What is Internet of Things (IoT)?
Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the key technologies of forth industrial revolution of commonly referred as Industry 4.0 or 4IR.
Suppose you are on office travel, away from your hometown and after some time you remember that you have forgotten to turn off the AC at home. What will you do? Will you travel back home to switch off the AC, or you will keep it ON until your return? Both options are not suitable, right?
This challenge is resolved by the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. IoT enables you to turn ON or turn OFF your smart home appliances from remote places through your mobile devices.
IoT is shaping the way we live our lives !
Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects “things” which consists of sensors and are connected through the internet which can communicate with each other and with other devices like smartphones, smart home appliances or industrial vehicles and equipment.
How the Internet of Things (IoT) works?
Internet of Things (IoT) technology is combination of four technologies:
- Sensors are devices that measure physical, chemical, or biological properties as input from its environment and convert it into data that can be interpreted by the computers.
- Sensors can measure Touch, Speed, Motion, Position, Light, Levels, Sound, Vibration, Chemical, Moisture, Heat, Gas, Color, Flow, Pressure, Leaks, Smokes and many more.
- These all sensors are integrated with a microprocessor which enables them to collect data and send it to other location through internet.
- Base on property which can be measured by sensors, its category is defined.
Top 10 sensors used in IoT applications:
- Temperature Sensors
- Pressure Sensors
- Motion Sensors
- Chemical Sensors
- Optical Sensors
- Proximity Sensors
- Magnetic Sensors
- Humidity Sensos
- Several communication protocols and technologies are used in IoT to connect to internet cloud. Depending on the range, cost, power usage, data rate etc. the right one is selected.
- IoT enabled devices or smart devices and Sensors are connected to Internet through wired or non-wired connections like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc.
3. Cloud computing/ Data processing:
- In the processing stage, a computer transforms the raw data into information.
- The transformation is carried out by using different data manipulation techniques.
- Data collection, Data classification and data analysis are three main functions which are carried out at this stage.
4. User Interface:
- The information processing is made available to the end user in some way, like giving alerts, notification, monitoring continuous feed or controlling the system remotely.
- For example – A mobile application can give alert to user through any sound or message or mail, Live trends can be shown or devices can be controlled remotely.
Benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT)
1. Increased efficiency and productivity:
- IoT technology can automate tasks of real time data collection and enables business and individuals to take data-based decisions making their process more efficient and productive.
- For example, IoT sensors can monitor machines or equipment and provide real time data about component or machine failure. This data will help to conduct predictive maintenance thereby reducing breakdown of machinery. This help to increase efficiency and productivity.
2. Cost Saving:
- IoT can help to reduce costs by enabling remote monitoring and control of devices and equipment, reducing the need for on-site visits and manual labor.
- For example, Equipment installed in remote location can be monitored through IoT without traveling to actual location. This will help to reduce travelling and administrative and labour cost.
3. Improved Safety and Security:
- IoT can improves safety and security by providing real-time monitoring and alerts for potential hazards or security breaches.
- For example, IoT sensors can detect gas leaks, fires, and other potential safety hazards, allowing for quick response and remediation.
4. Enhanced Customer Experience:
- IoT devices provides real time information and personalised experience to customer which can improves customer delight and loyalty.
- For example, smart home devices can learn and adapt to individual preferences, while smart retail solutions can provide personalized promotions and recommendations based on customer data.
5. Improved Environmental Sustainability:
- IoT can help reduce energy usage and waste, leading to improved environmental sustainability.
- For example, smart agriculture solutions like watering garden when soil dries and avoid water reduce waste.
6. New Business Models and Revenue Streams:
- IoT can enable new business models and revenue streams by providing new ways to monetize data and services.
- For example, IoT data can be used to develop new products and services, or sold to third parties for analytics and insights.
Applications of Internet of things (IoT)
1. Healthcare – Remote patient monitoring, Telehealth, Wearable devices, Biosensors, Chronic disease management
2. Agriculture – Precision farming, Livestock management, Water management, Soil Management, Field Monitoring, Crop yield analysis
3. Smart Homes – Smart media, Security cameras, Smart lightings, Smart appliances, Centralized monitoring
4. Education – Student Safety, Well-being monitoring, Interactive learnings, Attendance Tracking, Resource Management
5. Retail – Smart Shelves, Traceability, Loss Prevention, Customer flow management, Customer loyalty analysis
6. Industries – Industrial automation, Smart supply chain, Predictive maintenance, Remote quality monitoring, Energy optimization
For more information on applications of the Internet of Things (IoT),
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The Internet of things (IoT) is going to be a transformative key technology in the history of human beings. IoT technology brings many benefits to our way of living and the way of working which ultimately provides results in terms of increased efficiency, improved productivity, cost savings and many more.
Although there are uncounted benefits of IoT, few challenges can’t be ignored in its acceptance in our lives. Personal data, cyber security and increase in unemployment. Special focus and taking risk mitigation actions can ease the challenge of cyber security. Creating new job skills & new employment positions will help to overcome the challenge of unemployment.
Internet of Things is part of Industry 4.0, and it is inevitable in the coming future.