IoT or Internet of things has become the talk of the town both in the workplace and outside of it. It is a concept that has the potential that can impact the way we have lived our lives. But what exactly is this Internet of Things? To put it simply, IoT is the concept of connecting devices with the internet and with each other. Now you ask me, what is new? We already have our devices like laptop, smartphone, tabs, etc., connected to the web. But IoT connects things which we never thought about. How about connecting your coffee mug to your coffeemaker and your alarm to your water heater or your car to the house gate? These connections are possible through IoT. Basically, this technology will change every device we use into a smart device.
Let us peep into the future, which is not very far, and see how our typical day might start:-
Your doctor has advised you to six hours of sleep daily, the smart ring, that you wear (prescribed ;-)) calculates your sleeping hours and sends message to your smart alarm. The alarm in turn wakes you up after six hours and once you are up, it signals your water heater and your coffeemaker. And these devices in turn announce their readiness. When you are ready your shoe would unlock your car, once are nearing it and your car in sync with your calendar will remind you of your meetings and travel route of the day and will update you with the best possible route analyzing the real-time traffic.
How would this day be? Isn’t it exciting and scary at the same moment? That is the technology of IoT for you. So how is this possible? It is a bundle when a machine is put together with a sensor and a connection. It is like machine to machine, devices talking to devices. But normally machines do not do the talking, they perform some physical activity. And a sensor does to connecting part in this technology. Sensors are not machines, they do not do anything like the device itself, they measure and evaluate, in short sensors gather data. IoT comes to reality with this connection of sensors and machines. Think of the value it can create at the intersection of gathering all the data and leveraging it. But these data will be of no use if there isn’t an infrastructure to analyze and decide on the data, real time.
Cloud based applications are the key to leveraging this huge data. The IoT does not function without the existence of cloud based applications to intercept, interpret analyze the huge amount of dat coming from all these sensors and transmit relevant information to the smart machine, which would use these data.
So with sensors monitoring and tracking all these information and apps analyzing and translating these data into intelligence and enabling machines to use these data smartly, we would soon get smart things and eventually a smart world to live in.
Now let’s discuss about some of the possible areas this technology can help.
Health care is booming sector and this technology will surely add to the boom. It can used in finding symptoms for diseases, tracking progression and sending timely reports to doctors, the use is endless. It can restructure transport, with real-time data on traffic, think of the possibilities. This technology can single handedly change the entire way of living. It can be used to monitor your home effectively, take care of old aged people living alone, no more worries on whether the oven is switched off or not. Cities will become smart cities, easy lighting and better drainage; disasters can be sensed and averted. And industries would save lots of money. So the change we can implement with technology is really astounding.
So what now?
Of all the technology trends that are taking place right now, perhaps the biggest and the brightest one is the Internet of Things; it is the one that is going to give us the most disruption as well as the most opportunity over the next five years. Although IoT is been the talk of the town quite long, we are still seeking to understand the ways with which this huge change will lead to. For now the best thing that we can do is educate ourselves about what the IoT is and the potential impacts that can be seen on how we work and live.