If not the meaning, one must have heard about the Internet of Things, abbreviated at IoT. But, what does this actually mean? We do know that IoT is impacting the way we process information at large. From online shopping to inventory management, the term is associated with individuals to organizations. The question is: Is IoT really such a useful term that we should try to understand?
The fact that the concept is making a great shift into people’s lives that finding out about its working becomes key to some interesting insight. Even if you do not own a business, you may like to find out how the Internet of Things is affecting you as an individual. In short, it would be beneficial to find out a few details about IoT.
In short, this concept involves connecting devices and related information to the internet and other connected peripherals. Overall, it’s the way the shared data is stored and manipulated or accessed later. Definitely, you must be looking forward to exploring more. Because, with greatness, higher responsibilities come along. And, understanding the threats connected with IoT would help you utilize the term for better results.
What is Meant by the Internet of Things?
As already discussed above, IoT is a concept where a device is connected with the other connected devices on the internet. Or, you can simply say that IoT forms a vast network of connected devices, things, people as well as the related environment.
These connected things share data among each other to form a chain of information. There is an immense number of such devices being used by individuals. Starting from the fitness band that provides you details of heart rate, blood pressure, etc and provide heath routines specifically for you to the smart cars that self-drive while figuring out the obstacles in the route.
As per the analysis done by 451 Research, by 2024, the connected devices will reach 24 billion.
If you are still processing this information, there is more to the facts that would leave you puzzled. There have been various innovations and many ongoing ones too. And, the reason that the concept is so broad but loosely explained, makes it even more complicated to understand.
So, why not look at the way it works and why it actually matters to connect things to the internet.
How Does IoT Works?
To further ease the understanding, let us know the working of the Internet of Things. Every device that has sensors enabling it to connect to the internet could become a part of the IoT platform. This platform integrated all the raw data from many devices and uses comparisons and analytics to extract the most useful information. These analytics are tailored as per specific needs.
Let us take an example here. If you own a business, you would like to know the most popular product of your company to enhance your sales strategies. In such a scenario, the Internet of Things could help find out the most-visited products on your website, drill down the data deeper to get the information of best-selling products. Not just that, IoT can also help align the supply chain properly so that the most popular products aren’t out of stock.
Organizations can simply check the information from the IoT data to find out what to stock up and what can wait a little longer. In a nutshell, with the power to assess things in advance, provide businesses a more efficient way to process orders.
Why IoT Even Matters?
Sending and receiving information is the key to every process happening around us. And, the internet makes that process faster and convenient. Being said that, isn’t that crucial to connect devices too so that processing of information could be made simple and useful?
The Internet of Things makes that possible for us. Technically, there are three devices’ categories one can define when talking about IoT.
- Sensors: Things or devices that collect data and shares it
- Algorithms: Things or devices that receive that data and apply analytics for processing useful information
- Sensors with Algorithms: Things or devices which is capable of doing both the jobs explained above
Let’s find out little more details of these categories.
Sensors – Collect and Share Data
We all have heard about sensors. What does it do? It simply collects information and shares it. For instance, motion sensors, light sensors, and a lot more. By collecting information from our surroundings, we become capable of making smart decisions.
Algorithms – Receive and Apply Analytics
There are a number of examples of you sending the information and the device acting on it. You sending the document to the printer and it starts printing. Or, you press the key, and the car door opens. You set the alarm and the clock buzzes at that specific time. All these examples make us believe that the power of these algorithms is huge and immense.
However, things could get more interesting if the devices are capable of doing both the jobs. In short, these devices can collect data as well as manipulate those to act upon in particular conditions.
This is when we come down to the last category: Sensors with Algorithms.
Sensors with Algorithms – Collect and Act Upon the Data
Let us understand the situation by taking an example. There are light sensors, motion sensors, and many others. The self-driving car has sensors to detect the obstacles in the path. And, the steering changes itself depending on the data received from the sensors. Isn’t that a commendable innovation?
This is just one example. How about an alarm clock that is synced with your coffee maker? Right after you are up and ready, it can send directions to the coffee maker to get your drink ready. Also, what if your alarm clock could reset the time itself after calculating the change in temperature. If the rain is approaching, you may be needing extra time to reach the office. If your alarm clock is smart enough, it can change the alarm time and sync the coffee maker accordingly.
You can clearly understand the impact of connecting things to the internet could produce. That is why the Internet of Things has created such a buzz among researchers and experts. And, that is why it must matter to you too.