Internet of things
Internet of things Imagines if you could automate everything around you from something as insignificant as your latrine flushes to something as important as company schedules and operations. That is a picture of where the world is headed – it is speculated that by the year 2025 more than 6 billion appliances will be fully automated. Although the specifications of these appliances were not divulged. Hence before this global move becomes a reality, it is imperative that you fully understand the basics upon which this system operates.
This article will consist of a total of one thousand words and by the end of it, you will fully understand the basics of the internet of things and what it means to you as a human in the year 2020. An average kid in primary six reads at least 200 words per minute so going by that standard in five minutes you would be done with this article.
The Internet of things defined
The internet of things defined as Every little scholarly attention has been given to the definition of the internet of things (IoT) but this basic definition will give you an idea. Internet of things refers to any appliance or device that can connect to the internet, receive and transfer data on its operations.
Now here is the twist, that definition is a bit similar to the definition of a computer and if you assess it properly, the internet of things is actually a means through which otherwise inanimate objects are capable of operating like computers.
What they do is merge these otherwise inanimate objects with sensors which yields a certain level of digital intelligence to appliances that would have been otherwise dumb. This became possible as a result of the production of extremely cheap computer chips and the excess of wireless networks around the globe – both factors combined to make the internet of things conceivable.
The Internet of Things describes the fact that many everyday objects, from diapers to self-driving cars, have (or soon will have) the ability to send and receive data via the Internet. Much of this big data is driven by sensor technology, as well as the increasing connectivity of, well, just about everything in our world.
This huge increase in data gives you the ability to create a smarter world where buildings sense and predict temperatures outside and adjust heating or air conditioning systems inside, where cars drive themselves and where your baby’s diaper tweets you when it needs changing. A futuristic vision? No, all of these things are already possible today.
Here are a few more very real examples of what the Internet of Things is already doing:
Wearable devices such as the Fitbit and UP fitness trackers collect data on how many steps you take, how well you sleep, how many calories you consume, and much more. The next big push in wearable technology is in smartwatches – Apple’s version was launched in 2015. These watches collect data on almost anything – your geographical location, your speed, or your body functions – and this data can be synced to phones or tablets and analyzed in apps.
Sensors are everywhere. The oceans are full of sensors that track sea temperature and currents. A number of companies put sensors into farmland to track soil health and predict the right level of fertilizers required to obtain an optimal crop. Your toothbrush can even sense how well you’re brushing and send the analysis to your smartphone so you can improve your brushing technique!
There are security alarms that connect to the Internet and alert you about any intruder. Bathroom scales are connected to the Internet and not only monitor weight, body mass index, and heart rate, but also the air quality in the house. There are light bulbs that link to wireless networks, which
allows you to control them with an iPhone. There are also sensors in gardens and indoor plants that send a message to a phone when they need watering.
There are endless opportunities for businesses, science, and governments to exploit this new data tidal wave. Just imagine what will happen when you connect all these devices in even smarter ways – when your refrigerator knows what items are past their use-by date and re-orders them for the next shop; when your smartwatch makes an appointment with your doctor because it detected some abnormalities; when buses wait for a delayed train to arrive; or when your alarm automatically adjusts its wake-up time because your early morning appointment canceled overnight.
The examples above prove that the internet of things will definitely make life much easier but there is still one flaw in the technology and that is the issue of privacy. With all those sensors collecting data on everything you do, the IoT is a potentially vast privacy and security headache.
Take the smart home: it can tell when you wake up (when the smart coffee machine is activated) and how well you brush your teeth (thanks to your smart toothbrush), what radio station you listen to (thanks to your smart speaker), what type of food you eat (thanks to your smart oven or fridge), what your children think (thanks to their smart toys), and who visits you and passes by your house (thanks to your smart doorbell). While companies will make money from selling you the smart object in the first place, their IoT business model probably involves selling at least some of that data, too.
What happens to that data is a vitally important privacy matter. Not all smart home companies build their business model around harvesting and selling your data, but some do.
And it’s worth remembering that IoT data can be combined with other bits of data to create a surprisingly detailed picture of you. It’s surprisingly easy to find out a lot about a person from a few different sensor readings. In one project, a researcher found that by analyzing data charting just the home’s energy consumption, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels, temperature, and humidity throughout the day they could work out what someone was having for dinner.
That brings us to a total of one thousand words! Please drop your thoughts in the comment section.