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Internet of Things (IoT): Explained

IoT seems to have become a buzz word in the market with people discussing its impact on our life. Imagine a world with numerous connected devices (even bigger than the human population on earth), does it feel good or best? Internet of things is not an imaginary concept but a practical one that is already being used by you without even noticing. It is indeed a new revolution of the internet through which objects can obtain intelligence by enabling context-related decisions. The goal of IoT is to enable things to be connected anytime, anyplace with anything. Internet of things (IoT) isn’t a hype anymore and is as real as technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence etc. Let’s find out more about this concept.

What is IoT?

Before proceeding for how IoT works, let’s understand what exactly IoT. Internet of things is basically a giant network of connected things, a technology where devices (with on/off switch) are connected to the internet and can be controlled or operated through it. Internet of things basically applies to everything from coffee makers to lamps, washing machines to wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. IoT is a type of network to connect anything with the internet by information sensing equipment so that communication can be done between things.

In Internet of Things (IoT), objects are sensed and remotely controlled across a network infrastructure to create direct integration of the physical world into computer systems. The core idea behind IoT is to enable objects interaction without human interference. IoT promises to bridge the gap between the physical world and the virtual world. Here, objects need not necessarily be electronic devices but can be ordinary things such as food, clothing, water etc.

How Internet of Things (IoT) work?

Now that you are familiar with the concept of the internet of things, it’s time to know how this technology actually works. The working of IoT cannot be discussed without these four essential components:

  • Sensors/devices: Sensors gather the data from the environment and share it with other devices. Since every object or device in IoT holds a unique digital identity, it can be tracked easily. To gather input about the environment, sensors are embedded in devices so that they can communicate properly.
  • Connectivity: To process complex data sensed by sensors, strong network infrastructure is required as a transport medium. Devices are connected to a cloud through a variety of methods (wifi, cellular network, Bluetooth, satellite etc) to process or exchange the data.
  • Data processing: Once the data is uploaded on cloud, software and various analytics tools are used to extract information from the raw data.
  • User interface: After the data is processed, it is sent to the user interface in form of alerts or notification through email or text. For example- if you have forgotten to turn off the water heater, then with IoT, you can get alert about the same on your phone. Moreover, in time you would be able to turn things on/off without being physically present for doing that. The idea is already implemented for smart tube lights and bulbs.

Examples of Internet of Things

From turning off lights before entering your room to using self-driving cars to drop you at your destination, from wearable fitness devices that monitor your health to smart security system that can raise alarm if someone tries to sneak in your home when you aren’t at home, there are devices/objects that are helping us and making our lives better than ever before.

Internet of things provides businesses insight into the performance of machines to supply chain and logistic operations. It is undoubtedly the most important technologies of today that is picking up steam as people are recognizing its potential and businesses seeking ways to harness the same to their benefit. Here are some fine examples of the internet of things that you might already be using:

  • Smart fitness bands like MI which tracks your activities and gives you insights on your physical health.
  • Smart watch like that from Apple that comes with advanced health sensors.
  • Biometric cyber security scanners
  • Ultra high-speed wireless internet
  • Connected appliances
  • Smart home security systems
  • Autonomous farming equipments and so much more.

Internet of things opens up vast opportunities for business and is changing the way we interact with objects. No matter what, IoT promises a healthy object-to-object interaction in a seamless way that requires negligible human interference. Sensors can help reduce road congestion in the cities and warn us when infrastructure is in danger of collapsing. Smart gadgets out in the open can monitor changes in environment and warn us of disasters beforehand. The emerging technology promises the interaction of objects with physical world in efficient ways to reduce waste and save time and money.

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