“Good morning, Alexa. What is today’s news?” is not a conversation that is happening between a boss and a secretary. Alexa or Amazon Echo is a smart speaker developed by Amazon (Alexa is the intelligent personal assistant which responds when prompted “Alexa.”). Welcome to the world of Internet of Things.
The same smart speaker can be programmed to connect with an IoT enabled alarm clock that will always reset itself based on factors such as weather, traffic and maybe early morning reminders for you as well. A step ahead, you can program these speakers to connect with the lighting system in the house to ensure lights and fans are switched off when you leave the house. The “Internet of things” (IoT) is a concept that has proven potential to impact how we live and how we work.
But what exactly is the “Internet of things“? While there are a lot of complexities around the “Internet of things” let us look at the basics for now.
What led to the dawn of the I o T era?
Broadband Internet has become freely and more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, with an increased number of devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them. Alongside technology, prices are plummeting as well, and smartphone penetration in the consumer market is sky-rocketing. All of these factors have created the “perfect storm” for IoT to advance further.
Hence Internet of Things is the concept of connecting any device (so long as it has an on/off switch) to the Internet with other connected devices. It is a giant network of connected things and people – all of which collect and share data about its utility and the environment around them. Now this includes an extraordinary number of objects such as smart microwaves, which can automatically cook your food for the right length of time, to self-driven cars, whose sophisticated sensors detect objects in their path, to wearable fitness devices that measure your heart rate and exercises you have done on a given day then use it to suggest exercise plans tailored to you.
How does it work?
Devices and objects with built-in sensors that are connected to an Internet of Things platform integrate data from these devices and apply analytics to share relevant information with applications built to address specific needs.These powerful IoT platforms can precisely extract necessary and useful information and safely ignore the rest.This information can be used to detect patterns, make recommendations, and detect possible problems before they occur.
For example, if a person owns a car manufacturing business, he or she might want to learn about additional components (leather seats or alloy wheels, for example) that are the most popular. Using Internet of Things technology, this person can easily-
- Use sensors to detect which areas of popular showrooms where customers throng.
- Drill down into the available sales data to identify fast selling such components.
- Align this sales data with supply, so that these popular items don’t go out of stock.
The information picked up by connected devices enables the user to make informed and smart decisions about components that need to be stocked on, based on real-time data. Now try and extrapolate this to various other business which can be benefitted.
The insights provided by advanced analytics empowers the user to work on making processes efficient. These smart objects and systems can help automate tasks that are repetitive, mundane, time-consuming.
The future of Internet of Things –
The possibilities offered by the concept of Internet of Things are indeed endless. Industry experts are focusing on using IoT smart systems to better businesses, while studies suggest that there will be exponential growth of Io T devices in the next decade or so. Despite the threat of security over connectivity with this system, it is stated that users will choose the connectivity over safety. Connectivity with society, friends and new technology with convenience will become more critical. People will even start keeping all their information data of themselves and their families in these devices, and they start trading the safety and security for the convenience.
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