Internet of Things or commonly known as IoT integrates the physical world into computer-based systems for higher efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit. In a layman’s language, defining IoT is actually a lot easier-
Defined basically as a collection of ‘things’ (as the name says) connected via the internet with us as well as other so-called ‘things’ for the exchange of data, these things in IoT can be anything; ranging from large objects such as cars and vehicles to smallest objects like the phones and watches in our hands.
Truly speaking, a few years back, IoT was just a science project in schools, colleges and universities. But now, with the advent of major tech companies in this field, IoT has finally seen the dawn of implementation. And trust me; it is spreading its roots at a rate faster than any present day tech development.
Here are a few important things you must know about IoT in the present world-
IoT uses a terminology called- ‘Fog computing’ for processing its data. Now, what is the major problem in the present day data implementation? It needs to be collected, stored in a cloud in chunk, transferred via suitable routers or communicating devices and then processed by data centres thousands of miles away, which no doubt is a lengthy process and with some of our best techs at our disposal such as optic fibres and super computers, the processing is quite fast, but is still not instantaneous, that is in real time. It always has a time lag. Fog computing on the other hand consists of sensors with a control plane and a data plane. They work in parallel to store as well as compute data at the edge of the network; providing proximity to us and our needs and objectives, dense geographical distribution and local resource pooling, latency reduction and analytics/stream mining which are no doubt resulting in superior user-experience. The best examples are the autonomous cars and vehicles.
As you might be acquainted by the term, “parenting”; it is looking after your children and elder people at your home at almost every instant of time while you are away or busy in some household chores. Generally Baby TVs and smart cams are used. But, what if you are in a flight travelling on a business trip and you are in flight mode? What if god forbid, any emergency occurs at home and you are not available at the need of the hour? To help you with this, IoT has successfully implemented dedicated gateways and remote processing solutions which regardless of your data connectivity not only helps you monitor 24×7 the ones you love, but also alerts you if they need you.
Also Read : What are the benefits of IoT
As millions of devices are getting connected to the IoT, there are huge amounts of Data dumps. Devices keep performing 24×7 which generates data at each and every interval which is quite irrelevant to the end users. For this, IoT improvises the concept of Data intelligence. This concept tries to understand data and information from the sensors and devices and only distributes data which is important. Summarizing, IoT gets the optimised data at the right time from the right device. This prioritizing of data is what is implemented in thousands of smart phones and smart watches which give you notifications at your convenience.
When we deal with mass interconnection and usage, standard issues do pose a problem. Definitely, one size does not fit all. Some need greater features and lower standards, while the others require a few key standards. With millions of smart device manufacturers, communication, exchange of data to perform closely coordinated tasks, security and performance of variant devices do pose a challenge. Thanks to IoT for forging an alliance among Global standards bodies such as IEEE, International Society of Automation (ISA), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), OMA, IETF and IPSO to help manufacturers and stake holders create optimum products according to our demands.
Privacy and Security
With new smart products coming up each day in the market, security and privacy does pose a matter of concern for millions of users. Again, IoT proves its worth by addressing the concern for security and privacy of its users as its top priority.
Where, protected embedded processors have been designed at the device level, which if compromised, halt the ability to intercept data; end-to-end encryption and authentication of sensitive data have also been implemented at the network level as some of the security protocols. So, with IoT, security of your data and privacy of your sensitive information definitely doesn’t remain your concern any more.
In the present age where the need for energy conservation has become the very need, IoT has spread its roots deep. With Smart grids, realization of additional value from meter and system data is now possible. All this is achieved through fast and precise realization of asset loading, voltage monitoring, revenue protection and more. Moreover, intelligence in the grid is added by a two-way communication system to monitor critical devices across the grid. Thus, load management of various devices and saving energy by switching devices on and off at or without your presence, not only save your electricity bill, but also help in conserving energy.
Independency of Platform
With so many platforms and programming languages at our disposal, inter-connection between various platforms has always posed to be a major issue. Thanks to open platforms and standards, IoT now tends to solve this issue. Open software gives the vendors the ability to customize apps by using embedded operating systems, system analytics and cross platform development frameworks. Additionally open hardware architectures help vendors to build innovative hardware with limited budgets and resources. This open platform venture of IOT has indeed spurred innovation and is proving a rich competition in the market.
Transferring goods from one place to the other has been associated with a huge cost and unnecessary tension. IoT now has introduced locomotives that not only helps in taking driving decisions based on weather and traffic, but also notifies which products or goods have been damaged in the process.
Starting from notifying about refuel stations to engine performance, exhaust, the fuel mix and rail conditions, thousands of real-time data centres now do the job of notifying you and let you focus on other relevant matters.
Having an understanding of IOT and seeing cons as almost close to nil, my question to all of you is- ‘Why NOT IOT?’
Author Credit: Sanjib Kumar Saha, a digital marketeer from Bangalore.