We live in the era of technology, from making payments to opening doors, everything is automated and wired with technology. Terms like smart lock, smart car, smart television, smart phone, etc. have become quite common. These ‘smart’ devices have enabled the advent of the Internet of Things, commonly referred to as IoT. However, new technologies can be very intimidating to users, especially when they pose potential threats to security and privacy. This blog post aims to address the basics of IoT and familiarize users with its fundamental concepts.
What is IoT?
IoT is the inter-networking of devices, buildings, locks, vehicles, phones, etc. that are embedded with sensors, network connectivity, or actuators. Network connectivity allows these devices to gather and exchange information. The in-built wireless connectivity enables these devices to be monitored and controlled through mobile applications or the Internet. One of the best examples of IoT is Nest Thermostat, a self-learning Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat which lets you remotely monitor and control temperature through a mobile app. It picks up usage and preference patterns and manages temperature settings for you. In short, welcome to the future.
How IoT works
The smart devices in IoT are embedded with wireless radios which help them connect with each other and to the Internet. The radios include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID, ZigBee, Z-Wave, NFC, and 6LoWPAN. Other than these basic chips, smart devices are also embedded with motion sensors, and some of them have a central hub which enables connectivity with other devices. Cloud services collect and manage all the data produced, which helps users keep a tab on their devices through mobile apps, and makes cloud one of the biggest contributing factors for IoT to work
IoT is the next big thing in the market; companies like Google, Apple, Samsung, etc. are investing millions in bringing intelligence to everything through IoT products. The self-driving car, Google’s flagship IoT project, is already making headlines. The smart car is fully automated and much safer than human-driven cars.
This ‘rise of the machine’ era is very fascinating as well as very frightening for people; on the one hand, it makes life easier and efficient for end users but it also raises concerns around their privacy. A common concern is that since all devices are connected to the Internet, data falling into wrong hands poses a major security threat. To resolve such issues, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States has asked enterprises to pay detailed attention to these issues, and take all possible precautions to make consumers’ data safe and secure.
Enterprises have been toying with the idea of IoT for quite a while now, but usable products did not enter the market until recently. There are several products available in the market, which can be really useful and efficient for your needs.
IoT Market Trends
Considering the rapid pace of advancement in technology, the ecosystem of IoT is expected to reach around 27.8 billion USD by the year 2020. The proliferation of IoT can be attributed to the steady growth of sensor technology, micro-electromechanical systems, and the Internet infrastructure; these technologies are opening doors for IoT in the modern world. Geographically, IoT has made its way into countries like United States, Japan, Europe, Latin-America, and Asia-Pacific.