Your alarm goes off at 6:30 am. You wake up to see the tub already filled with warm water. After a pleasant bath, you have your bread toasted for you and after leaving your home, the door locks behind you automatically.
No! I am not indicating that you should splurge your cash on hiring a few maids. But let me introduce you to a new piece of technology. Not to mention, it also saves your hard-earned cash.
It’s called IoT or Internet of things.
The 21st century is largely called the information age by the populace. That is a hint towards the emphasis on data, preserving and when occasion calls, sharing it with different parties. If you are incharge of a company, information has become a vital aspect of knowing what people might want and that significantly helps you to know what your customer might want.
With such crucial attention focused on the exchange of information and communication of information between devices is what IoT is all about. In the above example, the prepared warm water in the tub, breakfast almost served and the door being locked on its own, were possible because with the praxis of information among all the devices being exchanged.
Along with internet connectivity, IoT also requires sensors to provide the stimulus for the next appliances to begin their protocol. The communication between them and the duration of the next stimulus can be controlled with just a remote.
Automation, wireless sensor networks, control systems, etc have been central to the ongoing development of IoT. Apart from that real-time analytics, commodity sensors, and machine learning have also increased the progress of IoT and has helped it evolve from its previous versions.
Origins and History
The term Internet of Things is relatively new. The idea existed in fragmented bits, but the name was given to it when it was still called ‘pervasive computing’. Some might have even called it ‘embedded internet’. In 1982, a modified coke vending machine became the first internet connected appliance to be able to report on the inventory it possessed.
In 1994, Raza Raji described a phenomenon that would seem ‘small packets of data (Moving) to a large set of nodes, so as to integrate and automate everything from home appliances to entire factories’. He called the concept as IEEE Spectrum which is a magazine for Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ was first coined by Kevin Ashton of Proctor and Gamble in 1999. He was working with the supply chain optimization and he wanted the senior management to pay close attention to a brilliant piece of technology, RFID. Back then the internet has just become the leading trend, so he called his presentation ‘Internet of Things’.
For the next decade, IoT became seriously dormant with no major company paying attention to it nor did it receive any substantial improvement.
In 2010, Google announced that its StreetView services didn’t only create 360-degree images but also has a ton of data from people’s WiFi networks. People said that Google’s indexing can now also include the physical world than just the internet realm.
The same year, the Chinese government announced that it will make IoT a pivotal priority in their five-year strategic plan.
In 2013, IDC published a report claiming that IoT would be an $8.9 billion market by 2020. In 2014, Customer Electronics Show held its show in Las Vegas with theme contributing to IoT.
IoT Trends and Predictions
- By 2020, the global smart home market is expected to grow by $60 billion. Nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions and as high as 50 billion devices will be connected to the web.
- Many IoT devices will be connected, mainly home appliances such as smart toasters to smart fridges.
- Google bought the thermostat producing company called NEST labs for $3.2 billion.
- SmartThings was part of an acquisition by Samsung for $200 million.
- A World Economic Forum survey showed that 88% of the people responses were overwhelmingly affirmative of the impact IoT is having on their underlying business models and long-term implications.
- The home of some of the most fascinating architecture, Barcelona, has also been fostering a local technology industry. The city has created an area called the 22@Barcelona where startups are developing new IoT technologies.
- 28% of the software developers say that they are currently working on IoT devices.
Major and Recent IoT Projects
Christened as Ginny, Locomotive 1001 is blessed with 250 sensors and 10.7 km of wiring which transmits close to 9 million data points every hour (150,000 data points every minute!) when they are functioning. They are imperative to GE’s remote maintenance and diagnostics systems. Due to these features, the locos can generate reports and help the user fix these issues before they turn into a big scale problem.
Fraser Borden, account leader on the Roy Hill project says “The locomotives go past a wireless access point at various points in the track—at the mine, at the port, and at the maintenance facility. Every time they go past that point, they transmit data that are received at our Remote Monitoring and Diagnostic Centre in Erie, Pennsylvania, and that enables us to get a status update of the locomotives. And if that system detects that there’s an issue, it sends a recommended-repair notification to the customer.”
Smart Parking allows drivers to detect parking spots. The device is easy to launch and is also affordable. These devices are situated on road surfaces. Most devices of similar fashion need to be dug and fixed in a hole. So, this model reduces the installation time significantly and similar to the replacement.
The new sensors are fully compatible with LPWAN radio technologies; LoRaWAN and Sigfox. This enables a long range and low power consumption. With this piece of technology, one base can give service to thousands of devices around a range of several km. Also, the cost for launching bases is also reduced due to their fewer numbers. Bidirectional communication and remote management allow the altering of several frameworks of nodes from the cloud.
#3. Philips Hue
Smart lighting is a trend that might become popular pretty soon. Philips Hues Smart Lighting provides you with the control of your lights from the bedroom to the backyard. The lights can be made to go on and off automatically without you even being home.
Not just bulbs anymore. With this application, you can even reduce the light on your TV screen while relaxing with a movie on Netflix, according to the movie’s palette. That’s what it feels like to enjoy a private movie theater in your own hall!
For both patients and caregivers, this is an excellent and revolutionary tool to maintain the flow of medications every day. It reduces the stress of caregivers as well as the automated process performs excellently in giving aid to patients and also the elderly.
The dosages (pills) can be stored within the device and the number of dosages will be for a specific period. The automation is done where the timing of the medicines is noted and is entered. This will cause the button to flash and vocal reminders will be given which can continue for up to 90 minutes, one vocal reminder every minute. Once the patient turns the button off and takes the dosage, the machine will work on the next dosage in a similar fashion. If the patient remains reluctant or unable to respond, the dosage moves to the reserved area within the appliance to prevent an accidental overdose.
Also, a call is made to the caregiver to remind him or her that the patient was unable to take the medicine.
To learn about it in detail, click here.
Nest allows users to control their temperature from their laptop and smartphones. It is also an excellent tool when saving power and energy.
It can also sense when the home is occupied and increases or decreases temperature accordingly. It shows the optimum temperature to save energy by displaying a green leaf. It can also get accustomed to the usual routine of the homeowners.
To learn how to use it, click here.
Future of IoT
In the future, your refrigerator will know more about your diet than your family physician and you do not need to make a playlist of songs to play on your private dinner with a date.
The implications of IoT in the future are as unbounded as the universe. With the rapid growth in technology, IoT can even be enabled to save your life at a critical point, such as an accident. The ambulance arriving without being called through a mobile device will be having all the critical information about you such as name, age, and address. Major companies such as IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Alphabet Inc, Apple, Hitachi, etc are going huge on IoT and it’s clear that other corporations will follow suit.
Yes, it can be very dubious for people to give their blessings to such technology as with such a massive quantity of data being connected globally, there is always a risk for leakage. But with all the positive features dwarfing the possible side-effects, IoT will likely grow in trend. In an interconnected world, where data is vital, IoT will be highly crucial.
If you’ve loved reading this article, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to know how you think IoT will help humanity in the future.