Published on March 24th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
Internet of Things: All That We Already Knew and All That is New
Times have evolved and so has everything else around us. It was just a few years ago when all of us were bound to stay within the imaginary line that divided us from the digital realm. Little did we know that soon there will be a time where our interaction with machines will become transparent and effortless.
Although the 4th industrial revolution hasn’t fully disclosed itself before us, but chances are, it has begun and it is all set to change our lives, for good. The 4th industrial revolution entails the exponential influences that it has on the way we live and the way we work around the Internet of Things.
Well, for starters, the first thing that the internet of things reminds us of is William Gibson’s famous saying: “Though it’s not very evenly distributed, but the future is already here.” According to a fact that the United Nations pointed for us in 2013, the number of people that can access mobile phones is greater than the number of people that have access to basic sanitization. So, this should confirm our notion that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has paved the way for various technologies, among which the Internet of Things will be the center of our discussion for today.
What is the Internet of Things?
Mostly remembered by its acronym IoT, the Internet of Things revolves around billions of physical devices connected via the internet. All of these connected devices are constantly collecting and sharing data among each other. For devices to become IoT eligible, it should be able to connect with the internet. With the advent of minute computer chips alongside the ubiquity of wireless networks, everything from a meager box of tissue to an enormous hot-air balloon can be turned into a part of the Internet of Things.
What IoT basically does is that it turns any useless thing into a machine. A machine that gets backed with sensors and an internet connection, which allows it to become digitally intelligent is the most basic that IoT can get. We all knew how every machine required human assistance to work, but IoT changes that. It enables machines to share files on a real-time basis, without having any human involvement. To say the least, the IoT is on the verge of making everything smart and more responsive, by amalgamating the two physical and digital realms, together.
This is the reason why IoT has embedded itself in our everyday lives, whether we’re at home or work. Shortly everything around us will go online and just like human interaction, machine interaction will become a thing. Although this idea may seem all fun, but there’s something else that will benefit from the IoT more than the tissue box on your kitchen counter and that is the industry sector. That’s right, if there’s anything which will get the most benefit out of IoT then that has got to be the industries.
If industries can achieve so much without the IoT, imagine all that they can achieve when the machinery and other necessary tools will become increasingly intelligent, with support from a strong and reliable internet connection. Speaking of which, if you’re planning to connect devices at your home with the internet, then consider going for the internet connection from Spectrum. Spectrum high-speed internet is known for its blazing fast internet speeds starting from 100+ Mbps. With no unsolicited data caps, consistently robust internet speeds and no hidden charges, Spectrum is the answer to all your internet needs.
When Did the Internet of Things Start?
The crown of the advent of the Internet of Things goes to Kevin Ashton. In 1999, he came up with the term ‘Internet of Things’ with a vision of minimizing human-machine interaction and bolstering machine-to-machine interaction. Although his vision took a little while to meet realization, but now it looks like that IoT will achieve beyond what was originally imagined.
The initial practice of adding sensors to basic objects surfaced around the 1980s and 1990s. Now, if you rewind a bit and recall, technology around that time was hardly close to what we have now. Many ideas around that time had no choice but to be taken slowly, only because the technology wasn’t equipped. For example, to turn a small water bottle into a smart one, we all know that there is a chip required. That particular chip did not only weigh a lot but was bigger in size too. So the chips of that time clearly defied the idea of being ‘micro.’ Besides this, the communication between these chips was not consistent either.
Has the Internet of Things Influenced Our Lives?
Do you know that the IoT device market is expected to reach $1.1 Trillion by 2026? These facts are enough to confirm our notion that the Internet of Things is influencing our lives and in the future, our dependability on it will only amplify. Below, we’ll jot down some of the ways that IoT has influenced our lives.
- Cities have proven to be great IoT incubators. With the ease of internet access, cities can have convenient transportation options, automatic street lighting, and energy-efficient infrastructures. Plus, there can be a controlled flow of traffic and dramatically reduced pollutions, along with it. Among the cities that have turned towards IoT.
Chicago is is currently running experiments on a city-wide network of sensors, also called the ‘Array of Things’. These sensors will actively gather information on the city’s air quality, weather, traffic, and a few other conditions. The gathered information will be then shared on the main portal, which users can access and use in whichever way they want.
- Agriculture is another sector blessed with IoT. Farmers all over the world are using the internet of things to control water consumption on their crops and fertilizers. Furthermore, with IoT in agriculture, there is a reduced amount of waste, along with an active track of the yield of crops.
- Another great thing the IoT has done is that it has controlled food waste, which was nonetheless the biggest global issue facing the countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, around 1/3rd of the world’s food goes into waste every year. The Internet of Things has played a positive role in minimizing this problem. Supply chains responsible for the even distribution of food and edibles can be actively tracked, so no food is wasted and the global issue of the loss of nutrition can meet with an immediate solution.
- IoT has also benefitted the healthcare industry largely. Patients can make use of IoT with the help of wearable smart devices. With smartwatches patients can keep their heart rate, pulse, blood pressure monitored, round the clock. Since the data detected by these watches get stored on the cloud, patients can easily access all the information and use it to compare their results to determine their progress. Besides this, there are robotic medical assistants, the need for using caretakers can be replaced smartly and most cost-effectively.
- Finally, IoT has influenced quietly positively on the business sector. Several organizations spread across the entire world are reaping benefits from the Internet of Things to the fullest. There was a time when organizations had to formulate strategies, do a lot of brainstorming and spend a pretty substantial amount of their finances, to keep their customers retained and their clientele happy.
With IoT around, organizations can improve their business practices, add to their employees’ productivity, integrate upgraded business models, make careful decisions in favor of their business and generate more revenue. In a nutshell, IoT has enabled organizations to facilitate their customers in innovative ways, so they can break out of the shell of monotony. Plus, with effective tools at hand, organizations can achieve everything which they deemed impossible until a while ago.
All Things Concluded
That time is not far when the Internet of Things will become so essential that no industry, organization or person would be able to survive without it. IoT is not just the advanced version of the technology, it is a concept that packs a major impact on how we live and do things. Of course, we are not deviating from the fact that IoT consists of a plethora of complexities that people are still trying to grasp.
IoT is out there to positively influence our lives. All the challenges that we found ourselves dealing with, mainly due to technological limitations, can be easily overcome with the Internet of Things at hand. So, the best thing that we can do right now is to educate ourselves on it and find out more ways through which it can benefit us. We think that this particular piece of technology is full of surprises and holding on to it will only make our lives, a whole lot easier.