Internet of Things
Twenty years ago, none of us could have imagined how technology and the Internet would transform the way we work, communicate, entertain and socialize. It seems we time-traveled at warp speed to a new dimension where the entire world is at our fingertips. Technology has liberated us from cubicles, snail mail, shopping malls and time zones, ushering in a new era of unprecedented connectivity.
Internet of Things (IoT) technology works to smooth over the rough edges where obsolete work processes and counterproductive lifestyles meet modern, more productive and sustainable ways of working and living. IoT connects and integrates our software and devices, molding work processes and communication to fit the way we live in the 21st Century.
Internet of Things Tutorial
IoT connects everyday things embedded with electronics, software and sensors to the Internet, where they are able to collect and exchange data. IoT software enables you to send data from a web-connected device in your home or office to other connected devices anywhere in the world.
Examples of IoT networks in everyday life include smart assistants like Alexa or Siri connected to your television, audio system, HVAC system and more. IoT networks are shaping our everyday lives by changing the way we do everyday things.
With Internet of Things technology, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts by integrating the most useful features of our electronic devices and coordinating them to serve our individual needs.
A Brief History of IoT
Back in the early 1980s, long before most of us ever heard of the World Wide Web, computer science nerds at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University launched the world’s first IoT project by connecting a soda machine to the ARPANET, an early iteration of today’s Internet, to collect data on its contents. Over time, students added a video camera to the soda machine, and a screen to display information on the weather and other topics of interest. While the system was primitive, it was an early foray into what would later become a technologically advanced approach to modern living.
Fast forward to 2020, where over 8 billion things are connected to the Internet for use on a global scale. That number is expected to skyrocket by more than triple by 2022. The potential for IoT technology is limited only by our capacity to imagine new applications for it.
IoT Applications for the Real World
Our lives at home and at work are full of electronic devices that make our lives easier, more efficient and more secure. You can now integrate your home’s security system with lighting, your HVAC system, a nanny cam, music, television and more.
Your workplace processes can be enhanced with data collection, intranet, virtual assistants, cybersecurity, supply chain tracking, remote conferencing and infinitely more. The applications of IoT technology at home and in business will continue to expand in the coming decade, playing off of one another as they evolve.
Following are some examples of popular real-world IoT applications that have become indispensable to our everyday lives:
- Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber connect GPS with driver’s smart phones and user’s devices to enable summoning, paying, locating and navigating rides to just about anywhere.
- Smart home systems can be programmed and monitored from your computer or smart phone from anywhere in the world. Turn lights off and on, adjust your home’s temperature, turn off appliances and more.
- Fitness and health tracking systems can provide feedback and data on heart rate, milage, energy expenditure and more, all from a smart watch or tracking device worn on your wrist.
- Personal home assistants can change your TV channel, find movies by genre, director or actor, make purchases, play music and more, in response to your vocal commands.
For business, IoT saves time and money by streamlining systems, tracking inventory, coordinating operations and connecting personnel. Examples include:
- IoT office technology frees up employees’ time with the use of voice-enabled AI applications and smart speakers, to delegate monotonous tasks to virtual assistants so humans can work on more complex processes.
- Remote collaboration enables employees to work remotely on projects, increasing productivity. Co-collaborators no long need to convene in the same room or office. In fact, they can be located anywhere on the globe and still work together in real time.
- Intelligent lighting and thermostat control applications save businesses thousands of dollars each year in wasted energy costs.
- Data security technology protects multiple devices in your network from hackers, ensuring the privacy and security of important business data.
- Control, monitor and protect your supply chain in real time with smart tags and sensors to track and control inventory. Locate a specific item anywhere along the supply chain, from the warehouse to its final destination.
- Coordinate business processes with IoT to streamline your operations, from finding vacant meeting rooms to detecting system failures and power outages.
- Patient monitoring is an important way IoT can help doctors and hospitals save the lives of critically ill patients by making it possible to track and monitor vital signs, communicate with caregivers and oversee medications.
With IoT still in its infancy, we can expect to see innumerable applications for device integration in the years to come, to improve our daily lives and make our businesses run more smoothly.
The Shadowy Side of IoT
Despite its many benefits and its enormous potential for future applications, IoT comes with its dark side. Pretty much everything connected to the Internet runs certain security risks, ranging from data breaches to invasion of privacy.
Some shortcomings of IoT systems are:
- Lack of security standards across various manufacturers and devices makes frequent updates imperative
- Rapid obsolescence of technology or inbuilt security in one device can affect the entire system
- The use of smart technology invites big data, deep learning and AI to detect behavioral patterns and harvest personal data in ways that constitute a breach of personal privacy
- Security always lags slightly behind innovation, and bad actors quickly learn to exploit software flaws to victimize users
When considering IoT systems for your home or business, it is important to consult professionals who are familiar with a broad range of products and devices, and know how to mitigate their security and privacy risks.
Cutting Edge IoT Software from Tateeda
Whether you want to integrate your home systems or increase the efficiency of your business processes, Tateeda can customize an IoT solution to meet your requirements. We listen carefully to our clients’ needs, test and retest our software solutions, optimize and maintain security and privacy, and monitor our software for bugs and failures. To get the most out of IoT technology with the least amount of risk, contact Tateeda today.