Browsing through the internet, many individuals have now become increasingly aware of the growing topic of the “Internet of Things” or (IoT). This concept, whilst still new, has a great impact on how people live their lives.
The concept of the Internet of Things is pretty complex that a lot of people find it hard to grasp the basics of what these “things” are.
What is the Internet of Things?
The internet is pretty accessible to almost anyone. With this, the cost of connecting with other people has decreased. The availability of devices with the capability of connecting people is continually growing and this creates the perfect venue for the IoT.
The Internet of Things is the concept of connecting any device with a switch to the Internet so this includes mobile phones, washing machines, coffee makers, lamps, headphones, and any wearable devices. This concept also applies to parts of a machine like a drill of an oil rig or an airplane’s jet engine.
So, IoT is a huge network of connected “things” that also includes people. This network interconnects people to people, people to things, and things to things.
What is the Impact of the Internet of Things?
As the internet continues to grow, it is expected that connections will grow as well. Experts believe that for people to adapt to this growth, they have to remain connected. The Internet of Things will continue affecting how people live their lives as if there is no other choice but to be connected. Just imagine waking up with an alarm clock at 6 am. This alarm clock will automatically notify the coffee maker to begin brewing coffee for you or turn the TV on so you can listen to the news as you eat your breakfast. You are on your way to your office and your phone, connected to your car will automatically check the best route to take. If you’re stuck in traffic, your phone can automatically send a text message informing others that you will be late.
Internet of Things is not only about these little things. They have broader applications. Think about how property developers are in the move to building smart cities where transportation networks are interconnected. This concept can also be applied and used for creating more ecologically sound waste management.
The IoT has endless potential. For now, many individuals still find it hard to believe that such a concept can exist, which makes it harder for them to understand and accept the concept. It is a topic heavily discussed because it opens a lot of opportunities and challenges.
What Are the Advantages of Internet of Things?
Automation and Control
The ability of physical objects to stay connected allows the ease of controlling digitally and centrally. The presence of wireless infrastructure helps automation and control to take place even without human intervention. This leads to faster and more organised output.
The Internet of Things makes it easier for devices to communicate. In Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, physical devices can stay connected which allows for total transparency and lesser inefficiency leading to greater quality of output.
Having a well-placed Internet of Things, it will be easier to monitor almost anything from home to work. The IoT can provide people with information that they often overlook. The printer which needs ink replacements will receive replacement automatically through IoT. It is also possible to monitor food and product expiration through IoT.
IoT enables individuals to have the proper information they need to make well-informed decisions. It is good for measuring a business’ performance as a company. Having the right information could spell a big difference in an organisation.
Time and Money
As previously mentioned in other advantages of Internet of Things, saving valuable time is part and parcel of IoT. when people save time, they automatically save money, especially in this fast-paced world. The efficacy of accomplishing tasks due to the Internet of Things, allows people to save money in the long run. Say, creating a tagging and monitoring equipment can be a lot cheaper than paying two people to do the tasks needed to accomplish it.
Challenges of the Internet of Things
Whilst the Internet of Things is taking a huge step towards recognition for its advantages, it has challenges of its own. One of the biggest issues the Internet of Things faces today is security. It is understandable since billions of devices are in one network, it is really difficult to ensure that each sensitive information remains confidential and secure. More so, in this day and age when people can easily hack into even the most sophisticated of systems.
Big companies will be on the losing end if threats happen to even one connected device. Another issue is privacy and data sharing. How can one person be sure that his personal information docked into his printer will not be shared with advertisers or marketers who will hound him for days on end?
How can companies and small businesses deal with these massive data these connected devices will produce? Will the benefits of IoT easily outweigh the costs of storing, tracking, analysing, and using all the available data these devices generate?
Over-reliance is also a hot topic about the Internet of Things. What will happen if people become too reliant over these interconnections of devices? Will the decision-making differ? The younger generation has grown too reliant on technology in general that most of their decisions depend on the information fed to them by the internet. This can be devastating as no system is perfect and fault-free. Glitches happen every day. What will happen if this system collapses? How can the untrained be able to survive without the internet?
The Internet of Things has its own advantages. However, people should understand up to what extent will they let it control their lives. If the decision making relies heavily on the Internet of Things, it can be problematic. It is all about balancing and only using the right information to maximise the benefits of this concept.