The current technology landscape is replete with some very exciting concepts, a stack of over-hyped terms and a few genuine innovations. Call it Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Computing, Data Analytics, Data Science, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cloud Technologies, IOT and the list goes on. Amongst all these concepts, the Internetworking of Things (IOT) is one exciting area of work that sans any boundaries and has the potential of touching every existing life on this planet.
IOT combines multidisciplinary technology and can provide essential feed to rest of the buzzwords mentioned above. Amongst the five sense organs of the human sensory nervous system, we have attained great success in replicating the senses of Sight, Hearing and Touch. And these form the backbone of the successes achieved interconnecting devices. There is a lot of work happening on the remaining two senses of Smell and Taste. Once done with, the technology would have measured the most fascinating and the most intriguing creations of nature.
The rapid growth in the field of sensors and actuators has immensely helped the growth of IOT as well. We have already seen many commercial products in the market that make use of interconnected devices. From the basic equipments with automated thermostats to intelligent lighting systems. From distant monitored air conditioners and electric geysers to remote controlled surveillance and security systems. Smart Homes are the latest offerings in the market place now. From heavy commercial machines to personal wearables. All of these modern gadgets are now commercially available and have contributed to the successful industrialization of IOT.
The manufacturing sector has seen immense growth in the area of IOT. The use of robotics and automation of manufacturing processes depend heavily on transfer of information across components monitoring smaller sub-processes. The quality controls are governed by parallel but connected monitoring component devices. Besides, a smooth and efficient manufacturing cycle depends heavily on timely availability of raw materials and optimal stocking of inventories. The entire inventory management system depends heavily on interconnected devices keeping a close measure of these inventories.
One of the best examples of usage of IOT in the service of humanity that I have seen is perhaps a case study on tracking the movement of diamond miners in South Africa. Many of these mines, hundreds of meter deep below the surface, run the risk of miners losing their lives due to various work hazards. Often, the controlling teams do not even get to know the status of these teams working deep below the ground. The IOT developments have ensured a sensory communication mechanism that continuously tracks the movement of miners and at the very first clue of any lack of movement in the mine, the standard operating procedure for rescue operations are invoked without any loss of time. Such a system with interconnected devices can go a long way in improving the working conditions and lowering the risks of mine workers.
Usage of IOT has also gone up in the financial and banking industry. Various financial transactions going through connected cars are becoming common now. Be it an automatic collection of toll-fee or the payment at fuel stations, the identity of the customer is being established through connected devices. With wearable devices, the financial industry gets to collect humongous amount of data to establish the various patterns of their clientele. The analytics across these data points help in detecting and blocking any potential fraudulent transactions as well as giving a dope on offering the right kind of products for different client segments.
With the giant strides taken by the industry on IOT, I am sure in no time we will have devices measuring human emotions. And then, when you read through this blog, you may not have to consciously push your fingers to the ‘Like’ button. The wearable on your wrist will automatically gauge your emotions, connect to your device on Bluetooth and that in turn will do the honours seamlessly.