You might have heard about the term "Internet of Things" before and probably have no idea of what it represents. Well, that is understandable because it's a term that covers a broad range of things. Also known as IoT, it is about the extension of internet power beyond smartphones and computers. It covers almost all objects, environments as well as processes.
The Internet of Things can also be described as a system of interconnected computing devices, digital and mechanical devices offered with unique identifiers and the capability to transfer data across a network without interaction between human and computer or human and human.
However, it needs to be noted that the conceptualization of the Internet of Things has evolved. This is a result of the convergence of many technologies, machine learning, real-time analytics as well as commodity sensors among other things.
If you would like to know more about the Internet of Things, let’s check out the following important thing that can boost your knowledge of what it represents.
What is an example of an Internet of Things device?
IoT is often used for devices that ordinarily wouldn't be expected to have or use internet connection or function properly independent of human action. Things like a smartwatch or other wearable devices might be classified as an IoT device.
The major point here is that almost all physical objects can be turned into an IoT device as long as it can be linked to the internet to pass across the information. Thus, even something like a light bulb, if it can be turned on using a smartphone app, will qualify as an IoT device. It's the same thing with a motion sensor or a smart thermostat connected to the streetlight. An IoT device can be anything. Now, you understand what an IoT device means.
What is the importance of IoT?
The importance of IoT can be quite enormous. When you have something connected to the internet, it will be able to send and receive information. This makes things not only smart but also significantly easier to use or control.
Consider the smartphones of today as an example. You can now listen to almost all the songs in the world. Of course, this is not because all songs on the planet are stored on your phone but because all songs on the planets are stored somewhere else. It's just that your phone can send and receive information by requesting and streaming the songs on your phone.
A device or an item needs not to have super storage to be smart. The only thing that is rather required is a connection to a platform with super storage or supercomputer. In essence, what this does is to offer not only individuals but also businesses a better insight in-sight into almost all objects and environments that are ordinarily outside the reach of the internet. It also provides you a significant amount of control over them. When more individuals and businesses are connected to the world around them, they can perform more meaningful and higher-level tasks.
How big is the Internet of Things?
IoT isn't only big but also getting bigger by the day as there are more connected things around the world. In fact, the connected objects are now more than connected individuals. According to a tech analyst company IDC, by 2025, there will be nothing less than 41 billion connected IoT devices or items in the world. In addition, automatics and industrial equipment offer the biggest opportunity of connected items but the adoption of wearable devices and smart homes will also be very strong as time goes on.
The Internet of Things is just like many other things; hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that it has categorizations. These categories can be described as the key elements driving the concept.
They are highlighted as follows:
- Collecting and sending information
This refers to sensors that could be motion sensors, temperate sensors, air quality sensors, moisture sensors, light sensors, or any other kinds that you can think of. Now, along with a connection, the sensors let us gather information automatically from the environment which then lets us make better decisions. Just as our hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smelling lets us as humans to understand the world around us, sensors also let machines make sense of the world around them.
- Receiving and acting on information
Another component of IoT is receiving and acting on the information. Everyone is familiar with machines getting information and acting like it. For instance, the car receives a signal from the car keys which makes the door open, the printer receives a document and then prints, just to mention a few.
Therefore, whether the information or signal sent is simple or complex, we can see from numerous examples around us that machines have the ability to do things that we want them to do even from far away. The import of this is that the actual power of IoT is exhibited when things can do both of these things. That is, not only the collection and sending of information but also the ability to receive and act on information.
- Performing both functions
Lastly, another key category of the Internet of Things is doing both together. Let us consider farming as an example. Sensors can collect info about the soil moisture and inform the farmer the amount of water the crops need.
Interestingly, the farmer isn't even needed as the irrigation system can instead be turned on automatically as needed, depending on the amount of moisture in the soil. If the irrigation system gets info about the weather through its internet connection, it can as well know the time it will rain and decide not to water the crops for the day since they will be watered by rain.
In conclusion, as the Internet of Things is gaining more relevance and increasing in size, we are bound to experience significant improvement in our lives.