Hey Google – What’s the weather for today; sounds quite strange, right, asking a bot about a day’s weather? But this is probably the best example I can say to describe one of the most talked-about terms in the current technology world which is the Internet of Things (or IoT).
IoT in its simplest form can be defined as the concept of connecting multiple devices to the Internet to make it work as a smart device. It can be anything from a smartphone to a smart door locking system or even a small portable smartwatch. The technology and concept behind IoT is the seamless working of devices to make it more convenient and easy to use for the users through the use of the Internet.
History of the Internet of Things (IoT): The term Internet of Things (IoT) was first coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 when he used the phrase as a title for his presentation on a sensor project. Ever since then the term came into existence among the masses. However, the first IoT device was invented by a group of students at Carnegie Melon University in the year 1980.
IoT Devices in a nutshell: There is no question about the increasing popularity of IoT devices in the current market. Thanks to the introduction of the 5G Technology in some of the developing nations, the demand for IoT devices have surpassed to a larger extent. It is estimated that by the year 2022, there may be around 20 billion IoT smart devices up and running with on average, every individual in the US having 10 IoT devices of his own. In terms of revenue, it is estimated that worldwide spending on IoT will surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022.
Advantages of IoT: The Internet of Things can be characterized primarily into 2 features –
a. Automation: It involves the workflow between multiple devices without the need for human intervention.
b. Connectivity: This is probably the feature where the main concept of IoT came into existence; where it involves the establishment of devices with the help of a smart internet connectivity feature to make it more convenient and usable in terms of data sharing among the users.
Apart from the above stand out features, IoT has got numerous advantages beneath it in the form of Improved Productivity, Cost Effectiveness and Better Use of Resources to name a few.
IoT Explained: IoT comprises 5 major components for the overall functioning of the whole process. Below are the details of each of them.
- Smart Devices and Sensors: Smart devices and sensors are the ones that are mainly involved in the collection of data and transmitting the same to the next layer. These smart devices and sensors are connected via wireless networks like Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth, Z-wave etc. Some of the commonly used sensors in the Internet of Things include temperature sensors, pressure sensors, moisture sensors, humidity, light intensity detectors, proximity detection and RFID tags.
- Gateway: Gateways are mainly used for the pre-processing of data received from smart devices and sensors and transmitting it to the next layer. It manages the bi-directional data flow between different networks and protocols.
- Cloud: IoT creates a massive amount of data that needs to be organized in a systematic way. The IoT cloud thus is used for storing, retrieving and managing this huge amount of data which can be accessed by the users and businesses remotely and take critical decisions as and when necessary.
- Analytics: It is the process of analyzing the huge amount of data being created and received by billions of smart devices and sensors to interpret it and get some useful insights from it. An efficient IoT system works with real-time data analytics and prevents irregularities to get meaningful information out of it.
- User interface: The user interface is the most visible part of the whole IoT system where the developers need to make sure it provides a minimalistic design to the interface to encourage more user interaction out of it. A simplistic design interface is what developers should go for to have a bigger impact in terms of end-user usability and to sustain the device in this competitive market.
Disadvantages of IoT: Although the Internet of Things is what every user and business are relying on in today’s world, but it has also got some disadvantages in terms of its usability and work process. Some of it can be listed as too much dependency on the internet, less physical work and labour, increase in unemployability and lastly the security and privacy issue of the end-users.
How Businesses can be benefitted from IoT: Businesses or organizations can be highly benefitted from the IoT. Huge chunks of data can be accessed remotely and through real-time smart analytics of it, companies can take vital decisions and grow their businesses.
How BoldTek can help set up your IoT Ecosystem: BoldTek have a highly skilled team of developers who can work on setting up your smart devices and data processing ecosystem. We offer new ways to drive efficiencies, engage customers, and develop new business with greater insights. Connect devices across multiple protocols and standards, merge data streams, and optimize acquired data for relevancy and context. Areas, where we can help, are Agriculture, Manufacturing, Education, Business etc. (Writing credit: Satish Upadhyay, Technical Project Manager)
Conclusion: Today we live in an era where every one of us is highly dependent on the Internet and smart devices. Be it a business or an individual user, everyone is using IoT in their day-to-day activities which have helped people to make things work smarter and less time-consuming. However, we should also keep in mind that too much dependency on smart gadgets can reduce human interaction which can even lead to the social isolation of an individual. As rightly being told by Matt Mullenweg – “Technology is best when it brings people together.”