Internet of Things or IoT is a network of many devices connected to other devices wirelessly. These devices are influencing our lifestyle in our day to day activities and behavior. You can remotely control these devices or you can pre-set them to constantly perform a certain activity to suit your needs. These devices are embedded with various sensors to collect and transmit data to other connected devices so they are better used in the environment they are operated.
It could be anything from air-conditioning to your mobile phone and from smart TV to your smartwatch, traffic lights, electric appliances, bar codes, and other forms of hardware that you come across in your day to day life. Embedded with the advanced technology these devices continuously emit data and other valuable information.
IoT provides a common platform and a common language for these devices to communicate and interact over the internet. IoT integrates the collected data from various resources. It further analyses the data to extract valuable information. This information is again shared with other devices for better user experience, automation and improving efficiency.
The first internet of thing was established in 1990 as a coke machine in a university. It was only able to monitor how full it was and how much money has been taken. Even that was a big deal at that time when the internet was not so advanced. And now we are in this incredible world.
We have gone from the first industrial revolution to the fourth industrial revolution. Where cyber-physical machines are connected to each other with end to end internet of thing. These machines are fully optimized, can look after themselves with embedded artificial intelligence. It’s certainly going to improve efficiency and it will create a lot of challenges.
The internet of Things has grown into a huge powerhouse. Cisco believes it’s going to be about 15 billion devices by 2020. And with more and more IoT companies coming into the market. The entire market is expected to soar up 16 trillion in the next 15 years. With that many devices around us, we are going to have to be aware of many different devices every single day in the future. Dynamics of our culture and society are being fundamentally changed by technology. The report says a young new generation has at least five internet devices and not to mention with 100s of devices surrounding us outside as well as inside our homes. It’s a combination of so many things that we see happening on the internet of things.
And then you got the evolution of robots. There are so many more robots coming into the world that are changing the landscape of manufacturing and other things. General Motors has about 30,000 robots for their manufacturing process and more than 7,000 of them are connected to the internet and now it is reaping the benefit of a machine to machine communication.
And when it comes to smart cities. There is this massive untapped market, from hospitals to retail stores and beyond. With the IoT, we can optimize the operations that are already in practice. It’s going to change the way we manage, transportation and governance, security, energy, construction, and services. It’s going to make a world a better place for people living in the cities.
On a macro level, IoT is going to make a huge difference in making smart homes, healthcare, and smart cities.
Application of IoT in real life scenarios
Even those who dismiss the presence of smart technology find it increasingly hard to resist the appealing IoT powered the smart home. IoT devices have become highly intuitive and innovative, extending not only to home automation and comfort but also security and safety of your house.
Another big driving force in adopting to IoT smart home is the need for energy saving. with smart thermostats and smart lighting, help conserve energy and keep the bills down.
Imagine coming back from work in the evening and your house wakes up. The garage door opens, the drive-way is sufficiently illuminated, blinds are raised, and the alarm system is deactivated. You are greeted in the hallway of your house and sealing light is switched on.
When you leave your house IoT smart home will also put your mind at rest. At a touch of a button, you could make sure the lights are switched off, blinds are lowered, heating is turned down, and the alarm system is activated. You can also configure your doorbell button to when pressed in the dark the exterior lighting is switched on to welcome your visitors.
The image which is transmitted externally transfers to color monitor in your indoor station. With a presence detector system, you can control the lighting in the room and save energy as the light is only switched on when someone is actually in the room.
With a smart metering system, the intelligent and efficient handling of energy is possible. It will continuously record, display and evaluate the consumption values for electricity, water and, thermal energy. And inform you at the glance, about the security status of your house. You can see whether any and if so which door and window has been opened.
With the networks of cameras, you can visualize what’s going on in or near the house. Optimum communication and safety are always guaranteed which is another big reason more and more people will turn to IoT powered homes in the future.
IoT in Healthcare
The rise of IoT has potentially life-saving applications within the healthcare industry. By collecting data from bed-side devices, viewing patient information, and diagnosing in real-time. The entire system of patient care could be improved. Not to mention the patient’s experience.
Over a third of healthcare organizations don’t apply data obtain from connected devices to other business processes. As a result, it creates inefficiency, the potential for data loss, and mistakes in diagnosis. Effective healthcare depends on speed and accuracy. With IoT in place, the entire healthcare system will be optimized, with speed, accuracy, efficient diagnosis and patient’s experience. And we have seen a huge range of devices becoming connected as IoT takes hold. Over fifty percent of the devices on healthcare networks in the next two years will be IoT devices. From hand-held devices to health records, to medical equipment. The industry is embracing the world of connected things.
With a common language and single platform for these devices to operate, the potential for IoT is limitless. For caregivers, the ability to easily monitor and manage patient health can save precious minutes every day. Without having to manually visit each patient the experts can perform remote diagnosis, track medical assets, can provide medical care more quickly and manage the healthcare environment more efficiently. IoT means an easier and more efficient patient care experience by allowing staff to do their job better. Through a single application on a mobile device patients and staff can securely manage IoT data. Which is why 76 percent of healthcare leaders predict it’s going to transform their industry.
IoT Smart Cities
As IoT becomes commonplace in residence it will improve our living, and working environment in the cities to make life better and easier for everyone. Using data, the internet of things, Ai, and other advanced technologies have improved the quality of life and efficiency in cities. And with more IoT devices at the city level will build us a safer environment as well as help us to save more resources and time.
One of the biggest problems of today’s cities is traffic congestion. IoT can help in building smart cities by bringing more efficiency in transportation, what we call smart traffic. Imagine you have all the data of all the traffic out there, and how many cars on which road, and where are they going, and the information about traffic lights managing the road. You can use an advanced algorithm to optimize the traffic lights and to re-route all the cars to drive into an optimum path.
It goes beyond mere convenience to a commuter. Another big problem in the cities is energy consumption. IoT can also help protect the environment with efficient energy management systems. Many people already using Nest from Amazon. An IoT device that can understand the behavior of your energy consumption in the house. They use AI to learn your behavior at home and help you optimize your electric bill or gas bill in your heating system. You can also do that in cities for businesses and for manufacturers so there could be more effective ways to manufacture in a factory. Not only it can help reduce the consumption of electricity but it can also help save more money which can be put in better use.
Real-time situation awareness is critical in many city surveillance tasks. But networks and video processing data-setters can get needlessly bogged down with irrelevant camera feeds. Traditional non-contextualized video recognition techniques cannot be practically applied to highly variable and complex online situations. With the IoT platform, you can proactively detect, select, and track only relevant video streams for any surveillance task. So that only a fraction of the massive set of video stream needed has to be handled. The unique platform asset of adaptive video anomaly detection can also spot unexpected change anomalies in video images over time. This can make surveillance more efficient and cities become safer and minimize the cost.
IoT has certainly a lot of applications in our day to day life from an individual’s need for smart houses to smart cities and even smart countries in some parts of the world. Before there was an internet of thing, there were just things. There were machines that needed to be more efficient, pieces of information that needed to be collected and understood, systems that needed to be more secure. IoT provides a window to do all of these things. Increasing efficiency, tracking, securing, collecting, understanding the behaviors. If used properly the world would be a better place for everyone.
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About The Author
My name is Stuti Dhruv & I am senior consultant at Aalpha, primarily working on pre sales, consulting with clients on latest technology trends.