Have you ever imagined something like: Communicating with a device, without coming in contact with it? Or Handling components through a wireless medium sitting at a long distance? Monitor your home appliances to save electricity? Tracking down various pollution hazards, electricity usage throughout the city?
So your imagination has come true! IoT, which stands for the Internet of Things, helps you do all such stuff, which are mentioned above and also many more besides them. “In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the internet as a platform to support and transmit its sensation.” Said by Neil Gross 1999 is really very true.
Everything that you use nowadays is connected to the internet. Your laptop computers, Desktop PCs, Smartphones and many more electronic devices. A much advancement is taking place and soon, each and every device that you make use of, will be connected over a network, may be the internet using the famous TCP/IP service or through a Local Area Network (LAN). These devices include, your fans, lights, air conditioners, microwave ovens, washing machines, industrial machineries, street lights and many more, which are now connected over a network.
Thus, such advancements in technology lead to the existence of the concept termed as the Internet of Things (IoT). Definition of this term IoT can be given as: “A computing concept in which every physical devices, such as the home appliances, buildings, machineries, etc. are connected over a network, which may be the internet or the intranet using various hardware components such as: sensors, actuators, embedded system (embedded software and hardware) and network connectivity that enable the objects to collect and exchange data without human-to-human and human-to-machine interaction.”
The Internet of Things extends internet connectivity beyond traditional devices like desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and tablets to a diverse range of devices and everyday things that utilize embedded technology to communicate and interact with the external environment, all via the Internet.
Why will it be helpful? What makes engineers develop such a technology? The answer to such question is pretty simple. The best advantage of using this technology, is that it saves a lot of energy and power in the long run. How will it save? Is this the next question that comes in everyone’s mind?
Okay, so just imagine that every time you use a fan, and when there is no one in the room, and the fan automatically detects that no one is present and it gets switched off automatically. The fan will sense the presence of a human, using sensors and then act accordingly using the actuators. (In simple terms a sensor is a hardware that will sense or detect the changes taking place in the outside or external environment. And actuators are the actions defined, which take place, whenever there is a change in the environment).
Internet of Things will help in gaining real time and dynamic data and information through the network. This real time data will help not only in improving the efficiency and throughput of any place, but will also help in saving the usage of extraneous energy and power consumption.
Application of IoT can be depicted by the following picture:
1. Information and Data extracted and retrieved is real time and dynamic.
2. Saves energy and power consumption.
3. Easy to handle and use complicated devices.
4. Devices can be manipulate with a single click.
5. Connected over a network, no human-to-human and human-to-machine interaction.
1. High cost to setup IoT.
2. As connected to the network, prone to hacking and attacks.
3. Difficult to maintain, if a sudden breakdown occurs.
IoT, is thus a very advancing and trending in the IT industry. Physical devices getting connected over the network, helping users to easily manage and manipulate the devices based on their requirements with the help of a single click, using some device such as a laptop or a smartphone. A recent example of the IoT is the energy grid systems used, which gives the power usage of a user in real time, over a network.
Article written and submitted by: Akshay Rakesh Toshniwal