Although the IoT works all around us every day, some may not know where its presence can be seen or even what it is. Here, we will define the IoT, what it does, and why it is a significant player in the future of society.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The best way to define the Internet of Things may be to lead with an example. Many people today own a smart watch, which gathers data like your heartrate or how many steps you take. Then via an internet connection, the smartwatch shares this data with an app on your smart phone, so you can digest the information in a user-friendly way. This is the IoT in action.
So, defining IoT more precisely, the Internet of Things is a network of physical devices that communicate, share, and record data, information, instructions, and other useful intelligence via an internet connection. To be considered a part of the IoT, these four components should be present:
- The physical object. For example, a printer or thermostat.
- Connectivity between the devices via the internet.
- Sensor technology to gather data. Without this, the devices would not have any information to relay.
- An infrastructure to allow us to access and learn from the data that has been gathered.
Why is IoT important?
With these four things, IoT can exist! Allowing our lives to be made safer and more efficient by sharing vital information and automating processes. Because of this, the IoT has become an important feature in modern life. We are undeniably reliant on the internet nowadays, perhaps sometimes for the wrong reasons. However, the IoT is one example of where internet connectivity can make a positive impact.
Before the IoT, connecting with devices wasn’t possible, meaning it was more difficult and time consuming to access information we now take for granted. It has become increasingly important in an everyday sense, but also for business and public services.
With IoT, emergency and rescue services can be made aware of emergency situations and location data almost immediately. Our Smart Rescue solutions for example relay vital information to rescue teams, giving back precious minutes and seconds to save lives.
Where did IoT come from?
Although the term ‘Internet of Things’ is relatively new, the technology behind gathering and sending data between devices has taken a while to get off the ground. Several components that make IoT what it is today needed some development, however now IoT solutions can be enjoyed by the masses, businesses of all sizes, and what can be achieved is unlimited.
Developments in connectivity has been extremely important for data transmission, so now IoT devices and machines do not have to solely rely on Bluetooth, GSM, and WLAN. Wireless devices and sensors are not as expensive as they once were, making IoT more accessible. Plus, with cloud-base technology IoT solutions are scalable and do not require large, expensive datacentres. Advancements in artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning has also brought IoT along.
How can IoT help society?
As time goes on and technology progresses, IoT devices are more affordable, meaning a wider proportion of society can benefit from it. This is significant as the IoT makes it possible for us to improve our ways of living by making information we would have never previously known available to us.
IoT devices can ensure we are one step ahead of dangerous situations and give us the power to keep our loved ones safe. For example, wearable devices and Smart Care solutions mean we are alerted should an elderly person fall or need assistance. Or indeed if any other emergency arises such as a fire. The alarm is raised, or the sensors gather the information, and then automatically send it to someone who can help.
Can IoT help the world become more sustainable?
The short answer is yes. The IoT and smart devices will and are currently playing a key role in the green revolution, helping the world to become more sustainable and less wasteful.
Smart thermostats for example, mean we can ensure our homes run efficiently and we live in an eco-conscious way. Or, by letting us know when our boilers are inefficient and need replacing, we save huge amounts of energy and money on heating. Here are 5 other examples of where you can spot IoT in everyday life.
Business and enterprise can also benefit, by gaining information on their business operations from Smart Transport solutions. Companies with a fleet of vehicles for example can not only understand how they themselves can become more efficient in terms of fuel usage. But also, GPS data can help to elevate their services levels, allowing them to keep customers informed on the location of deliveries.
To be more sustainable, how we generate and use power is changing. Thus, power grids are seeing a transformation as we move to more sustainable power sources. There is also an increasing need for power grids to meet the requirements of customers who need guaranteed operations, and smart services to monitor their consumption. With connected IoT devices and solutions, AddSecure Smart Grids provide essential knowledge and data.
Is IoT secure?
With the right protections in place, the IoT is a totally secure network to send and receive data from. However, it is no secret that with an internet connection comes some risks. Today, with so many of us using the internet to not only send and receive information, but also to store sensitive documents and passwords, the 21st century is a place of opportunity for hackers.
However, there are steps that individuals and companies can take to ensure their IoT devices and networks are secure. Furthermore, simply reading up on some of the risks and being aware of what guises hackers and malicious software can take can save you a lot of grief.
AddSecure have been in the IoT sphere since the 1970’s, and so have witnessed and grown with the changes seen in IoT, networks and connectivity. As time has progressed and IoT devices have multiplied, so has the need for increased security.
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