The “Internet of things” (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work.

But what exactly is the Internet of things?

So let’s discuss about it in detail.

What is Internet of Things (IoT)?

The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Internet of things

How Internet of Things work

An IoT ecosystem consists of web-enabled smart devices that use embedded systems, such as processors, sensors, and communication hardware, to collect, send, and act on data they acquire from their environments. IoT devices share the sensor data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge device where data is either sent to the cloud to be analyzed or analyzed locally. Sometimes, these devices communicate with other related devices and act on the information they get from one another. The devices do most of the work without human intervention, although people can interact with the devices — for instance, to set them up, give them instructions or access the data.

The connectivity, networking, and communication protocols used with these web-enabled devices largely depend on the specific IoT applications deployed.

IoT can also make use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to aid in making data collecting processes easier and more dynamic.

This is how IoT works

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History of IoT

The term Internet of Things is 16 years old. But the actual idea of connected devices had been around longer, at least since the 70s. Back then, the idea was often called “embedded internet” or “pervasive computing”. But the actual term “Internet of Things” was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 during his work at Procter&Gamble.

Kevin Ashton : Father of the Internet of Things

Ashton who was working in supply chain optimization, wanted to attract senior management’s attention to a new exciting technology called RFID. Because the internet was the hottest new trend in 1999 and because it somehow made sense, he called his presentation “Internet of Things”.

Even though Kevin grabbed the interest of some P&G executives, the term Internet of Things did not get widespread attention for the next 10 years.

Advantages and Disadvantages of IoT

So here we have listed advantages and disadvantages of IoT

Advantages of IoT

  • Cost Savings
  • Information
  • Communication
  • Automation and Control
  • Increased Productivity

Disadvantages of IoT

  • Over Dependency on Technology
  • Losing Security on Privacy
  • Lesser Employment Prospects
  • Complexity

Security and privacy issues of IoT

Vulnerability to Hacking
 Researchers have been able to hack into real, on-the-market devices with enough time and energy, which means hackers would likely be able to replicate their efforts. For example, a team of researchers at Microsoft and the University of Michigan found a plethora of holes in the security of Samsung’s SmartThings smart home platform, and the methods were far from complex.

Public Perception
If the IoT is ever going to truly take off, this needs to be the first problem that manufacturers address. The 2015 Icontrol State of the Smart Home study found that 44% of all Americans were “very concerned” about the possibility of their information getting stolen from their smart home, and 27% were “somewhat concerned.” With that level of worry, consumers would hesitate to purchase connected devices.

Security and privacy of IoT

Eavesdropping
Manufacturers or hackers could actually use a connected device to virtually invade a person’s home. German researchers accomplished this by intercepting unencrypted data from a smart meter device to determine what television show someone was watching at that moment.

Applications of IoT

Here are few application of IoT are listed below:

Driverless Cars
One of the most futuristic applications of IoT is the autonomous car. If you have seen the hit TV series Silicon Valley (S1), you would know what we are talking about. These cars that seem like a product from the near future actually exist today and are mostly under development or prototype stages. The cars don’t have drivers and are sensible enough to take you to your destination on their own.

Smart Homes
This is perhaps the most popular example of IoT. Designed to provide you optimum security and convenience, smart homes ensure you come back to a paradise. Imagine controlling the lights of your home from remote to create an impression of you being inside for safety purposes when you are actually holidaying at the Maldives. Imagine turning on your air conditioner exactly 20 minutes before you reach your home for that perfect room temperature. Or, imagine recording your favorite show from wherever you are and watching it later.

Wearables
You would be having a fair idea of the wearable devices that are part of the IoT ecosystem and we are sure you own a few products as well. Google’s famous Glass project got shelved but that hasn’t shut the probabilities of what the technology has to offer. From FitBits to smart watches, anything you’re wearing that is connected to the internet is part of IoT. Through sensors again, these devices communicate data to give you the most precise information on your needs.

Amazon Go
Amazon has always been a forerunner in incorporating new technologies and the company hasn’t overlooked Internet of things as well. After its successful online store, the company has now decided to use IoT to back its retail stores, which will have no cashiers or cash counters. Using sensors, online wallets and your account, computers and machines will take over the brick and mortar stores and still give you an online shopping experience. The store has counters of products arranged like that of a normal supermarket.

Conclusion

The IoT has the potential to dramatically increase the availability of information, and is likely to transform companies and organizations in virtually every industry around the world. As such, finding ways to leverage the power of the IoT is expected to factor into the strategic objectives of most technology companies, regardless of their industry focus.