The world we live in is changing constantly and technology is very much responsible for this change. IoT or the internet of things is making headways in the world of technology. It is a system of interrelated computing devices, digital and mechanical machines, people, animals or objects that are given unique identifiers and the ability to transfer information through a network without needing human-to-computer or even human-to-human interaction. As more and more people realize the importance of IoT, the demand for IoT services has skyrocketed.
A thing on the internet of things could be anything, from a farm animal with a biochip transponder to a person with a heart monitor implant. It could even be an automobile that has built-in sensors that alert the driver when the tire pressure has reached a low level. Organizations are using IoT in new and creative ways. It is helping them to operate more efficiently and gain a better understanding of their customers to provide enhanced customer service. Thus, it all-in-all increases the overall value of businesses.
History of IoT
An understanding of the history of IoT will better explain IoT. Kevin Ashton is the first person to mention the internet of things during a presentation to P&G in the year 1999. He is the co-founder of the Auto-ID Centre at MIT. Ashton referred to his presentation as “Internet of Things” to bring radio frequency ID to the attention of the senior management at P&G. He wanted to incorporate the internet into many of the things. A clear vision of IoT had also been demonstrated by the MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld in his book “When Things Start to Think” in 1999. Although an exact term had not been used by Gershenfeld, a clear vision had been created of IoT.
Ever since the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-services, micro-electromechanical systems, and the internet, IoT has evolved considerably. The silos between information technology and operational technology have been torn down. It has enabled unstructured machine-generated data to be used and analyzed for providing insights that drive improvements.
The idea of connected devices has been around since the 1970s. A coke machine was the first internet appliance which was found at the Carnegie Mellon University during the early 1980s. The status of the machine could be checked by programmers using the web to determine whether a cold drink could be available on a trip to the machine or not.
IoT has evolved from machine-to-machine communication and it is a sensor network of billions of smart devices connecting people, systems, and applications throughout the world. M2M is at the foundation and it offers the connectivity which has enabled IoT to flourish. The concept of an IoT ecosystem only came into existence during 2010 when the Chinese government made IoT a strategic priority.
How Does IOT Work?
The IoT ecosystem consists of web-enabled smart devices. These use communication hardware, sensors, and embedded processors to send, collect and act on data acquired from their environments. The sensor data collected is shared by IoT devices by connecting to an IoT gateway. It could be any other edge device where the data is analyzed locally or sent to the cloud to be analyzed. These devices also communicate with other related devices. They act on information received from one another.
Most of the work is done by the devices without human intervention, even though people can interact with these devices. The communication, networking and connectivity protocols used with these web-enabled devices greatly depend on the deployed IoT applications.
Why Is IoT Important?
The internet of things has made the lives of people much easier. It enables them to live and work smarter and it offers them complete control over their lives. IoT is vital for business, besides just offering smart devices for home automation. It offers businesses a real-time look into how the system works and insights into everything from logistics operations to the performance of machines.
Companies can automate processes and reduce labor costs in the process with the help of IoT. Waste is significantly reduced by IoT and service delivery is also improved. This makes it less expensive for companies to manufacture and deliver goods. Businesses can provide greater transparency to customers.
Every single industry has been influenced by IoT in one way or another. Industries such as manufacturing, retail, finance, and healthcare have been the most influenced. Smart cities have taken root as they help citizens reduce energy and waste consumption. Crop and cattle yields are better monitored with the use of IoT and their growth patterns are better predicted. Thus, IoT is one of the most vital technologies today and businesses have started to realize its potential.
Benefits of IoT
IoT allows businesses to rethink ways to approach business issues. It provides them with the tools needed to approach their markets, industries, and businesses better. There are various benefits of IoT, such as the following.
- Help generate more revenue.
- Allow better business decisions to be made.
- Integrate and adapt business models.
- Improve employee productivity.
- Save time and money.
- Enhance the customer experience.
- Monitor the overall business processes.
Emerging IoT Standards
There are various emerging IoT standards such as 6LoWPAN which is an open standard. It enables any low-power radio to effectively communicate with the internet and includes Z-Wave and Bluetooth Low Energy. OneM2M is a machine-to-machine service layer that can be embedded into hardware and software to connect devices. It was created to develop reusable standards. There are many other IoT standards such as AMQP and DDS.
The emergence of IoT has provided businesses and just about everyone with the ability to access information from just about anywhere in the world at any time and any device. It has led to an improvement in communication between connected electronic devices.
The quality of business services is significantly improved through the automation of tasks with the help of IoT. It reduces the need for human intervention.