What is the Internet of Things?

Written by Jonathan Hunt

13 Jun, 2019

All of us would like to live a comfortable life. Thanks to the internet, it has efficiently alleviated some of the issues that have been bothering us for years. But what if we can improve these concepts and everything can be automated according to our habits, needs, and preferences? That’s where the Internet of Things (IoT) comes in. The buzz isn’t a pure imagination. According to data, 20 billion devices are connected these days. In 2020, it’s expected to increase for up to 50 billion. In fact, with the continuous improvements transpiring these days, this automation can surely be expected on its full potential a few years from now in a common residential setup. But what exactly is Internet of Things? How can it help our daily lives? Will it be a justifiable investment in the long run?

Understanding the Internet of Things

Internet of Things is commonly defined in various ways because of its complexity. The main concept is composed of cloud computing processes and networks of data-gathering methods that make all things adapt to how we work and respond to things. It works by increasing machine-to-machine connection, such as our mobile phone, vehicle, or just common appliances at home. Everything is connected to one another so the next procedure is well-anticipated, according to your schedule. Internet of Things is used in various industries such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, financial institutions, and more. Businesses have started incorporating the idea to ensure that they can deliver their products and services according to their customers’ needs within a shorter span of time. It has efficiently improved operations through an intelligent infrastructure, as well as increased their safety and security through relevant data, therefore, achieving their expected return on investment (ROI).  

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has opened possibilities to consumers and businesses in different aspects. It provides substantial benefits for, residential and commercial clients, and businesses, once it has strengthened the connection in the industry. Imagine when your clock alarms in the morning and your coffee maker automatically brews your coffee, and your phone books you an Uber ride an hour and a half after. This automation will save you time and energy, rather than having to do things on your own. Another common example today is the improvement of autonomous vehicles, also known as self-driving cars. These vehicles can assess its environment to efficiently navigate without the need of human intervention.  According to the data from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than a million car accidents were caused by human errors. With the help of autonomous vehicles, these cases can be alleviated. When it comes to manufacturing, Internet of Things has helped control accidents. To cite an example, think about all the harmful substances, such as the presence of toxic gasses. Several devices can measure the amount of these toxins and alarm the people around when it’s more than what’s allowable. Such occurrence can ensure safety and protection before serious issues arise. Another potential improvement involves medical facilities. An example would be the creation of “chips” that can be worn or placed inside a human’s body to assess the overall wellness. Progression of serious medical conditions can be controlled as a device or a computer can immediately see the problem; therefore, appropriate intervention can be executed. On the other hand, there are some potential risks concerning Internet of Things. One of the most serious problems is the protection of the acquired data. If various devices are connected to the internet, this also means that hackers can have multiple entry points to penetrate an entire system. In spite of the enormous benefits Internet of Things can provide in the future, developers should be mindful of these risks. They should find solutions to rigidly protect the data to avoid leakages that can be used against the target.