What is IoT, and why is it popping up everywhere?
Last week, Vodafone Idea launched the Internet of Things (IoT) for its enterprises segment. This announcement by Vodafone Idea came a day after Bharti Airtel launched IoT platform to drive enterprise business.
So, What Is IoT?
Since everyone is talking about it, we wanted to explain IoT in the simplest language. In layman’s terms, IoT means taking all things in the world and connecting them to the internet.
This includes a lot of objects of all shapes and sizes — from smart microwaves, which automatically cook your food for the right amount of time, to self-driving cars, whose complex sensors identify objects in their path, to wearable fitness devices, that measure your heart rate and the number of steps you have taken that day. These devices will then utilize that information to recommend exercise plans that are customized to you.
How Does It All Work?
A complete IoT system integrates four distinct components: sensors/devices, connectivity, data processing, and a user interface.
1) Sensors/Devices: Firstly, sensors or devices collect data from their environment. These sensors are built in the devices which collect all the data that can be used later. For example, our phone is a device with built-in sensors such as GPS, camera, etc.,
2) Connectivity: Once the data is collected, it will be transferred to the cloud infrastructure, which is also known as IoT platforms. But the data needs a way to get to the cloud. So what can help the data get there? Mediums such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, WAN, cellular networks, etc can be used to send the data to the cloud.
3) Data Processing: Once the data reaches the cloud, the software performs some kind of processing on it. This processing can be as simple as checking whether the temperature reading is within an acceptable range. It could also be a complicated task, such as using computer vision on video to find out whether robbers entered in your house.
4) User Interface: So, let’s say intruders enter your house and the IoT understands their presence through data processing. What next? This information should be made useful to you in some way. This could be done through an alert such as email, text, notification, etc., For example, an SMS alert will be sent to your phone when intruders are detected in your house.
Benefits of IoT
- Increase Productivity: IoT offers real-time training to the workforce of an organization and helps them communicate efficiently during operations. IoT will help monitor, manage, and control several operations in shorter durations.
- Newer Opportunities: IoT creates a growing atmosphere by improving products and services of various businesses along with setting up better customer relationships.
- Better Management: With IoT, you can track your assets and get real-time performance insights as well as detect issues so that they can be resolved quickly.
Cost Reduction: Maintenance costs can be positively impacted when IoT devices are utilized with sensors to keep business equipment running at peak efficiency.
Connecting everything to the internet in a bid to make your life easier sounds like a wonderful idea. However, there is a high possibility that your private data can be hacked as well. Apart from this, IoT involves a lot of complex operations. If the software makes a wrong calculation, it will affect the rest of the process. For example) A glitch in a water dam software could cause a disastrous flood.
The IoT is a great thing, and it will benefit everyone hugely. However, we have to be aware of the downsides as well. In short, protect your data and have a thorough understanding of the IoT before implementing it in your daily lives or your businesses.
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