Internet of Things

If we go back 5-10 years in past, the Internet was only about connecting people. It was Facebook, Instagram, Google that were used to connect people from one part of the world to the another. Since then the technology has emerged at an unbelievable pace. Today, the Internet is not just about the connecting people but it’s about the connecting things. It’s about connecting things to things and connecting people to things. Hence, leading to the creation of the ‘Internet of things’.

In this article, you are going to learn about the different sections of the Internet of Things(IoT) and its market size. You will also learn, How does IoT work?, How it is going to shape our future?, and problems related to IoT. 

Internet of Things

We have already entered the next generation of the internet by connecting the internet to the physical world. In fact, in coming future, everything which has a physical presence is going to get connected to the ‘Internet of Things’ even including us ‘the people’. Some analyst firm predicts that by 2020 there will be over 50 billion connected devices on the internet. Hence, making IoT one of the biggest emerging market in the coming future. 

Internet of Things Market Size

The first research article on the Internet of Things came in January 2002 and by 2008 there were more things on the internet than the people. At the present time, all the forecast are that IoT will make current internet and its impact on our society trivial. The Irish expert John Barrett predicts that by 2032, everyone will be surrounded by 3000-5000 connected things. He also estimates that the number of things on the internet will rise from hundreds of millions to hundreds of billions or possibly trillions in future.

Another IoT expert Jordan Duffy predicts that the IoT market will generate the revenue of 11.1 trillion dollars annually by 2025. It will be across the factories, cities, human, health, worksites, offices, vehicles. Especially, with the number of people with over 65 years of age are set to double, E-Health and telemedicine is going to be one of the biggest areas of the Internet of Things. Top tech companies have already started working and investing in the sector of IoT. For example, Google purchased a smoke detector and thermostat making company ‘Nest’ for 3.2 billion dollars and Samsung purchased a 2 years old company called ‘Smart Things’ for 200 million dollars. Thus, showing that there something big coming up in the IoT sector.

Sections of ‘Internet of Things’

The ‘Internet of Things’ can be defined as the network of physical objects and people embedded with electronics circuits and software’s which enables them to connect and exchange data with each other. The ‘Internet of Things’ is divided into four different sections namely Hardware, Data, Software, and Connectivity.

Sections of 'Iot'

1. Hardware

The hardware is what that actually allows us to connect digital items to physical objects. It comprises of sensors and actuators through which senses and the ability to communicate is integrated into the things. The embedding of this hardware to things & people can be done easily as electronic circuits are getting smaller day by day. Moreover, the low installation and operational cost of these hardware’s are making this technology come at cheap. Some of the examples of electronic circuits include RF transmitter, Bluetooth beacon, RFID tag reader, Pressure sensor, GPS. 

Small GPS device
Small GPS device
2. Data

People interact with people using different languages but things interact with things and people using the universal language called ‘Data’. It’s not an engineering geek with a cool algorithm, it’s data which is transforming our world and shaping our future. The estimated amount of data on our web cloud is over 4000-exabyte. This is approximately equal to the stack of books from Earth to Pluto and then back to Earth repeated 80 times. This data is collected with the help of the hardware and then mined to extract information and knowledge which is later shared with us with the help of software.   

3. Software

The software is something that interprets and controls that data retrieved from the hardware. It usually analyzes the data to make decisions to take actions. The devices such as mobile phones and tablets can be easily embedded with different software’s to access the data sensed by the hardware in the required format.

4. Connectivity

At last but not the least, everything needs to be connected. Your alarm clock must be to your windows & your windows to your air-conditioner so that they work simultaneously. It wouldn’t mean anything thing if these are not connected.     

How ‘Internet of things’ can shape the future?

There are many ways through which Internet of Things can help us to shape our future. According to an Irish ‘IoT’ expert Dr. John Barrett, there are four different ways through which the Internet of things can help us to shape our future.

1. Connect with Things

We can learn anything and everything about a physical object and it’s surroundings if it is connected to the internet. For example, a piano can tell us who was it played by in the recent years and what was the name of the music played on it. In fact, we can walk to a person and learn about his interests and inclinations with the help of IoT technology.

2.  Seach for Things

With the help of current addressing protocol for the internet ipv6, we can tag each and every physical object on our planet. Thus, making the reality search engine idea possible. This will help us to use google for searching physical object instead of just searching for digital things. With IoT we can use google to search for:

Internet of Things Monitor Things

3. Games

Gaming is one of the big things that happens on the internet and it will be even bigger on the internet of things. There are already many games that make your surrounding part of your game environment but with the Internet of things we can make the objects and the people in the surrounding part of our game environment too. 

4. Monitor, Manage & Control Things

You might have heard about smart cities. Today, more than 51% of the world total population is living in smart and megacities. This increases the need and demand for Internet of Things. If we are able to learn what things are doing and how they are feeling their parameters then we can manage them better. Below are the three different examples:

  • We can manage the traffic easily and effectively if we know where vehicles are and where they want to go.
  • If we know where energy is flowing and where are its usage then we can have better energy efficiency & better use of renewables.
  • We can easily look for health and safety of our citizens if we know where the citizens of our city are, what they are up to, and what’s their health condition. 
IoT Smart City
Image Source: JCT600

Achieving all these might also lead us to attain Utopia. A perfect place designed to have ‘Zero’ problems.

Real World Example (Barcelona)

In the above section, we have already learned about the huge potential of the Internet of Things. These potential have started to become a reality in Barcelona. In past ten years, Barcelona has made one of the most IoT integrated smart city in the world. They have initiated 22 programs in 12 different sectors including transportation, water, energy, and waste. Below are the few IoT programs and their impact.

1. Smart Parking

They used sensors to tell people where are the empty parking spots. This led to an increase in revenue of over 50 million dollars per year in parking systems.

2 Smart Street Lightning 

They have decreased their energy cost by 37 million dollars per year by installing IoT in street lights. Now, street light knows when to light up and how much to light up.

3. Smart Garden 

They have also saved around 58 million dollars a year in water usage. They achieved this by watering the gardens at the right time and with the right amount of water.

4. Jobs 

This advancement in IoT also led to the creation of 47,000 jobs.

Problems related to the ‘Internet of Things’

The market is huge, the technology is cheap and the savings are maximum. Still, many companies and people are fearing to accept this technology. One of the reasons behind this is, everything on the internet can be hacked and IoT products are no exception to this unwritten rule. Below are the four different problems related to the adaptation of IoT,

1. Standardization

One of the significant issues that lie at the center of IoT network is compatible standards. If the things run on different standards then they struggle to communicate with each other. In fact, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Standards Association has listed a huge number of standards that are being developed and worked on for different applications. Thus, making the adaptation of IoT technology difficult.

2. Security

The ‘Internet of Things’ is also been termed a weapon of mass destruction. We have already seen the damages that can be made by viruses, trojans, and worms on the current Internet. If our energy system, safety system, security system, and health system are all part of the internet then the possibilities for terrorism and hacking are magnified beyond imagination. However, this will create a huge opportunity for security software companies. 

3. Privacy

The ‘Internet of Things’  is the ultimate global panopticon(observing people without their knowledge). If a smartwatch can detect when you’re having sex, what is to stop people with that data to use it against the watches’ wearer. However, it will create a huge marketing opportunity as the customers are an easy target if you know more about them.

4. Resistibility to change

IoT, why do we care

If we draw the pyramid of The ‘IoT’ technology, wisdom will form the uppermost triangle of the pyramid. The senses are used to extract data, data mining is performed to extract information, engineering is used to extract knowledge and wisdom is what that makes the acceptance of the IoT technology. It took several years for the automobiles, and telephones to come from the time of invention to worldwide acceptance, same goes for the IoT technology until we are wise enough to accept it.

Once, these problems are overcome, there is nothing that can stop the Internet of Things from dominating the world of technology. Better start working fro now itself.

Best of Luck!

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