… Internet of Everything
We all use the internet daily for various reasons employing different standard devices such as
desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and what have you. Now a wide range of traditionally “dumb” or non-internet-enabled physical devices and everyday objects are embedded with technology. These devices can communicate and interact over the internet and can be remotely monitored and controlled. These constitute the Internet of Things (IoT).
The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) was first used in 1999 by British technology forerunner Kevin Ashton in the context of supply chain management. IoT is “the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment”, as defined by Gartner. IoT has come to incorporate internet on a daily basis into our personal, professional and societal lives. Indeed our common TVs are now smart TVs, we have smart appliances, smart air conditioners, smart thermostats, smart lighting, and smart security just to name a few. These devices are used by individuals, enterprises, and industries.
Imagine your car is able to communicate with your gate as you arrive, or the conference room set up for your staff meeting is able to regulate the room temperature based on the number of people in the room or even the sensors in the production line machinery are able to detect an anomaly. These are things that are already happening, definitely a smart way of living, making life easy.
Why do we need the Internet of Things?
IoT is basically to expand interdependency of humans to interact, contribute and communicate to things. For example, the way humans interdepend on one another for information, sometimes we do not get the information as quickly as we would want it because someone may not be available at the moment to provide it. When we expand this interdependency to things, getting the right information, at the right time and at the right place makes our work more efficient and timelier.
Recent researches show by next year; 2020 we would have over 20 billion devices using IoT. These devices cover a wide range of areas including; environmental monitoring, infrastructure management, industrial applications, energy management, medical and healthcare systems, building and home automation, transport services, and large scale deployments.
Brendan O’Brien said “IoT promotes a heightened level of awareness about our world, and a platform from which to monitor the reactions to the changing conditions that said awareness exposes us to”, hence a smarter way to manage these conditions.
- Smarter disaster management with the ability to accurately predict natural disasters and prevent fewer damages and victims.
- Smarter Urban Management that will aid in proper monitoring of traffic and regulate to the ever-changing flow from “rush hour” to downtime. IoT gives better and proper ways of utility distribution while also cutting down on emissions that pollute the earth. Bridges, railways, or roads can be tracked to diminish the risk of danger to road users.
- Smarter Healthcare by providing wearable devices that monitor your body’s vital statistics like your heart rate or blood pressure, and whenever something goes wrong an alarm goes off to alert the hospital of your condition for an ambulance sent to your location.
- Smarter Homes giving you the ability to monitor and remotely control your devices such as air conditioners, security lock, lighting system, regulate your thermostat, TV or audio system for your comfort, security, and low energy consumption.
Benefits of IoT
IoT is definitely making an impact on our personal and professional lives. The benefits of IoT speaks for itself no doubt. The benefits include:
Efficient Resource Utilisation
If a smart system/device is configured properly and fully understands how things work, the resources available to it will be fully utilized. For example, voice assistants like Apple’s Homepod or Amazon’s Alexa can provide answers to your questions without you needing to pick up your phone or turn on your computer.
Minimizing Human Effort
The concept of Smart Homes is growing very fast with this benefit. A smart home/office is able to do a lot of things for you without you making a single effort, your interaction with such devices will be minimal. Like, regulate the temperature in the room, increase or dim the lighting system and lock and unlock doors. You can relax and have a good time.
Definitely, anything that reduces human effort, and utilizes resources available will save time as well, which gives you additional time to accomplish other activities.
Development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through IoT
Your smart device is able to learn things about you by swiftly gathering data on the things you like or dislike and modifies services to your preferences. According to Kevin Lindsay, “more personalized connections are better connections. More personalized means more relevant, more interesting, less distracting and more enjoyable.” AIs such as Google Assist, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are all examples.
The security integrated into these IoT is very huge so the overall security with respect to everything will increase multiple times. The connection of these devices and objects to the internet is a whole new ballgame that puts security, interoperability, power/processing capabilities, scalability and availability into question in order to successfully deploy an IoT system and its connected devices. With that in mind features like device registration, device authentication/authorization, device configuration, device provisioning, device monitoring and diagnostics, device troubleshooting have been put together by device management companies to help integrate, organize, monitor and remotely manage internet-enabled devices at scale, whiles offering features critical to maintaining the health, connectivity, and security of the IoT devices.
Features of IoT
Internet of Things is one major technology in the world that can help any other technology reach its full potential. To connect, analyze and integrate, are the main ways as to how IoT works.
The device is virtualized using a standardized integration of devices with the IoT enterprise, with a high-speed messaging system to enable reliable, secure and bi-directional communication between devices and the cloud and finally endpoint management to manage the endpoint identity, metadata and lifecycle states of all devices.
Real-time analyses of incoming data streams with event aggregation, filtering and correlation mark the streaming process in the analysis stage. Apart from this, raw data is enriched with contextual information to generate composite streams. An event store queries and visualizes the massive amount of data with integrated Business Intelligence (BI) Cloud Service support to enable big data analysis.
Critical IoT data and events can be dispatched dynamically to applications through Enterprise Connectivity to a corresponding Service Provider using Representational State Transfer (RESTful) Application Program Interface (API) based integration with Cloud and IoT devices. In addition to this, most importantly is the command and control. If there is no way to send messages to the device from enterprise or mobile apps independent of device connectivity then the device or system itself is not useful.
Predictions about how big the Internet of Things is going to be and how it is going to take over everything (Internet of Everything) in the year 2020 started over a decade ago.
Flatworld Solutions predicts that by 2020 IoT will connect 21 billion devices. According to them; “the Internet of Things has taken the technology world by storm. And its limitless applications have fuelled its popularity. Hence, every year more and more devices are getting connected with IoT”
Symantec Corporation envisages more cities will become smart. “Consumers won’t be the only ones using IoT devices. Cities and companies will increasingly adopt smart technologies to save time and money.”
Artificial intelligence will become a trend, “…every smart device connected to the internet will learn its user’s patterns and habits and will respond accordingly through learning.” Chris Albert revealed in 2018.
5G networks will make their presence felt, foresees Fredric Paul. Although these IoT devices rely on low-powered, low-data-rate networks, 5G will have a big impact high-end IoT applications linked to robotics and automation, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).
We are in 2019, and so far this is an absolute reality. Definitely slow in catching up in the developing countries but far ahead in advanced countries. So what does the future hold for us? We are moving from just the Internet of Things to the “Internet of Everything.”
A smart world ready to be conquered with millions of opportunities to be grabbed in this field as McKinsey predicts the IoT market will be worth $581B for ICT-based spend alone, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 7 and 15% by 2020.
By 2021, IoT spending will reach $6 trillion predicted by Flatworld Solution. Big money is already been seen in this technology space as the world has recognized “Internet of Things’ ability to enhance the customer experience. Hence there will be no dearth in funding and capital for IoT.”
So brace yourself, and welcome to the world of “Internet of Everything!”