Tuesday, 27 September 2016

What is the Internet of Things? – Taking a Look at IoT!

What is the Internet of Things? – Taking a Look at IoT!

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a buzzword that many people are searching google for. This term is widely being queried on many popular search engines, in an attempt to know its significance in real life. Many people want to know whether it matters, whether it is safe and whether it even is not just another hype. Read on and know about IoT, and some frequently asked questions about it.

The Internet of Things (IoT) – What Does It Mean?

This is not a completely new concept. The idea has been in discussion for decades among tech gurus and tech companies. This is a simple concept at the core. It is mainly about connecting devices to each other over the web, and allowing them to communicate with each other. It was as far back as in 1989 that the first internet-connected toaster device was launched at a conference.

The smart fridge is a popular instance, albeit silly. Imagine the scenario that your fridge could inform you through a text message that milk has been finished, as its internal cameras found that there was no milk anymore or that the milk carton has passed the expiry date. Such a device could be actually useful.

However, IoT happens to go beyond smart homes and paired equipments of daily use. It can cover smart cities. Smart bins can indicate when they trash has to be taken out, while smart traffic signals connected to each other could monitor the use of utilities. In industries, sensors could be connected to track everything from crops to components.

What Makes It Important?

IoT is a better way to monitor and keep track of things, and preventing wastage. The Government is urging energy companies to provide customers with a smart-meter that would show them the data about how much energy is being used. This would help prevent wastage of energy. However, some smart devices focus more on impact instead of efficiency, which indicates why smart heating can be seen more than smart fridges, at least in the United Kingdom.

Is Internet of Things (IoT) Safe?

Just like there are negative points with everything, privacy and security happen to be the biggest issues related to IoT. All the internet-connected systems gather significant amount of personal information about individuals. For instance, the smart meter knows the time when someone is home and the electronics equipments that he or she uses. The information is shared between devices and stored in manufacturer company databases. Cyber criminals can hack these databases and use such information for actual intrusion into homes and facilities.

However, hackers have not concentrated that much on IoT, given that not many people are using them as of now. This makes the technology comparatively safe at this time. People using smart meter are not likely to face greater losses than what they can face when their PC is hacked. However, there is no surety. As IoT becomes more popular and more people start using the technology, and cyber criminals see the monetary benefits of hacking into smart homes, they can go all out in compromising the safety of the Internet of Things.

How Can IoT have an impact on work and business?

The extent of impact actually depends on the industry that you are in. IoT possibly has the greatest scope in manufacturing, as it is helpful for organizing people, equipments and machines as well as tracking them. Farmers are already opting for smart sensors that can monitor both cattle and crops, with the hope that it can increase efficiency and production as well as help them track the health of their cattle.

There are plenty of instances, and it can be predicted that IoT will possibly enter businesses in the same way as the internet and computers. The benefits of IoT can be appreciated when it comes to plants or equipments. However, it can have some dark undertones in the workplace if employers use it to spy on employees and track every minute of their work time, thus de-humanizing the corporate sphere. On the other hand, it can be a boon for productive workers who are often neglected in place of slackers and time-wasters.

IoT and its Impact on Healthcare

There are smart monitoring patches and pills available already, which emphasize the life-saving ability of IoT. Many people are also wearing fitness bands or smart watches on their wrists in an effort to track their heartbeat or steps while running.

There are plenty of uses for this smart technology, and connect medical equipments. There is a smart band from Intel, which can track the number of people actually shaking due to Parkinson’s disease. It can gather data more accurately than simple writing down of information can achieve. There are monitors from Sonamba, which can track daily activities of ailing or elderly individuals and look from potentially fatal abnormalities. Those suffering from cardiac ailments can make use of AliveCore for the detection of irregular cardiac rhythms.

In the domain of healthcare, IoT has the ability to save many people by preventing ailments, monitoring disorders and evaluating them to devise new cures.

The Internet Of Things – Is It For Real?
Is IoT for real - is possibly the most searched question about the technology on Google. Strangely, it is difficult to offer a straightforward answer for this question. There is a lot of hype and promotion for every new technology these days. It is often tough to decide whether a specific technology is going to break new grounds or not.

However, IoT is not a single device that might or might not meet with success. It is actually a technology of smart devices and connected sensors, which would go on even without any individual contribution. 10 years from now, the technology of connecting devices could have wider mainstream use or simply become another technology without any actual impactful use, such as smartphones - which are used just like normal mobile phones. Although IoT is for real, whether or not it will have significance in the wider scheme of things is a question that cannot be answered by any search engine.

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