7 Things You Should Know About IoT
In today’s world, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the new buzzword that crops up everywhere in conversations around technology and next-gen devices. If you want to jump on the bandwagon and enjoy its benefits, it is important to understand where the term comes from, what it means, and how businesses can make use of it.
Below are seven things about IoT that you should know before you delve into the different ways you can utilize it for your own business, company, or brand.
- What is IoT?
The Internet of Things or IoT refers to the network of physical objects around the world that are currently connected to the Internet, essentially “things” that are embedded with software, sensors and other technologies for the purpose of collecting, sharing and exchanging data with other systems and devices over the internet.
- What can IoT do?
IoT can make anything “smart” with the power of AI algorithms, data collection and networks, its goal being to extend internet connectivity right from standard devices such as computers and tablets to even ‘dumb’ devices like a toaster. It can be used to vastly improve different aspects of our lives and make it easier.
- Why is IoT important?
Aside from being one of the most important technologies of the 21st century, IoT empowers us to connect everyday objects like cars, kitchen appliances, thermostats, and baby monitors to the internet via embedded sensors and devices, offering a transparent channel of seamless communication between people, processes and things. For businesses, IoT can play a huge role in saving time, money and effort by means of low-cost computing, big data, analytics, the cloud and mobile technologies which can do the job of sharing and collecting data with minimal human intervention.
- How does IoT work?
There are four fundamental components of an IoT system:
- Devices/Sensors – These are components that help collect live data from the surrounding environment. It could be a simple temperature monitoring sensor or in the form of a video feed. A device can even have multiple sensors embedded into it which perform functions apart from sensing , such as a mobile phone with its in-built GPS and camera.
- Connectivity – All the data collected is sent to a cloud which is an infrastructure for connectivity. The sensors are connected to the cloud by various means of communication like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, WAN, etc.
- Data Processing – Once the data is collected in the cloud, the software processes the data. This process can be checking the temperature or pressure readings or devices or more complex such as identifying objects using computer vision.
- User Interface – This sends the information to the end-user in a specific way ranging from triggering alarms on mobile phones to sending notifications through emails or text messages. The user can also have an active interface checking the IoT system like a camera installed and a web server required to access its video feed.
It isn’t always a one-way communication; the user can also perform an action in response to the desired effect. For example, if a user detects any change in the temperature of a room, with the help of IoT technology, he or she can adjust the temperature with their mobile phone.
- What are the applications of IoT?
IoT is used across various industries; some of its most common applications are:
- Smart thermostats – Helps you control temperature and save resources by tracking usage patterns
- Connected cars – Helps car companies handle parking, billing, insurance, etc. automatically.
- Parking sensors – Helps users look for real-time parking spaces on their mobile phones
- Activity trackers – Helps users capture heart rate patterns, activity levels, skin temperature, and calorie expenditure on their wrists.
- Smart home – Enables connectivity inside homes including smoke detectors, alarms, lights bulbs, door locks etc.
- Smart Health – Helps in real-time health monitoring and patient care.
- Smart supply chain – Helps in real-time tracking of goods during transport and exchange of inventory information.
- Smart city – Use cases include handling waste management, traffic management, water distribution etc.
- Smart factories – Sensor technology can create a highly digitized and connected environment inside a manufacturing factory where equipment and machinery can improve automation and self-optimization of processes. The benefits of IoT here extend beyond just the physical production of goods to functions like supply chain logistics, planning, and product development.
- How can IoT be used in agriculture and farming?
In IoT-based smart farming, a system is built for automating the irrigating system and monitoring the crop yield with sensors (light, temperature, humidity, soil moisture etc.) so that farmers can monitor the conditions of their field from anywhere. This is a highly efficient method of farming when compared to the conventional approach through which farmers can collect meaningful data and increase competitiveness and sustainability in their productions. New agricultural applications in precision farming and smart farming through IoT will enable the industry to lower costs, increase operational efficiency, improve yield quality and reduce waste. These range from smart greenhouses to livestock monitoring to agricultural drones. Moreover, these applications not only target large-scale farming operations but can also act as switches to uplift growing trends in farming such as organic farming, family farming, hydroponics etc.
- What are the advantages of IoT?
- Technical optimization
- Reduced Waste
- Improved Data Collection
- Improved Customer Engagement
The Internet of Things has already started transforming our lives, the way we work, the cities and homes we live in, travel, and interaction with people worldwide. The possibilities are endless, especially for the process industry, security monitoring and waste management.
Read our blog on the Biggest IoT trends here
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