Unraveling the IoT Web

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Image credits: Forbes

The internet is an informative and transformative technology that is woven into our lives with a digital fabric. It is mainly utilized to connect people with each other. And now, a new form of internet is emerging that is utilized for connecting things, hence given the name, Internet of Things (IoT). If you thought that the internet has changed our lifestyle, let we unravel the IoT web for you and discuss how the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to transform the way we live. In fact, the speed at which innovation is happening, “transform” might be an understatement.

Kevin Ashton, the man who was credited for coming up with the Internet of Things, says – “I sometimes joke that the internet “for” things would have been more grammatical, but the internet “of” things describes something deeper, that is, the interconnectedness of tools and supplies.” The Internet of Things integrates the interconnectedness of human culture – “things” – with the interconnectedness of digital information system – “the internet.”

So, how do we define the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things refers to the millions of physical devices around the globe that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. Thanks to cheap processors and wireless networks, it is now possible to turn anything, from a pill to an airplane into part of the IoT. This connection adds digital intelligence to these devices that would otherwise be dumb and enables them to communicate real-time data without human intervention, effectively merging digital and physical worlds.

Pretty much any physical object that can be connected to the internet and controlled with it, can be transformed into an IoT device. It could be as fluffy as a child’s soft toy or as huge as a driverless truck, or maybe as complicated as a jet engine filled with thousands of sensors collecting and transmitting data to make sure it operates efficiently.

IoT devices can improve our lives, dramatically. For instance, you do not have to manually operate a different device for every task, there is no need to carry keys by having a smart lock, voice assistants like Google Home or Alexa can give you answers to your queries without you surfing the internet.

Let us now look at some detailed benefits of IoT –

It’s a wonderful life

IOT is helping us is in the area of health. People usually forget to take their prescribed medicines which may lead to complications, not to mention an increase in healthcare costs.

Some companies in the IoT space, like GlowCap have come out with a solution to this problem with smart caps and bottles. These devices signal the user by automated visuals and audible alerts when it is time to take their medications. And this adherence information can also be shared with the patient’s doctor and family members

Another health benefit of IOT is helping in the remote monitoring of the patients. Devices with sensors are fitted in hospitals that can help them get information about sudden changes in vital functions of patients. Also, if there is any interruption in the daily activity of the patient, alerts can go to family members or doctors to provide the required help in a short span of time.

In the above cases, the info collected on the cloud over a period of time can help doctors in arriving at the correct solution as they have more data points analyzed.

Smart Home

The most efficient application that stands out in IoT is a smart home. Big tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple are competing hard in this area. Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, smart plugs, lightbulbs, cameras, thermostats, smart fridge, etc are some of the most common IoT devices in smart homes. But there’s a more serious side to smart home applications than just showing off your shiny new gadgets. They can help keep older people independent in their homes, making it easier for family and carers to communicate with them.

Also, using IoT devices at our homes helps in better understanding of how homes operate, and the ability to tweak those settings could help save energy — by cutting heating costs, for example. Additionally, devices that can sense the state of a room are available in the form of motion sensors, proximity sensors, thermostats, humidity sensors and more.

The attraction around smart-home has been instrumental in cementing the IoT as a genuine consumer proposition, due to accessibility and advent of a lot of affordable IoT devices.

Wearables

Wearables is a fast-emerging category of IoT that encompasses any computer you wear on your body, usually hooked up to peripheral sensors (heart rate, temperature, barometer, etc.).

Currently, the biggest wearable computing sector is a smartwatch that enables you to gather data on your vital signs and activity levels. And various levels of analytics related to health or activity monitoring are run based on this data. Smart watches can also communicate with your mobile phone allowing you to have glanceable data on your wrist.

Smart cities

With the implementation of IoT, cities are getting smarter every day. IoT offers new opportunities for cities to use data analysis for managing traffic, cutting pollution, making better use of infrastructure and keeping citizens safe. Practically, this means that cities are using low-cost sensors and WiFi-enabled smart devices to talk to people and cities. IoT devices provide local leaders with real-time data about the needs of the community, and city managers use this information to come up with solutions for making crowded cities more manageable and affordable for everyone.

Some specific applications of IoT devices for smart cities include:

Traffic lights

Transportation

Infrastructure and maintenance

Waste management

Air quality

Energy usage and distribution

Pedestrian and bicycle needs

Let’s now have a look at the growth of the Internet of Things-

The IoT market is expected to grow up to $8.9T by the year 2020, attaining a 19.92% Compound Annual Growth Rate.

B2B IoT segments will generate more than $300B annually by the year 2020, including $85B in the industrial sector.

The global IoT market is growing at a 23% CAGR of 23% between 2014-2019, enabling smart solutions in major industries including agriculture, automotive and infrastructure.

IoT investments by businesses will grow from $215B in the year 2015 to $832B in the year 2020, while consumer spending on IoT solutions will rise from $72B to $236B.

Accenture estimates the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) could add $14.2T to the economy by 2020. The global market for IIoT is projected to grow at a 7.3% CAGR through 2020.

With all these applications and enormous growth to be expected in the future, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become one of the most popular technologies. And as the number of connected devices continues to rise, our living and working environments will become filled with smart IoT devices. IoT has the potential to usher in sweeping changes in the way we work, live, entertain, farm, play and pretty much everything we do. It definitely holds a promising future that looks closer than other “trendy” technologies, like robotics or nanotechnology. And because of all these facts and figures, some people dare, once again, to launch the statement: IoT will change the world.