The simplest definition of the Internet of Things (IoT) can be, the connectivity of daily use devices with the internet and to automate the human to device or device to device interaction by using computer-based components and programming languages. The IoT includes electronic devices, software and programs, actuators, sensors, and network connectivity which enables these objects and devices to connect and exchange data.
Another way to describe the Internet of Things is, the network of physical or real-world objects such as devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items with embedded software, actuators, sensors and networking devices for internet connectivity, all these components help these real-world objects to automate almost every function they can perform without any direct human interaction.
The IoT is used in every field of life from turning on a light bulb to a huge industrial area such as agricultural industries, car making factories and so on. The most common example can be the self-opening doors, the door has sensors and whenever these sensors detect a person, it will pass the information to the processor or microcontroller, which then process the information and tells the electrical devices responsible for opening of the door to open the door for the coming person. This process occurs very quickly so the person doesn’t even notice any delay.
In today’s world almost every person has a smartphone and due to these smartphones and due to easily available and fast internet connectivity, the IoT can be used to control and monitor your devices such as AC, heater, fan, light bulbs, garage doors from the smartphone in your hand but a problem or a question that rises in everyone’s head is that how can we control our devices such as bulb and fan because they do not have any connectivity to the internet and they don’t have any user interface available for their users.
So the answer to this question and problem is that a third party controller can be used for controlling the electricity flow to the device.
We control the devices by changing the switch from ON to OFF or from OFF to ON and in most scenarios by plugging and unplugging the power plug of the device, both are technically same things, in both cases we are starting or cutting the electricity flow to the device.
Now what if we can control this flow from our smartphone or a computer present in a remote area. For doing this we need a smart plug that is smart enough to connect to the internet, send and receive commands from the user and also able to control the electricity flow to the device. Here IoT can be used here because in IoT we have modules for connecting to the internet, modules for processing data and modules for controlling the current flow or electricity flow.
The key features of the IoT:
There are a lot of features of the IoT but the key ones are Artificial Intelligence, sensors, connectivity, and use of small devices. The detailed description of these features are given below.
The IoT has the power to convert virtually anything into smart, which means enhancing every field of life by the power of collecting the desired data, artificially intelligent algorithms and the vast networks (internet). This can mean enhancing your street light with light sensors that when senses the light, will turn of the street light and when the light goes or in other words it’s night it will take the decision by its own and will turn the light ON.
Another key feature of the IoT is the sensors. It is considered as the key feature of the IoT because the field of IoT has sensors for almost anything. The examples of the sensors can be the humidity sensor, light sensor, motion sensors, and pressure sensors and so on. These sensors enables devices to sense almost anything and perform actions according to the data provided to it by the sensors.
New emerging technologies in the field of networking and specially IoT networking is the clear indication that the network or internet connectivity is no more only for big industries, everyone in today’s world have access to the internet. When the connectivity issue is no more IoT enables it devices to create a large network of its small devices.
Over time the devices has become smaller, lighter, cheaper and even more powerful over time and new inventions are happening very quickly. These small devices helps IoT to build devices precise, scalable, and versatile and these are considered the kay components for the success of the products.
Advantages of IoT:
Just like every field of life IoT also have a positive side and a negative side. Below are some majors from both the sides of computing and science, IoT also has a huge effect on the daily lifestyle and business of the modern technologies working in the modern world. The following are some of the advantages that we have from the field of IoT.
Enhanced Data Collection:
One of the biggest problems and barrier in the way of developments was the data collection and with IoT this problem is solved up to a great level with a large number of the sensors available. These sensors enable even consumers to collect a significant amount of data.
For example if a person want to track his/her weight on daily or weekly basis. He/she can do it by connecting sensors in the weight machine to the internet through the IoT and then synchronise this data with his/her smartphone and can even have graphical or tabular or any kind of visual form of the data.
The IoT has saved a lot of human beings time by automating many tasks that required human presence in the past and sometimes multiple people were required to do a single task that now can be automated with the help of IoT. Its example can be the appliances present in the home always required someone to operate or to switch off but now with IoT it can be done from a remote area through internet and a smartphone or a computer.
The financial aspect is the best advantage. This technology could replace humans who are in charge of monitoring and maintaining supplies.
The computers keep a track both on the quality and the viability of things at home. Knowing the expiration date of products before one consumes them improves safety and quality of life. Also, you will never run out of anything when you need it at the last moment.
Disadvantages of IoT:
Like everything in the world IoT also has some disadvantages. Following are some of them discussed in detail.
As of now, there are no standards for taking values from the sensors. These situation leads to the issue of incompatibility because of no standards availability. To solve this issue of compatibility, there need to be some standards like USB and Bluetooth have.
The software used in programming IoT can be easily hacked by the hackers and the personal information of the user can be misused. A worst scenario can be if your garage door is hacked which you control with IoT, so it can give easy access to the hacker to your car.
Privacy and Security:
The biggest issue the IoT is the security of the data and privacy of the information about the user. All data in IoT should be encrypted so that the financial information of the users will not be understandable for everyone.