Internet of Things, or IoT, the internet of things is referring to the billions of physical devices around the world currently connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data.
Thanks to its cheap processor and wireless network, it can turn everything from pills to airplanes into a part of the IoT. This adds “digital intelligence” to devices, allowing them to communicate without people involved and uniting the digital and physical worlds.
Some examples of IoT devices
Pretty much any physical object can be converted into an IoT device if it can be connected to the internet and controlled in that way.
A light bulb can be turned on using the smartphone app as an IoT device, such as a motion sensor or an intelligent thermostat in your office or connected street light. An IoT device can be as simple as a child’s toy or as serious as a driverless truck, or as complex as a jet engine currently containing thousands of sensors that collect and transmit data back to make sure it works effectively. On a larger scale, smart city projects are being filled with sensors to help us understand and control the environment.
The term IoT is mainly used for devices that are often not expected to have an internet connection and can communicate with networks independent of human action. For this reason, PCs are often not considered IoT devices and are not smartphones – although they are crammed with sensors. However, a smartwatch or another fitness band or wearable device can be counted as an IoT device.
History of IoT
The idea of adding sensors and intelligence to basic objects was discussed during the 1980s and 1990s, but beyond some initial projects – including internet-connected vending machines – The reason is simply that technology is not ready.
The processor is cheap and energy-efficient enough to connect billions of devices. The use of RFID tags – low-power chips that can communicate wirelessly – has solved some of these problems, along with the increasing availability of broadband internet and mobile and wireless networks. Applying IPv6 will provide enough IP addresses for every device in the world that may be needed – also a necessary step for IoT to scale. Kevin Ashton coined the term ‘Internet of Things’ in 1999, although it took at least another decade for technology to catch up.
Adding RFID tags to expensive devices to help track their location was one of the first IoT applications. But since then, the cost of adding sensors and internet connectivity to subjects has continued to decline, and experts predict that this basic function a day could cost as little as 10 cents.