The “Internet of Things” or IoT as its better known, has become a hot topic everywhere. Be it the workplace or life outside work, IoT impacts your life in one way or another whether you know it or not. But what exactly is Internet of Things? What makes it so important now and for the future? There are tons of technical conversations about the same. To even remotely understand what they mean, one would need to understand the basics of IoT.
The very base of IoT is in the name itself, the internet. One of the necessities in today’s day and age. Broadband internet has spread like wildfire over the last decade making it affordable and common everywhere. All the devices that come today are being made with Wi-Fi capabilities in them, which should give you an idea of how popular the broadband is. Everything from your smartphones to the car you drive, can now be connected to the internet. This phenomena is exactly what is required for IoT, the ‘connection’ to internet.
The IoT is nothing more than this connection. Connection we see and use everyday. Everything from cellphones, washing machines, coffee makers, headphones, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of and can connect. According to a research, there will be an estimated 26 billion connected devices by 2020. All the immediate future concepts talked about today got through IoT, making it an integral part of the future. Take waking up in the morning for example; Your alarm wakes you up at 6 in the morning and simultaneously notifies the coffee maker to start brewing a cup. Say you are running low on office supplies, with IoT, your device would know about it and automatically order more for you. These are very minute examples of the potential of IoT.
The real potential and scale of IoT can be assessed when we talk about Smart Cities. A concept of a whole ideal city that runs on optimum efficiency and minimal waste. It looks affirmatively possible with IoT and its abilities. IoT grants you the possibilities of endless virtual connections and opportunities. It is no wonder why it is so sought after, as we are literally connected to the internet 24/7 in one way or another.
While everything mentioned above sounds alluring, there are concerns raised time and time again, specifically in regards to security . With several high profile attacks by hackers on prominent services like Apple and Yahoo, it makes one wonder how secure would it be when literally everything would be connected to the internet. How will the personal information of people be safe? Could the hacker just hack one device and gain access to the entire network? The problem becomes more serious when organizations are concerned. It’s one of the most prominent argument against IoT and will continue till a truly viable solution is found.
Another concern is the storage of the large amount of data that will be generated when so many devices are connected. There are constant conversations on Internet of Things around the world and how it will truly impact life around us. There are numerous opportunities as well as challenges in relation to IoT. For now the best we can do is to educate ourself on the subject of IoT and gain a better understanding of the phenomena that seems to be approaching us in a future not far away.