IoT (internet of things) is one of most used buzzwords nowadays. Before we delve further into the topic, let us learn what IoT is.
What is IoT?
In a traditional computer network, you have computer devices connected to each other. This forms a network, which is in fact a network of devices connected to it. As you are aware, the internet is the network of networks. So you have each network connected to an another network using some piece of hardware.
Now imagine a scenario, where every digital device becomes a part of an internet network. So every digital equipment, of any size transmits and receives data like a computer. This means all those devices become part of a network connected to the internet. These devices are then called Internet of Things. Also called as internet of everything.
The word, Internet of things was first coined by Kevin Ashton. He defined this phrase at MIT during his presentation given to Procter & Gamble (P&G) in the year 1999. Aston’s aim was to focus the attention of senior managers at P&G more on RFID. That is why the presentation used the name as so, as it embraced the hot technology of 1999 known as the Internet.
In a nutshell, IoT comprises of internet friendly devices. They accumulate, send and receive data acquired from the immediate surroundings. This works with the help of communication hardware, processors and sensors. Such devices are usually known as ‘smart’ or ‘connected’ devices. They are capable of communicating with compatible devices using Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication. Such gadgets are set by human interactions. But they achieve majority of their tasks by themselves without any external intervention. These devices are present due to small mobile mechanisms, which exist these days. It is in use in modern businesses and homes, which need to be in an online mode (Internet).
How IoT Works ?
Now that we know, what IoT is, let us find some information on how it all works. An IoT network comprises of smart devices enabled with web services and make use of embedded communication hardware. These include sensors and processors, sending as well as acting on data acquired by them from their surroundings. These devices accumulate data and share them by connecting to the IoT gateway. This either sends the data to the cloud for analysis or analyses it as local. Such devices also communicate with and work on the data accumulated from allied devices. They perform without any external intervention by humans. This is even though individuals can communicate with them for setting them up.
The key benefit of using this technology is that it aids the usage of real-time information. This was not accessible earlier. Individuals can track their families and home to stay safe. Various business processes can improve their productivity and minimise waste and downtime. City installed sensors help to minimise road traffic. They can send warning signals when an infrastructure is about to crumble. Gadgets installed in the open help to track changes in the environment. They send warning signals about unforeseen disasters.
IoT Security and Privacy Issues
IoT connects numerous equipment to the Internet and uses numerous information points. Close-up IoT devices make them susceptible to hacker attacks. Due to the attack surfaces, IoT privacy and safety are main issues. A lapse can lead to single vulnerability for manipulating all the data. Interlinked devices need the users to enter personal data, which is important for the hackers. Even so, apart from hackers, privacy is also a key concern for the users of IoT. For example, companies dealing in IoT devices can utilise it for dealing in personal information.
Where does the Internet of Things go Next?
The price of communications and sensors are dropping . Which is why it becomes a cost-effective idea to add many devices with IoT in spite of its limited benefits to the end users. There has been a significant increase in the variety of connected devices people use in their living environments. This is filling their lives with smart devices accepting the privacy and security trade-offs with open arms. Every individual has a different viewpoint towards this change. Some are ready to embrace this age of smart devices whereas others crave for the days when a chair looked like a chair.
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