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What is the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) ?

Internet of Things or more vividly known as IoT, is on the page 3 of corporates, workplaces and technologies these days. This concept talks about leaving a potential impact, but the question remains impacting what, whom, and how will it benefit to an individual like you and me. Well, there is a lot to “Internet of Things’, a lot of complexities, questions, technical and general policies are involved.

Let’s begin our topic with the most general thing, the 'Broadband Internet'. We all know that with the help of broadband internet there has been a gradual decrease in the cost of using internet. The internet speed, reach and reliability are exponentially increasing, and the cost is going down. For example in UK, broadband from Virgin Media, provides blazing fast speeds with lots of value added services at very affordable rates. Such companies help to build the next generation of internet and devices.

Devices are largely being built having Wi-Fi capabilities and censors, technology costs are pluming down while the smart phone market is soaring high n sky. All is this is largely having a huge share in creating the need for IoT.

What is Internet of Things

Internet of Things is connecting any device which has the capability of switching on and off to the internet. When you say ‘any device’ , it largely means any device like cellphones, coffee makers, headphones, lamps, doors, windows and almost anything you can think of. Gartner, the analysis firm puts forward that by the year 2020 there will be as many as twenty six billion devices connected to the internet. Thus, IoT is a giant connection of things via internet. This is more or less a relationship between things.

Impact on individuals

Okay. So now we know that Internet of things is a device being connected to another device, but what good use will it be, to the people. Let me give you some examples to justify the value driven by IoT. Let's start with really simple example, you have a meeting scheduled in your outlook calendar for 10:00 am at a venue 10 kms from your place, your alarm will be automatically set in the morning considering the distance. While in car you don’t have to ask the routs or look at Google maps, your car will automatically route the way and if there is heavy traffic it will send a text to the other party telling about the delay in meeting due to heavy traffic. What if your mobile knows that it is to be recharged and begins it automatically, what if your refrigerator knows you are low on supplies and orders it automatically, what if your wrist watch tells you when you were most happy, productive or sad during the entire day.

Possibilities of IoT ( Click on Image to Enlarge )

Well these are really linked to individuals, when we look at the bigger picture we see smart cities that reduces waste, minimizes energy consumption, and minimizes traffic.

For IoT the possibilities are endless, it will cater to our many requirements most of which we are unaware of right now. The issue everyone see in IoT is, Security, how will people ensure that their data is secure when all of their ‘things’ know everything about an individual’s life or an Organization.

Another issue is, where to keep the huge amount of information which these devices will create? How will technology track, analyze and make sense of the humongous amount of data that will be generated.

What’s Next?

There has been a lot of conversation about IoT for several years, people are pondering about its pros and cons, contemplating on the implementation of it and digging out the value to be created out of IoT. We all know the opportunities are endless and so are the challenges to be faced, but right now we have to educate ourselves about IoT , figure out ourselves what impact it can create in each of our lives.