Internet of things
The term internet of things is a term that was coined by Kevin Ashton during a presentation he was making for Procter & Gamble (P&G) at the Auto-ID center in 1999. IoT involves implanting a radio frequency ID (RFID) on a subject. The RFID can then transmit important data for processing. You can place the “thing” on tires, heart or on animals.
Although Kevin Ashton came up with the name, the idea behind RFIDs has been around since the 1970s. The University of Carnegie Mellon, for example, placed an IoT in a coke vending machine, and they could determine whether there was a cold drink waiting.
Today IoT has expanded to the machine to machine contact. In this instances, humans do not take an active role between IoT communications. Data is transmitted on the cloud.
How does IoT work?
The first thing you need to understand with IoT devices is that they have a sensor that is connected to the internet. The applications can share data seamlessly. The data can be sent through the cloud or any other IoT gateway. It is them analyzed, and information relayed back to the device. While humans are needed to set them up the devices can operate without the need of any human intervention. IoT security is paramount since information is been sent over the internet. VPN offers solutions on cyber-security, and you can get the beginner’s guide to VPNs here.
Examples of IoT usage
It is in the home that we have seen an increase in IoT devices. You can have a smart alarm clock that has learned your work schedule. It knows which route and transport mode that you take to work. The alarm can wake you up some minutes than usual so that you can get to work on time. It will check the weather, train schedules and how busy the roads are. You can also have an IoT installed in your fridge that informs you when items are finished and need to be replenished.
Cars can have various IoT devices installed in the tires and other components. This information can then relayed to a central console, and you can know if your tires are deflated, you need to take your car for service or when there is an oil leak. IoT can extend to how a vehicle interacts with its environment; this can include traffic lights or important updates like closed roads.
There have been significant improvements in medical care through IoT devices. Once the device is placed in the body, it monitors various body functions and relays this to other devices. A medical practitioner is then able to make an accurate diagnosis.
What are the benefits of using IoT?
Machine to machine communication (M2M) is the primary reason people have adopted IoT. This gives devices to communicate through the internet. This enables us to get accurate data faster.
Save on money
Monitoring different devices can be expensive, and that is why people adopt IoT devices in an effort to cut cost. When IoT devices send and receive data flawlessly the chances of error is reduced.
IoT devices enable humans to monitor different aspects of their lives. You can have a sensor stored in a car’s tires, and this ensures that you have the right tire pressure at all times. Some information could be hard to acquire like during space and mining exploration. The IoT becomes the eyes through which we monitor hard to reach areas. This has worked well in medical science where IoT devices have been put in the heart, and this has helped to know when there is a problem.
However, there some issues you need to be aware of before getting an IoT
The complexity of IoT devices
IoT devices are complex items that can fail at any time. While the manufacturers have done all they could by testing the items, there is still room for human error. Their instances where a robot been used for space exploration has failed while in space. However, the devices will get better with continued use and shortcomings can easily be rectified. This was evidenced during the launch of self-driving cars. While they were effective in preventing collisions they were still not as good as humans.
Security is a significant concern when it comes to IoT devices. When you are sending and receiving data from the internet, there is always the risk that a middleman may come into play and manipulate the data. Most of the IoT use sophisticated encryption software for data but hackers are getting smarter, and soon they will have found ways to retrieve the data.
Not all IoT devices are the same. Some connect through Bluetooth while some use the latest USB ports. No universal body regulates which port is the most suitable and manufacturers are left to what suits them best. This problem is passed on to customers, and they can purchase a device only to find that it is not compatible with other devices. With time those companies that have universal connectivity will enjoy monopolies.
Since the creating of machines people have always been worried about the potential risk of loss to employment. IoT devices are faster and more efficient. They have led to the eradication of menial and tedious tasks. Unemployment is real in the age of machines. The only solution to this is for people to be equipped on how to handle the machines. While technology does lead to some jobs becoming obsolete, it does create new ones.
Technology has made people be addicted to it. Humans are communicating with each other less, and this has created various social problems.
IoT is here to stay. We are going to see more IoT devices been used in industries like transportation, medicine, manufacturing, and home devices. The threat of cyber-attacks is real, and a lot needs to be done to compact the vice. While IoT will lead to unemployment as many repetitive tasks are replaced it will also open up new avenues for employment.