The internet has already become an integral part of our lives. Our phones, tablets, and computers are always connected to this revolutionary technology day in and day out. Slowly and steadily, we are also connecting our home security, cars etc., to the internet. Not only that but also our workplace is online 24×7. Suffice to say, the internet is so woven into the fabric of our daily lives that we do not think twice about it anymore. It is not a luxury rather a necessity of times.
In the times to come, this reliability on the internet is going to increase furthermore. Imagine on your way back from office, when you take the final turn on the curb to your home the porch light comes on automatically and the garage door opens. As you switch off the car, the lights inside the house switch on by themselves, the coffee starts brewing and the TV starts on your favorite channel. What more luxury could a person ask for. Have you ever thought how all this would become possible? Think no more and bid a formal welcome to the Internet Of Things.
Internet of Things! What Is It?
Internet of Things or IoT as it is more commonly known refers to a network of devices or types of equipment that are connected to the internet. You could also say that it is the interconnection through the internet of various computing devices rooted in the so-called everyday objects like a smoke detector, fire alarm, wristwatch, phone etc. IoT enables these simple objects to send and receive information. Hence, IoT can be defined as an ecosystem of linked physical items that are easily reached through the internet.
Why Is IoT Gaining Importance?
The true value of IoT does not lay in automating your daily life. Its true value and the reason for it gaining importance lay’s in the data. Take for instance the example of your daily water requirement. If there is a device in place that collects data related to the amount of water that you use in the kitchen, washroom, garden etc. daily, then it will help your water company manage its daily, monthly and yearly water requirements optimally and without constant manual interruption.
Now, take a look at the big picture, if a country or state had enough data to analyze the investing patterns of the general public then it would be able to handle its debts that much more efficiently. Similarly, new projects would get appropriate financing from within the country rather than looking at the outside world for financial help. All this and much more are possible with IoT.
Where Is IoT Today In The Big Picture?
If future is as envisioned and predicted by the experts then in relation to that IoT is still in its infancy. It has to overcome many obstacles before it can reach maturity. Currently, IoT is broken into disjointed pieces. These fragments are a result of intermittent devices that are being connected to the internet. Today, not all homes are secure through webcams, fire alarms etc., linked to the internet. Some are and many are still not. This non-standardization has resulted in the formation of broken segments that are hard to join so the data does not move freely from one to another. This is a normal everyday example.
Now, again let’s take a look at how this picture appears on a bigger scale. At the moment, every company is doing its own thing to connect with their customers. They are building their own programs, software, apps and platforms for engaging with the masses. They are not looking at helping each other out by sharing data which could cut costs dramatically. Each is playing in their field to prosper and overlooking the fact that expenses are increasing in accordance. Through IoT, there will be a seamless flow of data that would be available for all to share and make use of.
Biggest Challenge For IoT
The biggest hiccup being felt at the precise moment is that of non-standardized data. Everyone is collecting it, but each is doing so in a different manner. As such, what is useful for one may not be so to the other. In order for all devices to talk to each other without error, there has to be standardized data. This is because it is this very data which will be used to build algorithms for all devices to interconnect.
Apart from that, the other major concern is that of securing of data so that it cannot be used for illegal activities. Hence, the privacy and security concerns have to be dealt with completely for safeguarding both the consumer and the company’s using this data. In the end, data is as secure as the most tenacious hacker. And so every loophole has to be fixed to the satisfaction of all parties involved.