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What is the Internet of Things IoT


The Internet of things (IoT) is a general term for the increasing number of electronics that are not conventional computer equipment but connected to the Internet for sending information, receiving instructions or both.

Author:Collins Okoth


The Internet of things (IoT) is a general term for the increasing number of electronics that are not conventional computer equipment but connected to the Internet to send information, receive instructions, or both.

Tech analyst company IDC forecasts that in total, 41.6 billion connected IoT devices will be available by 2025. It also indicates that the most significant opportunities for connected "things" include industrial and automotive equipment. Still, it also sees the adoption, in the near term, of smart home and wearable equipment.

What is the Internet of Things IoT

With IoT, once "dumb" devices are made "smarter," allowing the system to connect with people and other IoT-enabled things, sending the data over the internet.

An excellent example of IoT in action is a connected smart house.  Thermostats, doors, smoke detectors, security alarms and Internet-operated thermostats build a connected system through which physical devices can exchange data, and users can remotely monitor "things" in that hub via a mobile application or website.

You can find the Internet of Things not only in the home but in a variety of devices, industries and settings. For example, the IoT quickly makes the world smarter by combining physical and digital systems - from smart blackboards in school classrooms to medical devices that can identify symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

The History of the Internet of Things

Throughout the 1980s and 1990's the concept of introducing sensors and intelligence to simple artefacts (and perhaps some ancestors) was debated, but, aside from early projects, including Internet-connected vending machines, progress was slow. Simply the technology is not ready. Chips were too large and bulky, and objects could not communicate effectively.

Developers needed cheap and powerful processors to be all but disposable before it became cost-effective to link thousands of devices. The introduction of RFID tags—low power, wireless chips—resolved some issues, as increased availability of broadband Internet, mobile and wireless networks. It was also a required step for the IoT to reach its size by adopting IPv6 – which could, among other things, provide enough IP addresses to any computer (or indeed this galaxy) in the world.

What is the Internet of Things IoT

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.

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.

Initially, the IoT was most interesting for business and manufacturing, where its application is sometimes referred to as Machine-to-Machine (M2M). Still, it's now focused on filling our homes and offices with smart devices, making it almost appropriate for everybody. The early suggestions for Internet-connected devices included blogjects, ubiquitous computing, invisible computing and pervasive computing. The term, the Internet of Things(IoT) stuck. 

Technologies Making IoT Possible

While IoT is a concept that has existed for a long time, a series of recent developments have rendered it practical in various technologies.

  • Access to low cost and low-energy sensor technology: IoT technology is made available to more manufacturers with affordable and reliable sensors.
  • Platforms for cloud computing: The increase in cloud platform availability allows both enterprises and customers to access the resources they need to expand without handling it.
  • Connectivity: A host of internet network protocols have made connecting sensors simple for effective data transfer in the cloud and to other "stuff."
  • Conversational artificial intelligence (AI): Advances in neural networks have made IoT devices (such as Alexa, Cortana and Siri, the automated personal assistants) attractive, cost-effective and feasible for domestic use.
  • Machine learning and analytics: Machine training. Businesses can collect insights quicker and easier with developments in machine learning and analytics and access to a varying and large number of data stored in the cloud. This development of allied technologies continues to push the limits of IoT, and the information produced by IoT also feeds these technologies.

How the Internet of Things Works

The fundamental elements of IoT include data collection devices. Overall, they are devices connected to the internet, and therefore each one has an IP address. The complexities range from autonomous vehicles transporting products across factory floors to simple sensors monitoring buildings' temperatures. They also include personal instruments such as fitness trackers that monitor the number of steps people take daily. The collection can process, filter, and analyse this data to be of use, each in various ways.

Data collection is done from the devices to a gathering point. Users may move data via wireless networks or a range of technologies. The data can be transmitted via the internet to a data centre or a cloud with storage and computing power or sent via intermediate devices that add up the data before they are forwarded.

Devices may process data in data centres or the cloud, but this is not an option sometimes. For critical devices such as industrial setting shutdowns, it will be too long for data to be transferred from the device to a remote data centre.

It can take too much time to send, process, analyze and return the data (close the valve before the pipe explosion). In such situations, devices can use edge computing to collect data, interpret it and, if possible, fashion reactions within reasonably near physical reach and reduce delays. In addition, Edge devices have upstream connectivity for further processing and storage of data.

Industries Benefiting from IoT

The IoT-appropriate organizations are those that profit from the use of sensor devices in their business processes.

Healthcare

The monitoring of IoT assets gives the health industry several benefits. The exact location of patient care assets such as wheelchairs is also required for doctors, nurses and nurses. Suppose hospital wheelchairs are fitted with IoT sensors. 

What is the Internet of Things IoT

In that case, the IoT asset tracking program will track them so that anyone searching for the nearest accessible wheelchair can quickly locate them. In addition, it monitors certain hospital assets so that the physical assets in and department can be used appropriately and financially accounted for.

Automotive

There are essential benefits from the use of IoT applications in the automotive industry. Apart from the advantages of using IoT for production routes, sensors can predict the imminent malfunction of equipment in road vehicles and can warn the driver with information and guidelines. Thus, automobile companies and suppliers can learn more about keeping cars running, and vehicle owners notified, thanks to aggregate knowledge obtained by IoT related applications.

Manufacturing

Production line monitoring allows manufacturers to achieve a competitive advantage in the constructive maintenance process when sensors detect an imminent failure. Sensors can calculate the compromise of production performance. The manufacturers may quickly check the accuracy of equipment or withdraw it from production until repaired utilizing sensor alerts. It enables businesses to lower operating costs, increase operating times and improve control of assets.

Transportation 

A variety of IoT applications are used for transport and logistic systems. For example, motor owners can use the IoT sensor data to re-route fleets of cars, trucks, ships, and trains carrying stocks depending on weather, vehicle availability, or driver availability. Owners can also fit the inventory with track and track sensors and temperature controls. The food and drink, flower and pharmaceutical industries also contain an inventory sensitive to temperatures. They will benefit significantly from the IoT monitoring applications that send warnings to the rising or decreasing temperature of the product.

Safety Across All Industries

In addition to tracking physical assets, industry heads can use IoT to improve worker safety. Employees in hazardous environments such as mines, oil and gas fields, and chemical and power plants, for example, need to know about the occurrence of a dangerous event that might affect them. When connected to IoT sensor-based applications, they can be notified of accidents or rescued from them as swiftly as possible. IoT applications are also used for wearables that can monitor human health and environmental conditions. These applications help people better understand their health; they also permit physicians to monitor patients remotely.

What's Next?

The best way to characterize the IoT today is perhaps in its unpleasant teenage years: large enough to become significant and every day to develop, but still unpleasantly. We hope that we see improvements to safety in the short term, more progress in cutting-edge technology and greater cooperation between IT and OT.

As sensor and communications prices fall, adding more devices to IoT would become cost-effective, even though there are few clear market advantages in some cases. The competition is wide-ranging, from hardware manufacturers, software companies and network operators trying to get a slice of the pie. The winner is not apparent. But we are likely to see more large IoT security flaws in the next couple of years without standards and with security an ongoing problem.

As the initial wave of IoT ventures, often from minor specialist firms, was not in use for years, we could see new roll-outs dominated by more transparent standards, more often by industrial giants such as Google or Amazon. The large mobile carriers may also be given a foothold. IoT devices are perhaps all too omnipresent to treat a wireless network as a giant sensor. It's a thrilling technology to watch.