Transport yourself into the future and imagine your everyday life in 2025. A life in which most of the processes are automated. A life totally dominated by Internet of Things. Let’s take a sneak-peek at how your dream looks like.
You wake up (comfortably) on time to the perfect sound of your alarm. The alarm then notifies your coffee-maker that you are up. The coffee maker then starts brewing the coffee just as per your taste. The coffee-maker then notifies your geyser; which begins heating water. Now, with water at the perfect temperature, you take a shower. At breakfast, your favorite playlist plays in the background that brightens up your mood. So you complete your daily morning chores with minimal effort.
You are now ready for work. Just as you leave home, Automation switches off all the appropriate appliances. Thus, greatly cutting down your electricity bill. You get to your car (i.e. driverless) and your car’s GPS system finds the fastest route to your office (based on real-time traffic information). Hence sparing you from the slow-moving traffic!
On entering your cabin, you find a projector listing out the deliverables and appointments that are lined up for the day. A notification then pops up that informs you of tonight’s meeting with that very important stakeholder. The family dinner has now been shifted. (Your family members and the restaurant have already been notified about this.) All your appointments shift accordingly when you select a slot to prepare a presentation for the meeting.
It’s 8 PM and you’re done for the day. You have managed to crack that deal with the stakeholder! With a beaming face, you leave the cabin and head to the lobby. As you leave the cabin, the lights and other devices switch off automatically. The sensor, i.e. connected to your car, informs the car to wait at the lobby.
You reach home to find that you are alone. You feel like cooking yourself dinner tonight. So, you enter the ingredients (i.e. available in your kitchen) on your tablet’s search engine; and it generates a recipe based on your preferences. You take out the chosen ingredients from the refrigerator, which then sends a list of items, that it has run out of, to your cell-phone. So, the next time you pass by a supermarket, the cell-phone will automatically notify you about the exhausted groceries. Meanwhile, the tablet has already notified your television of the dish that you are cooking. The television then starts playing the video of the chosen recipe.
Your dish is almost cooked when you accidentally spill hot water and you burn yourself. Nobody being home, there is no way you could call for help. But, the smart bracelet you are wearing comes to the rescue! The bracelet records your vital signs and informs a nearby hospital of the burn along with your location. Based on the doctor’s opinion, the hospital then dispatches an ambulance to your location. The dressing team is at your door in no time; and your burn is treated!
Life is simple, isn’t it? This simplicity is made possible due to Internet of Things (IoT)!
What is Internet of Things?
Put simply, IoT is when ‘things’ communicate with other ‘things’. In this case, the alarm notifying the coffee-maker; the coffee-maker then notifying the geyser; the cabin sensor communicating with the car; the GPS listening to satellite’s data on real-time traffic; or the bracelet talking to the hospital.
More technically, Internet of Things means a system of interrelated devices that can seamlessly communicate with each other without any human intervention. Inside the network, each ‘thing’ has a unique-ID for communication. Internet of Things provides these ‘Things’ a common language to communicate.
Traditional internet requires us to upload data that can be shared through a network of devices, to be finally used by others. Hence this is based on a person-to-person interaction model. Big corporations, such as Facebook and Google, have expanded by mostly providing services that are based primarily on a one-to-one interaction.
IoT, on the other hand, uploads data directly from ‘things’ and transfers it to other ‘things’ or humans. It hence provides machine-to-machine interaction.
Why the buzz?
Can you imagine Internet of Things with wired communication? It’s messy. Advancements in wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi, have made these communications simpler, easier, and faster. Wi-Fi is already being widely used everywhere. It is simple to add some more devices to these networks.
Cheaper Storage. Powerful Analytics.
Data is exploding. Data storage is becoming cheaper. Research in analytics is giving rise to powerful algorithms. Implementing analytics on the data collected from these ‘Things’ is not only simpler but also more powerful. As a result, the ‘Internet of Things’ can greatly personalize households and optimize business efficiency too.
Did you know? A connected kitchen could save the food and beverage industry as much as 15% of their revenue!
Huge Scope for Growth.
Implementation of IPv6 and its huge address space can contain almost 3.4*1038 devices. In other words, it has enough space to assign many trillions of addresses to each human being on the planet. Therefore, we have room for a lot of devices on the Internet.
In 2012, about 9 billion devices were on the Internet. This has almost grown to 23 billion (as of today) and is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. As per GE, ‘Internet of Things’ will add about $ 10 – 15 Trillion to the global GDP in the next 20 years.
Many Use Cases.
Industries can vastly improve productivity using ‘Intranet of Things’ (i.e. when systems and technologies, within a corporate network, connect to each other). When industrial machines such as assembly-line robots, production-machines communicate, it increases synchronicity of production and hence efficiency. Realizing its potential in Internet of Things, many companies are now investing hugely in it.
Who bought Who in the IoT world?
Recently, Samsung bought a startup- ‘SmartThings’ for about $200 million. Google bought ‘Nest Labs’ – a producer of smart thermostats and smoke detectors, for about $3.2 billion.
- The most vital concern that surrounds Internet of Things is security and privacy. ‘Things’, meant for our personalized needs, regularly record personal data. For maximum optimization, ‘things’ then constantly analyze the data. This gives way to a serious question. Do we want private corporations, companies or third-parties to get hold of our personal information? Surely, Internet of Things needs to address this concern.
- It is complex and big. Setting up an IoT, such as personalized settings and sequence of events, is tedious.
- It is revolutionizing. IoT will certainly improve efficiency in a lot of fields. It’ll vanish many jobs and create new ones that require re- education.
Internet of Things is perhaps the technology that most quietly weaves itself into everyday human lives. Although IoT may was a dream which has now become a reality!
And according to Mark Weiser,
“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”
Just as the Internet has revolutionized the world, Internet of Things is expected to revolutionize it further on the same scale.
So, begin your journey with IoT now!