For some time now, the term Internet of Things, or simply IoT, has been very much in the news. Indeed, many manufacturers are launching IoT-oriented devices on the market. However, what is the Internet of Things, what does it consist of, and why is it so called? In this post we will explain everything. Let’s take into account that 60% of the world’s population is connected to the Internet. Consequently, it is rare to see people who do not have at least one smartphone or Internet at home. So much so, that a trend called the Internet of Things has been created precisely for this purpose. This is precisely what we are going to talk about today in this post. What we are looking for is to clarify any doubts that have arisen in this regard.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
When we talk about the Internet, what we are talking about is the interconnection network between the different computers in the world. Well, the so-called Internet of Things is nothing more than a network of digital interconnection between devices. In addition, people and the Internet itself allows the exchange of data between them. Consequently, it enables the capture of key information about the use and performance of devices and objects. As a result, it is possible to detect patterns, make recommendations, improve efficiency and create better experiences for users.
Thus, the Internet of Things is something of an intangible concept. It is the connection, for example, between your smartphone and the smart devices you have at home to control the lighting or the air conditioning. Another example is a Raspberry Pi that controls the programming of your TV. It also applies to a robot vacuum cleaner that you configure from your cell phone to clean your house automatically when you are not there.
The Internet of Things is therefore born from the moment when computers are no longer the only ones in the network of networks. In fact, it also involves the devices that access it to obtain the real-time information they need to provide their services efficiently and accurately.
How the Internet of Things works
IoT devices are connected with a process called M2M (machine to machine). In this process, any two devices or machines communicate with each other using any type of connectivity (which can be wired, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.). Therefore, they do their work without the need for human intervention. It is the same concept as the Peer to Peer connections of computers to play online games or share files.
Certainly, the different devices interconnected with each other move a large amount of data. To this, it is necessary to add the data captured by their various sensors. Consequently, an IoT device collects, processes and analyzes a large amount of information. This activity includes information about the habits and consumption preferences of each user. An example is to be able to manage their health or other day-to-day utilities. That is, everyday things such as if there is a fault in your car, the on-board computer can send a warning to take it to the workshop.
One example of an IoT device is Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker. This is connected to the network of networks to obtain information. In addition, it interacts with other devices to give us the ability to control them through simple voice commands. Little by little, the different devices in the day to day are becoming more and more IoT devices. Additionally, they are interconnected with each other with the idea of making the idea easier for us.
How does IoT influence us, and what is the origin of its name?
In our daily life, we can see a huge number of connected objects that are part of the Internet of Things. Indeed, according to statistics, by 2025 we will have around 41.6 billion connected devices. Here are some examples so that you can understand the impact of this:
- Autonomous vehicles: there is increasing talk of self-driving cars. That is, without the user having to do anything more than tell them where they want to go. What is clear is that vehicles are becoming increasingly intelligent. We see how they include touch screens and a huge number of sensors that make life easier for the user.
- Robot vacuum cleaners: they have numerous sensors that allow them to clean the floor of the house without bumping into anything. In addition to dodge obstacles independently.
- Smart home: smart devices for homes include many presence sensors. These allow them to turn on lights automatically, for example. They even include temperature or humidity sensors that activate other devices. Even assistants like Alexa are IoT devices.
How does it affect our daily lives?
So IoT is nothing more than connecting devices other than our computers to the Internet and taking advantage of their connectivity. And as time goes by, more and more of them will be on the network. What has the most potential for this evolution? Obviously automobiles. In effect, all cars, trucks, and buses will be connected to the traffic network in order to reduce the number of accidents. All this will be managed by the sum of information collected by each vehicle. In addition, the local processing of each vehicle and a high-powered server to which they will all be connected in each major city.
Another everyday example is smart ovens that allow you to see what is going on inside them while cooking. It is also possible to control them with a cell phone. Automatic lawn mowers that learn your garden and perform maintenance automatically. Intelligent lighting systems that manage the bulbs according to the intensity depending on the light of the moment.
There are so many things and applications that this term has that for that reason its name is Internet of Things. In reality, it is a kind of abstract entity that is difficult to define exactly, since it encompasses several elements at the same time. The internet of things, despite its name, does not store data and human knowledge data. Indeed, what it stores is human behavior and the way we interact on a daily basis. However, this may be uncomfortable for many. Suddenly there are a lot of eyes and ears listening to us to collect data about us. Millions of machines learning our routine to make our lives easier. On second thought, it sounds like a disturbing prospect to say the least.