Internet of Things is a term that is used by most IT Professionals, Engineers, Tech Geeks, and a larger sector of the technological world. But to the common man, it is still a mystery undiscovered. Internet of things could seem to be magical to most people who are ignorant to this evolution created by mankind for the service of mankind.
Internet of Things is not a new concept. It evolved with human’s effort to make doing things easy. Internet of Things had its roots into the late 1980’s when some students of the Carnegie Mellon University modified a Coke vending Machine to connect to the Internet to know if the machine was empty or not whenever they intended to visit the machine.
From then, the Internet of Things has never looked back and has progressed since then. Today, Internet of Things could be defined as an ecosystem of physical objects connected that are easily accessible through the internet. The term “Things” refer to any actuator or sensor that is connected to the system to measure, read, or detect any change (minute/ major) in the existing environmental changes.
Most of the Internet of Things devices don’t need manual operation and could work automatically. These devices have an assigned IP and most of them could also collect and transfer data over a network without manual interference or assistance. The Internet of Things was earlier known as the embedded systems and this term was coined only after Kevin Ashton of Procter & Gamble used it for the marketing of the new RFID technology which he considered as an essential component for the Internet of Things back then.
Nowadays, Internet of Things has not remained constrained to using RFID’s but has expanded to using small sensors for measuring and sensing the environmental parameters and even the slightest changes that are observed by those sensors are read. These sensors allow us to have a knowledge of any kind of even the slightest change in the environment. Now, an environment is a real-life scenario and the sensors can be placed anywhere to measure any parameter as required.
Got confused??? Let us solve this mystery by a simple example.
Consider a heart patient who is at home under some specific medications. Without Internet of Things, the patient would need an all-time caretaker/nurse/doctor to attend him/her. Further, if any changes, good or bad, happen in his condition, then it would take a lot of time to schedule an ambulance, get an appointment in the hospital and this might lead to the patient landing up in a very critical state of health or even death.
But the scenario would change completely if Internet of Things could be used in this scenario. The patient could be provided with a heart monitoring system comprising of a variety of sensors mixed up together for the detection of every small changes occurring in the patient’s body. In case of some emergency, this system could automatically call an ambulance, schedule an appointment at the nearest hospital, send the location of the hospital to the ambulance so that it can reach there as fast as possible and then send out the patient’s medical history to the hospital. So, by the time the patient reaches the hospital, everything is ready up there so that he could be taken directly for treatment.
Internet of Things also plays a crucial role in data collection. This data could be anything- medical history of patients with similar diseases, some research that is being done on some technology, some entry/exit timings and a large variety of other data. This huge amount can either be stored physically or in cloud and can be further utilized to gain an insight of various traits of humans, and others. This data could be analysed, and it could prevent some major natural disaster or at least warn about it beforehand. All this is possible using the Internet of Things.
Scared after knowing all the facts??
Need not be. Internet of Things is not as scary or dangerous as it seems to be. Most of the IoT devices are used by us in a daily basis. Whether it includes a pedometer in our phones or a face ID lock, all this is IoT. A remote-controlled home Automation system is also IoT. Smart fridges, smart washing Machines are all the products of IoT. Even you can start with IoT. All you need is a micro controller board, some sensors, and a little knowledge of programming. That’s it.
So now start and take your first steps towards IoT.
If you want to learn more, do check the Architecture of IoT.