Smart thermostat, security system, and switch smart plugs are just some of the traditionally “dumb” or non-internet-enabled physical devices and everyday items that are connected to the web as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).
According to some experts, more than half of new businesses in 2020 will most likely be run on the Internet of Things as they offer a potential for a fourth industrial revolution.
In this article, you will read about some interesting things about the gradually connected world.
What Internet of Things (IoT) Means
In a general sense, the term IoT encompasses everything that is connected to the internet. It is actually even used to label objects that “talk” to each other. To put it simply, the Internet of Things consists of devices, ranging from simple sensors to smart devices, which are connected together.
By linking these connected devices with automated systems, it will be possible to collect and analyze of information, as well as formulate an action plan, in order to help someone with a particular task and even learn from the process.
Caroline Gorski, the head of IoT at Digital Catapult, says: “It is all about networks, devices, and data.” IoT, according to her, lets devices on secured private connections to communicate with other devices and that IoT brings those networks together. In fact, IoT gives these devices a chance to communicate not only within close networks but also across different networking types and create a world that is much more connected than it is now.
The Need for Sharing Data between Connected Devices
Some people have raised an issue that argues “not because something can be connected to the internet does not necessarily mean that it should be connected.” Looking at it reasonably, however, each device is able to collect data for a specific purpose that may prove to be useful to a consumer and will likely impact the wider economy.
Talking about industrial applications, sensors on products can boost efficiency and reduce waste. In one particular study, it has been estimated that 35% of US manufacturers are already using data from smart sensors within their set-ups. One example would be the device that US firm Concrete Sensors has inserted into concrete in order to provide data on the material’s state.
IoT also enables individuals and enterprises alike to be more efficient in how they do things, saving as much time and money as well as emissions in the process. Also, it enables companies, government, and public authorities to give a second thought in how they provide services and produced goods.
Various Privacy Implications
I’m sure that most people will agree when I say that every device that is connected to the internet is susceptible to being hacked and IoT products are no exception to this fact.
One instance of such implication is when toy manufacturer VTech lost some videos and photos of children using its connected devices due to unprotected IoT systems.
Another concern would be surveillance. If every device is going to be connected then there is an opportunity for uncontrolled surveillance of users. Meaning, if a smart device could keep track of what you’re doing or where you’re going, who’s to know what other people will do with that data.
James Clapper, who is a former US Director of National Intelligence, even said this back in 2016: “Sooner or later, government services will most likely make use of the IoT for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and even to gain access to networks or user credentials.”
Without a doubt, the Internet of Things is still a relatively immature market, but what makes it exciting is the fact that we still aren’t aware of its exact use cases but that it evidently has the makings to be a major influence on a lot of people’s lives.