39. What is IoT – the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things, abbreviated as IoT, makes it possible to digitally monitor the world, everyday reality, and even control it. How? Through physical objects, equipped with sensors and other relays, that communicate with computer systems. Sounds a bit like a cybernetic world, but it really is! So, what is the IoT internet of things?
What is the Internet of Things?
IoT is a network of physical devices that transmit data to each other or a network of computers, without human intervention. The Internet of Things includes anything that has any sensor assigned to a unique identifier (UID).
The goal of the internet of things is to create self-regulating devices that can communicate with each other and other users in real time.
Interestingly, IoT is an advanced technology that is collectively referred to as Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution.
The benefits of Internet of Things are indeed many. It can largely reduce downtime, freely create business models, or improve the customer experience.
In the pandemic, for example, digital management tools allowed some companies to respond effectively and quickly to market changes.
How does the Internet of Things work?
The whole mechanism is very fascinating and at the same time fully interconnected. The Internet of Things is made up of several components that make it into an entire in the general concept.
The Internet of Things includes:
- A platform that manages connectivity between devices. This can be software or a simple cloud service. The purpose of such a platform is to manage and monitor equipment. At the same time, data processing and updating.
- Sensors, referred to as IoT intelligent sensors in the IoT network, transform data from the real world into data that the devices can interpret and share further. We have quite a few types of such sensors. Each is used to monitor a different variable.
- Just as unique as the sensors. As we have already mentioned, the basic concept of the internet of things is mutual communication between given devices and users. Such identifiers enable mutual communication within a larger network. An identifier can be a numeric pattern, a string of numbers or an alphanumeric string.
- Connectivity, which includes sensors to connect to platforms, or clouds. All via multiple network protocols.
- Artificial intelligence (AI). It processes natural language into one that will be understood by IoT devices. One example of such a device will be Amazon Alexa.
Every day, thousands, or even billions of devices are connected to the Internet, collecting and exchanging information among themselves. They even include cooking appliances, smoke detectors or military surveillance equipment. There are three types of Internet of Things:
- Consumer, which refers to personal and wearable devices. Of course, they must have a connection to the Internet. Very often, such things are referred to as smart devices, and we can even count a smartphone among them.
- Industrial, that is, equipment that connects several devices in the industrial sector. This group will include various types of production machinery, or equipment used for energy management.
- Commercial, that is, referring to systems and tools used outside the home. Here, a great example would be companies that use commercial IoT for auditing data trails or consumer management.
Interestingly, without even realizing it, we are daily users of the Internet of Things! Smartwatches, kitchen appliances, self-driving cars and home security systems are just a fraction of what’s among the IoT.
Why is Internet of Things solutions so important?
IoT is a key factor for business. It enables analysts to collect and analyse a giant database, in real time.
What’s more, the devices of internet things enable automation. This allows users to have more control over their time, health, or safety.
For example, automatic security systems in your home, assess a threat, such as a break-in or carbon monoxide leak.
Glucose monitors track glucose levels in your blood. This eliminates the need to go to the clinic every day. At the same time, it protects the patient with alerts.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Internet of Things
|Full automation. The IoT removes from our daily lives the performance of nothing-to-be-done activities like turning off the kettle.||Lack of privacy. The data that is gained through IoT is often confidential. So think twice before sharing something online.|
|Saving time and energy. Thanks to IoT, it is easier to manage our energy or water consumption.||The security of IoT devices is sometimes a contentious issue. It is entirely left up to the manufacturers. If the manufacturer of an item does not prioritize security, then the entire network is at risk.|
|Better analytics. Access to information is simpler and faster. Topics that were once hard to gather can now be tracked without too much effort.||Throughput. Its power depends on how many devices are connected to the common network. Unfortunately – the more, the worse.|
Internet of things, and the economy
This is just an interesting topic! The impact of IoT on the world is huge. It is estimated that by 2030 the potential value of the Internet of Things could be as high as $12.5 trillion!
Of course, the economic value of IoT varies depending on demand or its application. At the same time, it is worth noting that the factory settings and health-oriented use of IoT account for a significant portion of the total. The economic impact of IoT in human health reaches about 14% of the total.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a really exciting topic. Some of you probably weren’t aware of how many things in this area surround you daily.