While you are reading this blog, we are already a part of the next Industrial Revolution because of the way it’s going to change the way we live, play, work and do our businesses etc.
“Internet of Things” is “the next big thing”.
* What is IoT?*
It’s network of physical objects that are connected to the Internet allowing them to send, receive and exchange data.
In the time when human population is increasing manifold, the number of Internet-connected devices has already outnumbered the human population on the earth, that too back in 2008. Cool!
- Fitbit wristband which monitors your all-day activity – tracks steps, distances, calories burned, sleeping cycle, daily goals; wirelessly sync up with your smartphones and computers.
- A. R. Rahman’s unbelievable live concert without musical instruments at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. He wore devices containing a tiny hardware unit (Intel Curie), which could sense hand/body gestures, a transit that into mini data, send it as input to software and that software would, in turn, generate music. Intel inside, music outside. Literally!
- Alexa, an Amazon home product. In a format it can recognize, order take-out food from Domino’s or Pizza Hut, play music, set alarm, ask for weather and traffic updates etc.
It can control several smart devices, using itself as a home automation system.
It’s clear that IoT platform integrates data from many devices, apply analytics to generate valuable data, pass it to the software which results in desired output.
Already in 1982, this concept had started, when at Carnegie Mellon University a Coke Machine became the first Internet-connected appliance. It could report its inventory and tell whether newly loaded drinks were cold.
But it was later in 1999 when this term was coined by Kevin Ashton of Proctor & Gamble.
* Phil of the Future *
- Smart Homes – Switch on the lights and ACs before reaching home. Switch them off after leaving. Change the wall colors and ambiance using smart light systems (watch Philips Hue ad).
Smart home companies like Nest, Ecobee, Ring, and August etc. are already planning to deliver a never seen before experience for their customers.
- Internet Refrigerator – Imagine your fridge to order groceries for you, based on their quantity inside. Anything specific or different you wish, write that on its note section, and it will be done.
Hollywood movie “The 6th Day” had a similar scene.
As you can see, this is going way beyond laptops and Smartphone; towards connecting all sort of electronic machines & providing them an ability to think & care for us.
Devices like connected cars, smart cities, connected healthcare, agriculture, and farming are all part of IoT now.
Interestingly a Dutch company makes use of Internet-connected sensors on cattle to tell farmers when the animals are sick or pregnant. Approximately 200 MB of data, that’s what each cow sends per year. Wow!
* Being Humanitarian *
In South Africa’s mining sectors, hundreds of meters deep down, miners are at risk of losing their lives due to various work hazards. Often, the controlling teams don’t even get to know the status of these teams in time.
IoT enables a sensory mechanism that does continuous monitoring and detection of methane levels in mines to improve workplace safety. Rescue operations are invoked at the very first clue of any lack of movement in the mine.
* I know what you did last summer *
With unrestricted boundaries, privacy is at risk than ever before. More the personal information will be accessed by the devices/sensors more would be the chances of its theft or misuse, and more the manufacturers and advertisers will be watching over us like “Big Brother”.
In the end, progress is up to us – let it serve us or let it control us.