What is the Internet of Things (IoT) ? – Its Impact on the Digital Era

1) What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The term “Internet of Things” was coined in 1999 and refers, in general, to a network of connected devices capable of exchanging data. The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to impact how humans live. It has been a growing topic of conversation with a sparse definition and multiple applications. The general idea behind IoT is that as technology costs are going down and more devices are being equipped with near field and long distance communication capabilities, a large network of interlinked devices can be formed using the Cloud. Communication has seen large advancements over the lifetime of the modern digital era and as a result, experts predict more than half of the new businesses will run on the IoT by 2020. Scientific and engineering discoveries have granted the ability of wired and wireless communication between devices and electronics.  Such a network of “things” gives the opportunity for devices and software to communicate not only within close silos but across different networking types and creates a much more connected world. Data transfer among connected appliances and among larger networks are quicker. The new rule for the future is going to be, “Anything that can be connected, will be connected.”

 

“Product Selling is an organizations entry into the IoT world. There is no neat one size-fits-all monetization model for IoT, not least because the needs of different comapnies vary hugely” — Cap Gemini SE 2017

 

2) Impacts of IoT to Modern Industries:

This image below portrays a very crucial concept – The birth of a new generation of smart and connected devices

With the help of IoT, freeing up data that was previously inaccessible will enable the connection of everyone and everything in a seamless network and the creation of knowledge and value around this uninterrupted flow of data. This will have increasingly dramatic effects on the lives of everyone, as we will be freed of doing routine and mundane tasks. This will enable to focus on activities that are more fulfilling and involve more creativity. Through the next decades Big data, a collection of large data sets, will be moving from an analog model to a digital, where the questions shifts from “what” to “how” and “why”. Such data analytics will allow the transformation of big data into knowledge, allowing more understanding and control and then into intelligence. 

 

IoT will have a large impact on the way businesses sell and manufacture products. Analog manufacturers and companies have begun realizing the importance of digitization for their models and ecosystems. This adaptation will be a key factor of how companies and organizations leading the future manage and handle their data. Opening up opportunities to share and control customer data is expected to be crucial in the upcoming years for manufacturers hoping to create strong revenue streams. The base infrastructure of IoT will be dependent on connecting devices to the cloud and allowing multiple organizations to test and enhance their own customer fit software. IoT will have a direct impact on the modern workforce, developers of digital tech and business managers. Development in communication technology has been a very important aspect of how quickly the IoT structure grows.

 

 

 

 

 

In general the Internet of Things has 6 Sectors in its structure, and they are as follows:

  • IoT Devices – The core analog devices that allow for the localization and processing of data
  • IoT Platforms – Services provided by companies for use by customers
  • IoT Gateways – Enable the collection and transfer of data from different protocols and standards
  • IoT Applications – Operating systems for users to build custom IoT networks
  • IoT Security Protocols – Digital encryption walls protecting data communication
  • IoT Networks -Layer of hardware standards publishing and handling data with different technologies

 

A model describing the various sectors impacted by IoT developments by Digital Transformation Specialists

 

2) Applications and Technologies fueling the growth of IoT:

Connected devices and the associated IoT components will allow for large data generation and can have a huge impact on certain consumer focused industries, such as Power Grids, Household appliances and Blockchain technology. The end to end connectivity brought about by IoT technologies allows for efficient real time transmission on important process information towards the cloud to be used by end users and also used to create analytics. Listed below are some key wireless technologies opening paths towards the construction of IoT.

  • Proximity Wireless Tech:
  1. NFC (Near Field Communication)
    1. NFC allows two-way indications between electronic devices, especially smart phones, to transfer digital contact information with the applications such as contactless payment transactions, opening doors with secured NFC door locks, and connection to computers. It has a range of less than 4 cm.
  1. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
    1. RFID allows memorization and recovery of the digital information through tags and tag readers. The main application of RFID technologies is for identification and tracking purposes (objects, animals, persons). There are different sets of standards specific per industry and set by separate organizations.
  2. Bluetooth
    1. Bluetooth enables simple and low cost-efficient connections between mobile phones, smart things, and wearable products into small personal network, also called piconet. In the IoT space, Bluetooth technologies will typically be used to easily connect two devices that can deal with minimal configuration, and low speed such as thermostats, telephones, tablets, headsets, watches, and light switches. Bluetooth has a range between 1 cm up to 100 meters.

 

Sources:

-https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/05/13/simple-explanation-internet-things-that-anyone-can-understand/#1deb100b1d09

-https://www.wired.co.uk/article/internet-of-things-what-is-explained-iothttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things

-“Digitize or Die”; Internet of Things by Nicolas Windpassinger

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