Each year, new technologies rise and fall, sometimes making an impact on our daily lives and other times barely leaving a trace. One category of emerging technologies that has the widest variety is the Internet of Things or IoT.
Someone who works for an Internet of Things (IoT) software company, the frequently asked question will be what is IOT?
It is defined as, A system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Let’s see the simple explanation of the Internet of Things(IOT), it means that internet connection is the most valuable thing which benefit us in all terms, from calling & reading books to watching movies & news.
The point is that connecting things to the internet yields many amazing benefits. We’ve all seen these benefits with our smartphones, laptops, and tablets, but this is true for everything else too.
The Internet of Things is actually a pretty simple concept, it means connecting all the things in the world to the internet.
The confusion arises in your mind because there are so many examples and possibilities in IoT. To understand the benefits of connecting things to the internet. We should firstly connect everything to the internet.
When something is connected to the internet it means that it can send information or receive information. This ability to send or receive information makes things smart.
Let’s take smartphones as an example. we can listen to just about any song in the world, but it’s not because your phone has every song stored on it but it’s because every song is stored somewhere else, where your phone can send information (asking for that song) and then receive information (streaming that song on your phone).
A thing doesn’t need to have storage or a computer inside, but it needs to connect.
In the Internet of Things, all the things that are being connected to the internet can be put into three categories:
- Things that collect information and then send it.
- Things that receive information and then act on it.
- Things that do both.
And all three of these have enormous benefits that feed on each other.
Collecting and sending information means sensors. It could be temperature sensors, motion sensors, moisture sensors, air quality sensors, light sensors, and many more. These sensors with a connection, allow us to automatically collect information from the environment which allows us to make more intelligent decisions.
On the farm, automatically getting information about the soil moisture can tell farmers exactly when their crops need to be watered. Instead of watering too much (which can be an expensive over-use of irrigation systems) or watering too little (which can be an expensive loss of crops), the farmer can ensure that crops get exactly the right amount of water. More money for farmers and more food for the world!
Just as human senses, we are able to smell, taste, feel, and hear. Machines have sensors that make them sense the world.
We’re all very familiar with machines getting information and then responding. Your printer receives a document and it prints it. Your car receives a signal from your car keys and the doors open and many more.
The real power of the Internet of Things arises when things can do both of the above. Things that collect information and send it, but also receive information and act on it.
Kevin Ashton, co-founder of the Auto-ID Centre at MIT, first mentioned the internet of things in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999. Wanting to bring radio frequency ID (RFID) to the attention of P&G’s senior management, Ashton called his presentation “Internet of Things” to incorporate the cool new trend of 1999.
Let’s quickly go back to the farming example. The sensors can collect information about the soil moisture to tell the farmer how much to water the crops, but you don’t actually need the farmer. Instead, the irrigation system can automatically turn on as needed, based on how much moisture is in the soil.
You can take it a step further too. If the irrigation system receives information about the weather from its internet connection, it can also know when it’s going to rain and decide not to water the crops today because they’ll be watered by the rain anyways.
And it doesn’t stop there! All this information about the soil moisture, how much the irrigation system is watering the crops, and how well the crops actually grow can be collected and sent to supercomputers that run amazing algorithms that can make sense of all this information.
And that’s just one kind of sensor. Add in other sensors like light, air quality, and temperature, and these algorithms can learn much more. With dozens, hundreds, thousands of farms all collecting this information, these algorithms can create incredible insights into how to make crops grow the best, helping to feed the world.
As you can see from these Internet of Things examples, the future of IoT is a bright one. As new innovations emerge about how best to use IoT products, it will be interesting to see which way this technology heads.Find out more