What is the IoT aka Internet of Things
I have been working with the internet since 1999 but before that, I remember accessing the internet via Mozaic and the awful screech of a modem connection, something the youngsters of today have no idea about. We take for granted that the internet is accessible at all times and we feel bare if the connection is unavailable, detached from society and unable to function without it. You thought things were progressing fast, but do you realise quite how fast? Step into the world of IoT or the Internet of Things and listen to Dr. John Barrett at TEDxCIT (Note: His mic plays up for first two minutes and then returns to normal)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data. The Internet of Things allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.
British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton first coined the term in 1999 while working at the Auto-ID Labs (originally called Auto-ID centers – referring to a global network of RFID connected objects). Typically, IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The interconnection of these embedded devices (including smart objects), is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, while also enabling advanced applications like a Smart Grid, and expanding to the areas such as smart cities.
“Things,” in the IoT sense, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist firefighters in search and rescue operations. These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices. Current market examples include smart thermostat systems and washer/dryers that use Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.
Besides the plethora of new application areas for Internet connected automation to expand into, IoT is also expected to generate large amounts of data from diverse locations that is aggregated very quickly, thereby increasing the need to better index, store and process such data