Demystifying Internet of Things (IoT)


Defining Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) – Pros and Cons

The term IoT or Internet of Things was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999. IoT or Internet of Things is a concept of connecting any devices to the internet and other devices which helps these devices or objects to collect, share and exchange data.  These devices can be anything from smartphones, smart homes, smart cities, wearable, virtual power plants, self-driving cars and much more.

What is IoT?

We as people in our daily life meet, share, talk, discuss and communicate with other people about various things and stuff.

Now, just imagine this being done by devices and other things connected to the internet using the data shared by people. Billions of devices interacting with each other with the aim to help you perform or achieve a particular task or to enrich your experience for a specific thing is IoT or Internet of Things.

What kind of data is collected by these devices?

Any information created and shared by people, for the people and about people is collected by these devices. These devices will interact and collaborate with other devices which will share and exchange information using existing technologies. This data can be used to gather, store and analyse.

Examples of IoT:
  • Smartphones:
    Smartphone sensors are capable of doing many things. It knows where you are, how you handle it, how bright or dull is the light where you are, it knows if you’re in motion or how close it is to your face and can communicate over wireless networks.
  • Smartwatches:
    Smart watches are able to track your activity; it can count your number of steps knows how much and how well you slept and can also communicate on a network.
  • Thermostats:
    Thermostats are a household thing which helps in showing temperature. These smart thermostats would do much more than showing just temperature of your room. They can sense your presence if you’re in the room. They learn and track from the patterns formed by your daily activity by being at home and away. This can help you save energy and ensure your comfort levels. It can also communicate on a network so you can control it even when you’re not at home.
  • Self-driving cars:
    Autonomous or self-driving cars will be unique; the sensors and technology behind it are capable of sensing the nearby environment and navigating without any human input. This will help in bringing down the number of fatal road accidents or mishaps. Since your car is connected to the internet, it can easily communicate with other devices and cars it can perform multiple tasks like letting you know about vacant parking space so you can park your car. It will also help in dodging traffic and choosing alternate routes and much more.

These were some of the examples of IoT. Below video describes IoT and its applications.

Negatives of IoT:

Since IoT relies heavily on connecting devices or things to the internet they can be hacked causing privacy concerns. You’re constantly under the surveillance of things which are meant to ease your life. The data collected and stored by such devices can share and exchange it with companies for commercial benefits. They can derive patterns by studying and understanding the behaviour of users by the way they interact with these things. This data can be used against you or to manipulate you by engaging into a new habit of liking or buying a new product, service or anything. Creating an artificial demand in the minds of people and leading them to fulfil a particular task or an objective set by a firm or business. There is also a threat that IoT would start treating People like Things. The below video explains the same.

These are few of the many concerns pertaining to IoT.