Internet of Things
The interconnection via the web of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. In simple words, The Internet of Things is "A network of Internet connected objects able to collect and exchange data." Internet of Things is commonly abbreviated as IOT. In a simple way to put it you have "things" that sense and collect data and send it to the web. This data are often accessible by other "things" too.
The main purpose of Internet-connected devices has been to enable people to speak to one another and to access online data and processes. The IoT devices generate real-time data that we can analyze and use to create desired business outcomes.
From smart homes with smart fridges, smart heating and smart burglar alarms to wearable technology tracking your health, fitness and sleep to Smartphone’s talking to your desktop your smartwatch and your home entertainment system – the Internet of Things (IoT) is already amongst us in a big way and only set to spread its techy tendrils through even wider aspects of all our lives as we head into the very techsavy future.
IOT is the advanced level of interconnectivity between devices, systems and services that is being described. It’s your smart fridge alerting your smart car that you’re out of milk as you drive past the shops and your smart car’s dashboard notifying you to pull-in to the next store to pick up the essentials. It’s when you step outside and lock your front door behind you, your smart home automatically turning off all the lights and appliances, setting your burglar alarm, and sending a signal to your car telling it to fire up its engine – it’s about to be taken for a spin.
IoT is a broad term but what it essentially refers to is the smart communications between smart objects and devices to enable the automation of functions completely by passing any deliberate human input and cover everything from smart kettles to heart monitoring implants.
Gartner forecasts that there will be 26 billion connected “Things” by 2020. ABI Research reckons that the figure will be even higher – 30 billion and so on. Cisco estimates that there’ll be 50 billion objects connected. Intel says 200 billion and IDC says it’ll be more like 212 billion! Whichever of these research giants have made the more accurate guestimate doesn’t really matter – the IoT will have a staggering presence in just a few short years.
Unsurprisingly the IoT goes far beyond the interconnectivity of smart devices designed to enable greater consumer convenience. Apart from objects and devices the Internet of Things is also about sensors and the gathering of data. It is like iBeacons being attached to every shop wall and street corner monitoring consumer behavior. Other innovations such as smart cement that monitors cracks, stresses and warpages in the very buildings, bridges and roads underneath, above and all around us – these “Things” are the IoT.
As an article in Wired Magazine states, “If there is ice on the bridge the same sensors in the concrete will detect it and communicate the information via the wireless internet to your car. Once your car knows there is a hazard ahead, it will instruct the driver to slow down and if the driver doesn’t then the car will automatically slow down for him. This is one of the ways in which the sensor-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication can happen. Sensors on the bridge connect to machines within the car”.
In the medical field the IoT is already being used for remote patient monitoring. In aerospace, Rolls Royce aircraft engines in flight today contain sensors that send real-time data on the engine’s functioning back to command centers on the ground. Microsoft uses software to detect which features on its products are being used the most, so it can thusly strip back support on those that are being used the least.
In short, the Internet of Things is set to be a global disruptor of practically every organization in every industry. Try and imagine having to go back to using phones that are just phones. The fact itself is not bearable. The same fact will soon be true for roads, cars, homes, medicine, shopping, marketing, government and everything else, all usual and common.
So what is the Internet of Things? Well, it’s everything and in a minute, it will be everything else as well – and all businesses need to consider the forthcoming impact the IoT will have on their industry and embrace it into their ecosystem.