What is the Internet of Things?
Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to devices around us that connects to the internet and actively collect or share data.
IoT makes devices ‘smarter’ with their ability to send and receive data from the internet. Your smartphone, smart applications, and “smart home” are good examples of these. Physically, they are apart; but together, they share enough information to determine your remote commands like unlocking doors, adjusting the thermostats, notifications from smoke detectors, and security alarms.
So how does it work?
Some devices have hardware like sensors that collect data. The data is shared via a cloud server and integrated into local software. This software then analyzes and transmits the data to other related devices so they can act on the information. For example, right before entering a smart home, sensors will register your presence in the vicinity. It would automatically unlock the doors, activates the electricity, and turn on the household applications that you may need. Inversely, when this system registers your departure, it shuts down household activities to save your electricity. Users can monitor the data through an application or the system’s webpage.
IoT often works without human intervention. Users can still interact with the devices by accessing their data or giving them specific instructions. Yet, most IoT makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) for machine learning and a dynamic data collecting process. The operation is instantaneous this way.
What makes IoT important?
IoT changes people’s lives and helps them work smarter. It offers to automate simple tasks so users can concentrate on the more significant and complicated work. IoT also provides a real-time look at how their systems operate while delivering insights into everything from the performance of the machines to the logistics of the operations.
Business enterprises would best benefit from IoT. Given how big their operations could get, it is hard to monitor all the minute details of their employees and transactions. IoT enables companies to reduce labor costs by automating the processes. It improves delivery services and offers transparency for customer transactions.
Who uses IoT?
IoT creates an opportunity for people to be efficient in the things we do.
- Smart homes have multiple products like lightbulbs, switches, motion sensors, and security detectors.
- Agriculture has granular data about crops and growing in fields derived from IoT sensors and use it to increase yields.
- Healthcare-related applications have stemmed up from the use of smartwatches and fitness bands.
- Businesses use IoT for manufacturing operations, production asset management, and freight monitoring.
How about security?
One of the most significant issues of IoT is security. Sensors that are always online and ready to pick up your voice commands can also easily record the sensitive information that occurs in your house. It is like a constant eavesdropper to your conversations.
Many of the IoT devices have little to give with the basics of security. Often, they do not encrypt the data in transit with other devices. System generated codes could also be hacked with ease.
IoT devices would often require sensitive data. It asks users to input their personal information, like their names, ages, phone numbers, addresses, and even social media accounts.
As IoT bridges the gap between the physical world and the digital world, it also means that hacking into devices can bring dangerous real-life consequences. Hacked data can include your infrastructure information, electricity, transportation, and financial services.
What is the future of IoT?
Using IoT will make your environment – your homes, offices, and vehicles – smarter and measurable. It creates connectivity and interactivity between the users and their machines or gadgets. It brings a new level of efficiency on a broader scale for users. It creates opportunities beyond your digital screen. It has many potential uses and benefits, including innovation and industrial advancement. The development only continues with the arrival of 5G. However, it is essential to note that both are in their early stages of development. Software companies and network operators have barely established their systems. Regardless, with the rapid evolution of digital technologies, the era of smart things is happening.