The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—things—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet.
Internet of Things plays an increasingly important role in our lives, yet we may not even realize it! Let’s look at some facts about IoT to help you understand just how ubiquitous it has become.
What is Internet of Things (IoT)?
The internet is a set of interrelated networks that use standard communication protocols to exchange data.
Internet of Things (IoT) refers to any network of things in which devices connect, collect data, share information, and interact over an IP network.
For example, your car might be able to communicate its location or speed via GPS to another device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi; a building might have sensors installed throughout it that report temperature and humidity levels back to a central server; your refrigerator might transmit information about how much food you have left on an app on your phone.
Areas in which IoT plays a crucial role
IoT plays a crucial role in everyday life. The IoT is all around us in almost every industry, whether manufacturing or agriculture, healthcare or retail.
By 2022, 27 billion devices will be connected to IoT worldwide, producing massive data. This enormous amount of data means an excellent opportunity for businesses to capitalize on it by creating innovative products and services.
Here are some areas where Internet of Things can improve our lives Data Analytics & Predictive Maintenance: IoT allows organizations to collect real-time information from physical objects, enabling them to analyze big data sets and make predictions about future behavior.
Organizations that deploy predictive maintenance solutions benefit from reduced costs associated with equipment failures while improving overall equipment performance and uptime.
Evolution of IoT – A timeline
In 1999, when Marc Andreessen (then working for Netscape) famously wrote to create a new kind of computer—one that is not simply a PC but rather a digital hub connecting to other devices and media through which we access all our information, entertainment, systems and networks, IoT was born.
Of course, it remained in its infancy at that time; many experts doubted whether or not IoT would be successful. But by 2012, companies like Google and Samsung had already invested billions into IoT research and development.
That same year, Apple also launched HomeKit – an operating system designed specifically for innovative (smart) home applications – while Nest announced their latest thermostat model with HomeKit integration.
History of IoT
The idea behind connecting devices with an internet connection isn’t new. In 1994, Kevin Ashton coined a term for connecting devices to computers over wired or wireless networks—the term was Bluetooth.
And then, two years later, two guys named Ericsson (the networking equipment company) partnered with Intel to create a standard called 802.11 to build a wireless local area network (WLAN). This is what became Wi-Fi.
Then in 1999, a couple of guys from Silicon Valley launched a startup called Revolv, which enabled users to control their home electronics via the smartphone app.
It wasn’t until 2010 that IoT got its current name when Cisco Systems published a report describing how many things were connected in some way.
By 2020 it is estimated/calculated that 50 billion connected things will be in use worldwide; by 2025, that number could be as high as 200 billion!
Benefits of IoT
The IoT promises to deliver benefits at every point along its lifecycle—from conception to deployment to operation.
These benefits will come in many forms—lower operational costs, improved safety and security, and better information available, to name a few. No matter how large or small your business is, you’ll likely be able to use Internet of Things technologies to improve upon virtually every aspect of your day-to-day operations.
For example, an IoT-connected device could allow you to remotely monitor and control equipment from afar, cutting down on expensive trips to check up on things. Or, it could help increase worker productivity by providing real-time access to relevant data about supply levels or work progress.
No matter what your industry may be, there are boundless opportunities for companies of all sizes to leverage these benefits as they begin their journey into the world of IoT.
Challenges faced by IoT
The biggest challenge with Internet of Things is that almost all devices are dumb devices. They do not have/possess enough computing power to perform a task without constant assistance from their smartphone or other devices.
As a result, people using them may feel they’re less valuable than they could be—and if you don’t have strong mobile connectivity in your home, it can be challenging to streamline everything. Another issue is security. Because Internet of Things devices are connected/linked to the internet, there’s always a risk that hackers will find vulnerabilities and exploit them for their gain.