Internet Of Things (ITO)
What is IoT?
The interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.
“if one thing can prevent the Internet of things from transforming the way we live and work, it will be a breakdown in security”
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, I, or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
The definition of the Internet of things has evolved due to the convergence of multiple technologies, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems. Traditional fields of embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, control systems, automation (including home and building automation), and others all contribute to enabling the Internet of Things. In the consumer market, IoT technology is most synonymous with products pertaining to the concept of the “smart home”, covering devices and appliances (such as lighting fixtures, thermostats, home security systems and cameras, and other home appliances) that support one or more common ecosystems, and can be controlled via devices associated with that ecosystem, such as smartphones and smart speakers.
There are a number of serious concerns about dangers in the growth of IoT, especially in the areas of privacy and security; and consequently industry and governmental moves to begin to address these.
IoT Extends Internet Connectivity
The Internet of Things extends internet connectivity beyond traditional devices like desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets to a diverse range of devices and everyday things that utilize embedded technology to communicate and interact with the external environment, all via the Internet.
What is an example of an Internet of Things device?
Pretty much any physical object can be transformed into an IoT device if it can be connected to the internet and controlled that way.
A lightbulb that can be switched on using a smartphone app is an IoT device, as is a motion sensor or a smart thermostat in your office or a connected streetlight. An IoT device could be as fluffy as a child’s toy or as serious as a driverless truck, or as complicated as a jet engine that’s now filled with thousands of sensors collecting and transmitting data back to make sure it is operating efficiently. On an even bigger scale, smart cities projects are filling entire regions with sensors to help us understand and control the environment.
The term IoT is mainly used for devices that wouldn’t usually be generally expected to have an internet connection, and that can communicate with the network independently of human action. For this reason, a PC isn’t generally considered an IoT device and neither is a smartphone — even though the latter is crammed with sensors. A smartwatch or a fitness band or other wearable device might be counted as an IoT device, however.
What is the history of the Internet of Things?
The idea of adding sensors and intelligence to basic objects was discussed throughout the 1980s and 1990s (and there are arguably some much earlier ancestors), but apart from some early projects — including an internet-connected vending machine — progress was slow simply because the technology wasn’t ready.
Processors that were cheap and power-frugal enough to be all but disposable were required before it became cost-effective to connect up billions of devices. The adoption of RFID tags — low-power chips that can communicate wirelessly — solved some of this issue, along with the increasing availability of broadband internet and cellular and wireless networking. The adoption of IPv6 — which, among other things, should provide enough IP addresses for every device the world (or indeed this galaxy) is ever likely to need — was also a necessary step for the IoT to scale. Kevin Ashton coined the phrase ‘Internet of Things in 1999, although it took at least another decade for the technology to catch up with the vision.
The IoT integrates the interconnectedness of human culture — our ‘things’ — with the interconnectedness of our digital information system — ‘the internet.’ That’s the IoT,” Ashton told ZDNet. Adding RFID tags to expensive pieces of equipment to help track their location was one of the first IoT applications. But since then, the cost of adding sensors and an internet connection to objects has continued to fall, and experts predict that this basic functionality could one day cost as little as 10 cents, making it possible to connect nearly everything to the internet.
The IoT was initially most interesting to business and manufacturing, where its application is sometimes known as machine-to-machine (M2M), but the emphasis is now on filling our homes and offices with smart devices, transforming it into something that’s relevant to almost everyone. Early suggestions for internet-connected devices included ‘blogjects’ (objects that blog and record data about themselves to the internet), ubiquitous computing (or ‘ubicomp’), invisible computing, and pervasive computing. However, it was the Internet of Things and IoT that stuck.
How big is the Internet of Things?
Big and getting bigger — there are already more connected things than people in the world. Analyst Gartner calculates that around 8.4 billion IoT devices were in use in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and this will likely reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Total spending on IoT endpoints and services will reach almost $2tn in 2017, with two-thirds of those devices found in China, North America, and Western Europe, said Gartner.
Out of that 8.4 billion devices, more than half will be consumer products like smart TVs and smart speakers. The most-used enterprise IoT devices will be smart electric meters and commercial security cameras, according to Gartner.
What are the benefits of the Internet of Things for business?
The benefits of the IoT for business depend on the particular implementation, but the key is that enterprises should have access to more data about their own products and their own internal systems, and a greater ability to make changes as a result. Manufacturers are adding sensors to the components of their products so that they can transmit back data about how they are performing. This can help companies spot when a component is likely to fail and swap it out before it causes damage. Companies can also use the data generated by these sensors to make their systems and their supply chains more efficient because they will have much more accurate data about what’s really going on.
“With the introduction of comprehensive, real-time data collection and analysis, production systems can become dramatically more responsive,” say consultants McKinsey. Enterprise use of the IoT can be divided into two segments: industry-specific offerings like sensors in a generating plant or real-time location devices for healthcare; and IoT devices that can be used in all industries, like smart air conditioning or security systems.
What is the Industrial Internet of Things?
The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) or the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 is all names given to the use of IoT technology in a business setting. The concept is the same as for the consumer IoT; to use a combination of sensors, wireless networks, big data, and analytics to measure and optimize industrial processes. If introduced across an entire supply chain rather than just individual companies the impact could be even greater with just-in-time delivery of materials and the management of production from start to finish. Increasing workforce productivity or cost savings two potential aims, but the IoT can also create new revenue streams for businesses; rather than just selling a standalone product for example like an engine, manufacturers can sell predictive maintenance of the engine too.
What are the benefits of the Internet of Things for consumers?
The IoT promises to make our environment — our homes and offices and vehicles — smarter, more measurable, and chattier. Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home make it easier to play music, set timers or get information. Home security systems make it easier to monitor what’s going on inside and outside or to see and talk to visitors. Meanwhile, smart thermostats can help us heat our homes before we arrive back, and smart lightbulbs can make it look like we’re home even when we’re out.
Looking beyond the home, sensors can help us to understand how noisy or polluted our environment might be. Autonomous vehicles and smart cities could change how we build and manage our public spaces.