A Short Guide to the Internet of Things

You’ve probably heard the term Internet of Things (IOT) tossed around a lot lately. On first glance, this technology might sound strange or exotic, but it is, in fact, already far more entrenched in our daily lives than we might be aware. And not only is it not going anywhere for the foreseeable future, it is actually taking root and ingraining itself into every imaginable aspect of our lives.

What is IoT?

The basic, simplest explanation of what IoT actually is can be gleaned from its name. In layman’s terms, it is the concept of connecting any device to the internet. While certain devices, like phones, tablets and ebook readers seem like logical and obvious candidates, IoT actually has a far wider and sometimes less intuitive reach. Forget about the obvious – how about connecting washing machines, house lights, alarm systems, and ACs to the web? And that’s only the household. Don’t forget about huge industrial and transportation systems and machines. Basically, broadband internet is readily available and getting cheaper every day. The prices of various sensors are also constantly dropping. Therefore, more and more devices are equipped with a myriad of sensors and WiFi capabilities, and that has opened up an exciting new field where the sky is the limit. Anything and everything will be connected in the future, and at the moment we cannot even fathom all the potential uses.

How is this useful?

Don’t be fooled into thinking the concept sounds too abstract. Internet of Things is on a set course to transform every aspect of our lives. Even if you don’t go into the intricacies of industrial use, it will do wonders for the comfort and safety in our daily lives. Virtually any device you have in your home can be improved using IoT. IoT will enable your devices to communicate with you, and even amongst themselves. How about a heat sensor that registers and contacts you if you left the stove on? Or motion detector sensors that turn off the lights and heating when they sense that no one is home? Or maybe you can turn on your kettle remotely, so that you have a steaming cup of tea waiting for you when you get home? There are numerous applications of IoT that will help us be safer and more productive, but also save us money.

What Infrastructure does it Require?

In terms of hardware, IoT is based on “smart” devices. The basics it requires are the relevant sensors, WiFi capabilities, and a powerful embedded processor. One of the most important links in this chain is a stable internet connection. That is why many are opting for reputable AT&T U-Verse providers and other providers who guarantee a highly reliable connection. Amazon AVS leads the way when it comes to data storage, processing and access. At the moment, the fields of data analytics and big data are having a revolution of sorts thanks largely to IoT.

Are there any concerns?

The concerns surrounding IoT pertain mostly to privacy. All of the sensors and devices involved gather plenty of personal data on people, and once you connect them all to the internet, there is always a chance of a security breach. Of course, because customer security is in everyone’s best interest, experts are constantly working on minimizing vulnerabilities.

With the advance of IoT, the tech landscape is changing at a breakneck speed. Right now, the fruits are hanging low and are ripe for the taking – and companies all over the world – from giant conglomerates to small startups are in a rush to exploit the situation. Luckily, the rush will result in great benefits for the end users.