IoT is the network of physical objects embedded with technology that connects them to the internet and to other devices and systems. These objects collect and share data about the way they’re being used and about their environment. Nearly any physical object can be transformed into an IoT device, as long as it can be connected to the internet. IoT devices include everything from fitness trackers to smart home appliances to connected industrial equipment.
IoT is making the fabric of the world around us more smarter and more responsive, merging the digital and physical universes. In this blog, we will take you through how IoT works, as well as pros and cons of IoT.
How does IoT work?
IoT refers to any system of physical devices that receive and transfer data over wireless networks with limited human intervention. This is made possible by integrating compute devices in all kinds of objects.
Think of the smart home example. In order to predict the optimal time to control the thermostat before arriving home, your IoT system might connect to the Google Maps API for data about real-time traffic patterns in your area. It could also use the long-term data your connected car collects to inform commuting habits. Beyond that, IoT data collected from every smart thermostat customer can be analyzed by utility companies as part of large-scale optimization efforts.
How Industries Are Benefiting from IoT
Manufacturing companies use connected production line monitoring systems for proactive maintenance. IoT sensors can detect potential issues and output anomalies, and then send an alert. As a result, manufacturers are improving uptime and reducing operating costs.
The healthcare industry uses IoT monitoring to track everything from wheelchairs to equipment. IoT devices allow healthcare providers to quickly find the assets they need when they need them. IoT is also used for remote healthcare and monitoring and better management of infrastructure.
Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods
Retail and CPG companies can more efficiently manage inventory and improve their supply chains, reducing costs. IoT sensors can monitor inventory and send an alert when a SKU is low, for example.
Financial services companies are setting themselves apart by offering personalized financial advice to their customers. These companies are also functioning as a concierge that connects customers to other relevant services using IoT. Additionally, IoT is used for fine-tuning risk management and executing automatic payments.
Media and entertainment
Using data collected from IoT sensors, media companies target customers with personalized ads geared toward their immediate needs. And those in the entertainment industry can track their customers and products, and monitor their premises.
The future of IOT?
Greater focus on security
Given the scale and complexity of the Internet of Things, IoT devices can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches. The industry takes this seriously and is working to provide better security for consumers. In the future, we will see greater use of embedded and end-to-end security solutions, as well as AI, blockchain, and edge computing solutions for IoT devices.
AI and machine learning will become more widespread
Some of the biggest spending in IoT infrastructure in the years ahead will be in artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI-driven IoT creates intelligent machines that enable smart behavior and decision-making with little or no human interference.
5G networks will continue to drive growth
5G – or fifth-generation cellular wireless – means greater speed. Faster networks mean the data gathered by your IoT devices will be analyzed and managed on a greater scale. This is likely to accelerate the growth of the Internet of Things. However, as more IoT devices connect directly to the 5G network rather than a Wi-Fi router, new privacy and security concerns will emerge.