What is the Internet of Things?
- 2nd March 2020
- Posted by: Jade Scammells
- Category: Networking
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the hottest topic in technology right now. It has an impact on everything we do; from the way we do our shopping to the way manufacturers keep track of stock. With the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon all competing to be the best, we are seeing everyday household items such as refrigerators, watches and fire alarms all becoming connected to the IoT.
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things, commonly known as IoT or the Internet of Everything (IoE), is a network of physical objects that are connected and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet.
There are more than 27 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things. With experts expecting this number to rise to over 100 billion devices by 2030.
How does it work?
The IoT consists of sensors and devices collecting data from their surroundings. This data is then sent to the cloud by means of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LPWAN, satellite, or being connected directly to the internet via ethernet. When the data reaches the cloud, it is then processed by software programs. The information is then made available to the consumer in a user-friendly way. This information is communicated to the user to either check on the system or take action and affect the system.
For example, a consumer would typically experience IoT in their smart home whether they have smart speakers, thermostats or refrigerators. One of the most impressive IoT devices is probably the smart refrigerators. They record data from the contents of the fridge and will alert the consumer when they need to go shopping to replenish. The smart refrigerator even has the capability to place an order with your local supermarket to be delivered.
The sensors in our smart home appliances allow us to have a better understanding of how our homes operate. Tweaking those settings and predefined rules could help save energy – cutting heating costs. Smart home appliances also connect elderly people who live independently to their family and carers to communicate and monitor how they are getting on.
A brief history of the Internet of Things
The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ was coined by Kevin Ashton back in 1999. However, the true Internet of Things history began with the invention of the Internet in the late 1960s.
Since the 1960s, we have seen numerous inventions happen leading up to the 27 billion devices we now have connected to the IoT today.
In the early 1980s, we witnessed the invention of a Coca-Cola vending machine report on its contents through a network. While the 21st Century saw major developments paving the way for the future of IoT.
Read the History of the Internet of Things to find out more impressive inventions.
What does the future hold for IoT?
The Internet of Things has a limitless future and will eventually become the foundation of everyday life. It will save consumers and businesses time, money and reduce emissions.
While the IoT is in its infancy, we can expect to see a high risk in privacy and security breaches. However, once these have been addressed, we will see a much more connected world with each and every individual using and depending on IoT.
“We are looking at a future in which companies will indulge in digital Darwinism; using IoT, AI and machine learning to rapidly evolve in a way we’ve never seen before” says Brian Solis, Altimeter Group.