What Is Internet Of Things(IoT)?

Written by: Madhu Amminabhavi

The Internet of Things (IoT) means millions of devices worldwide connected to the internet, all collecting and sharing information for collaborated smart functioning. With the advent of cheap low-cost computers and the proliferation of wireless networks, it is possible to convert anything into an IoT component. Connecting all these different devices and integrating sensors to them facilitates the digital intelligence to devices that would otherwise be uncommunicative. It enables them to communicate with real-time data without involving a human face. By merging the digital and physical worlds of our environment, the Internet of Things is making the world smarter and responsive.

Millions of worldwide inbound sensors provide the wealthiest data that companies can use for its operational security, track assets, and streamline manual processes. Investigators may use IoT to collect data on personal preferences and behaviour, even if that may have serious implications for privacy and security.

How does IoT work?

As we saw above, IoT is connecting all the physical and digital devices of the world in an interrelated manner through the internet. To achieve this, smart physical devices use embedded systems like sensors and processors, to collect, transmit, and take actions on the acquired data from the environment. IoT devices are connected either to an IoT gateway or some edge device which receives the data accessed by the sensors and either send it to cloud for analysis or is locally analyzed. In most of the cases, the IoT devices are interconnected through the internet and make use of the data received from each other to make crucial decisions all by automatic. Except for the rare human interventions to set up and to provide information about data access, these devices manage most of the work by itself.

Depending on the specific IoT applications, the networking, connectivity, and communication protocols used by these devices vary. In recent days, even Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are exploited to make data collection and analysis more dynamic and efficient.

Why is IoT important?

The definition of smart among devices is primarily the ability to send or/and receive information between one another. Since the IoT devices are connected to the internet and can transmit and receive data, they are attributed as smart. This way, these devices help people live a high standard of life and work smarter. It enables them to gain control over their lives and style of living. IoT in business plays a crucial role as well. It facilitates real-time check on how their systems are working by providing insights on the performance of machines and logistic operations.

Since the introduction of IoT, the automation of company processes has reached new heights by reducing the massive labor costs. With this emerging technology, most of the businesses are slowly realizing the potential of the Internet of Things and its feature of connectivity. This technology will keep the business competitive by opening up lots of possibilities.

How big is the IoT?

IoT, in simple words, is enormous and is still getting more significant with time. In layman terms, right now, there are more connected IoT devices than the number of people living in this world. Due to the increasing use of the smart home essentials, smart wearable devices, automotive equipment, the IoT field is enlarging its fences enormously.

According to the various experts and analysts, as of now in 2020, there exist more than 50 billion connected devices that generate over 4.4 zettabytes of data in one year. They also anticipate that by 2025, there will be the market of range from 1.6 dollars to 14.4 dollars. The observation on this emerging technology clarifies that massive smart meters rollout, utilities will be the number one user of IoT. The security devices like web cameras follow the utility section being the second largest in the list. Besides, the building automation sector acts as the fastest growing sector in the use of IoT devices.

Industrial IoT

How IoT technology is applied in industrial settings is referred to as Industrial IoT. It deals with the instrumentation and sensor control by engaging with cloud technology. In recent times, industries have started using Machine to Machine communication which facilitates an advanced level of automation of devices connected through the internet. Industries also make use of machine learning as a new automation layer.

The industries have been exploiting the IoT technology since its emergence and adopted it in various jobs to make the work easier. Some of them include smart manufacturing, predictive maintenance of machines and its regular health check, smart power grids. IoT has also played a crucial role in the construction of smart cities. Various functionalities of a modern smart city wouldn’t have been possible without this ability of connectivity. With these benefits, the manufacturers are not selling just the physical products or machines, but also its ability and functionality of these features are worth the demanded cost.

Where does the IoT go next?

We all know how fast the IoT technology has grown since its emergence. But, still, its evolution hasn’t got any full point. It is growing and continues to grow further at a higher speed. Since it is evident that the price of sensors and communication devices are continuing to drop, there is a considerable possibility of more IoT devices to emerge into the market with lower prices. The recent technologies like machine-learned backend analytics and 5G are at the initial stage of development, and the IoT technology uses these for its collaborated functioning. This fact is the reason for which we can say that IoT is not yet fully opened up itself. So, there are enormous possibilities of this technology at a later time, along with the unrolling of its partner technologies.

IoT has been significant in the security domain in various ways. But, we should be aware that there is a dark side to everything in the world. Similarly, there is a trade-off between security and privacy. You will have to compromise with one of the two. Eventually, as some will remain stick to the traditional kind of devices. At the same time, some will welcome the new generation of smart gadgets and enjoy this advanced and comfortable


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