What do you mean by Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things or IoT comprises of a group of objects connected via the internet. This enables the “things” or objects to collect and transfer data across the network. These objects can include a variety of devices, such as- items of daily use, mobile phones, industrial machines and many others. IoT operates through sensors and WiFi technology embedded within them, which then connects to the broadband.

Why is all the fuss about IoT?

IoT is turning into a topic of interest in every place we can think of. Why is it so? The simple answer is wide availability of internet, plummeting connection costs, huge smart phone usage and greater technological advancements. IoT has been predicted to be the future technology, optimizing efficiency, accuracy and rendering the best economic benefits. As per Gartner, Inc, by the year 2020, approximately 26 billion things will be connected by the IoT. That’s a huge number! And this simply means that IoT will find a way into almost every application of our daily lives.

Let us give some examples about the advantages IoT has to offer us:

1. Transportation: Applications of IoT in transportation encompasses the vehicle, driver as well as the connected infrastructure. Examples are:  smart traffic control, smart parking, electronic toll collection systems, logistics and fleet management, vehicle control, and safety and road assistance.
2. Healthcare: IoT can be used in emergency health tracking and health monitoring devices, from checking the heart beat, blood pressure to pacemakers and implants.
3. Media: Few applications in media include, processing big data in an interconnected manner to target customers and capture data.

These are just a few examples to provide a gist. IoT applications range from managing infrastructure, monitoring environment, manufacturing industries to large scale deployments. Speaking of all these, we can’t neglect the benefits IoT has to offer on our personal front. Life would be so much comfortable if we run out on supplies, and the refrigerator sends a notification to pick them up from the super market. Better still if we could control our room temperature settings through a remote controlled sensor before entering the apartment. The advantages are just endless!

Is the IoT devoid of challenges?

Sadly the answer is “no”. Security is one of the biggest threats of so many devices connected across the internet. It’s a basic worry if someone is able to hack into his fridge and the entire network, manipulate all his data or worse still steal all his personal information. On a larger scale, organizations are exposed to a huge issue of privacy and security while sharing data. Another issue is to make sense of the massive data generated by these devices.

The way forward

The IoT and how its usage will impact our lives has been a topic of discussion since many years. The best thing we can do is to know the amount of opportunities and challenges it offers. For the near future, we need to train ourselves on the detailed usage of IoT and how it will impact our lives at home as well as at work.