found to make it cost-effective for the process to take place. The continuous use has made the IoT a success of low-power chips. However, the falling prices by adding sensors and internet connection have enhanced IoT.
How Big is the IoT?
In simple terms, the IoT is big and it is only getting bigger. For example, there were 8.4 billion devices connected in 2017, which represents a 31% increase from the previous year. According to Gartner, this increase is expected to reach 20.4 billion devices this year. Also, the total spending on the IoT endpoints was expected to reach $2tn in 2017 with China, Europe, and North America making up a whopping 2/3 of the devices. Gartner also indicates that almost half this number will comprise of consumer products such as smart televisions and speakers among others.
Benefits of IoT to a Business
In most cases, the benefits depend IoT depends on the implementation; however, a business should use IOT to allow users to gain more information on its products as well as gain feedback to ensure necessary changes are done.
On the other hand, manufacturers add sensors to ensure they gather enough information on how their products are faring in the market. As such, a business can spot a device that is about to fail, thus managing to avert any impending damage as well as making the devices more efficient.
What is the Industrial IoT?
The industrial internet of things (IIOT) is usually referred by many as the 4th industrial revolution. IIOT can be defined as the term given to the use of the internet of things within a business setup. The business concept is similar to the consumer IoT.
It is argued that the introduction of IoT in a particular industry would have more benefits than when used on select businesses. For example, this would ensure the just-in-time delivery of products and materials as well as enhanced business management.
Benefits of IoT to the Consumers
IoT is beneficial to the end-user in that it allows for a more comfortable environment. For example, through IoT, one can manage to communicate with people in distant places while listening to music at the same time. Also, it ensures that one can keep tabs with the happenings in and outside of their homes.
Apart from being beneficial in houses, IoT can help people understand more about their surroundings. For example, one can use IoT to measure the level of pollution within the environment as well as manufacturing environmental-friendly cars. Granted, most of these devices play a significant role in impeding our personal privacy.
IoT works on collecting data, which makes security one of its main talking points. IoT has scored extremely low when it comes to ensuring device users’ privacy. Many people argue that most IoT devices do not pay attention to basic security procedures such as data encryption.
Also, given that software is prone to flaws means privacy is further compromised, making it easier for hackers to target specific devices.
The issue of security does not only affect individuals but also businesses. Any form of connection within a business setup increases the chances of being hacked and losing valuable information. Thus, both businesses and individuals should ensure the devices, and the internet user is well protected.
IoT and Data Analytics
IoT produces loads of data from the various sensors attached to the devices. This means that businesses can manage to view and analyze the data collected from multiple devices. The data collected can ensure that the right amends are made into products to make them more efficient as well as helping planners make better judgments regarding certain situations.
IoT and Smart Cities
Placing a significant number of sensors across the cities can help planners view what is happening with ease. Most cities around the world are using IoT devices such as security cameras to gather relevant information. This has seen cities try to incorporate various sensors to ensure that they capitalize on such connections.
IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
IoT has proved beneficial to many companies in the wake of AI. This is because the data collected by the IoT devices can be used to make future predictions. For example, some organizations are using the data to predict how much energy will be required for the future.
So What Now?
Discussions about the IoT are occurring in various countries across the globe and people are looking forward to how this will affect their livelihoods. Besides, we are still attempting to comprehend what the numerous chances and difficulties will be like an ever-increasing number of devices begin to connect to the world of IoT. Considerably, the best thing that we can do as we wait for what is yet to unfold is to inform ourselves regarding what the IoT is and the prospective effects that can be experienced on our universal behavior as humans.