What is the Internet of Things? There is nothing new about this. You have accompanied him for many years. As you can imagine, the most common form of the Internet is human-to-human interaction. This may be referred to as the Human-to-Human (H2H) Internet. If you look at the many H2H/Internet interactions, you will find a dispersed Internet made up of things – or rather machines. By dispersed, I mean several decentralized establishments – each with its own network or networks. That’s what we’re going to cover here – internet of things!
About 10 years ago, it was mostly human-to-human interactions – emails, chat rooms and message boards. The main “things for the internet” were a computer and a modem. They were humans capturing (grabbing) their “thoughts” for others to read and understand. Or we can say in computer terminology: humans are used to inputting information or just raw data that other brains have to process. Basically the Internet was part of computers until 2Ks.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)
Unlike the 2000s, these are “Things” that interact with each other and with humans. A bird’s eye view gives you the SkyNet they introduced in the Terminator movie. They are just machines, things, running on their own without frequent human intervention. That’s when you combine all the different scattered networks to see them as one big network spanning the globe! Also known as Machine-to-machine communication (M2M)it is a system that facilitates communication more machine to machine and sometimes from machine to human.
When we talk about the Internet of Things, we are talking about input by machines, information processing by machines and data consumption – also – by machines. The results can be communicated to humans – only when necessary, otherwise they are machines that take over different actions based on the result of the analysis (processing) – such as the maintenance of the cooling in a nuclear reactor . Or it could be as simple as sounding an alarm for humans or other machines to act.
For example, a chip attached to an object, if moved, triggers an alarm which causes other machines to trigger an action which in turn activates other machines or alerts a human. This could be the case of a GPS chip on a stationary object which, if moved, sends signals to a central server which calculates the location of the stationary object and therefore triggers the complex to shut down, self-closing electromechanical doors. without humans having to rush out and close them. You must have heard of such processes – the GPS anti-theft mechanism for static objects!
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Take a look at some of the IoT devices and gadgets you can buy now.
What are “things” in the Internet of Things?
In the Internet of Things, anything that has a chip that can access input – text/graphics/audio and send it to another predetermined machine/server with or without processing to its own end is one thing. To qualify as an active object in the Internet of Things or machine-to-machine (M2M) interaction, the entity/object must be able to:
- Capture data – It can be an image, sound, video, physical/chemical data such as latitude/longitude/elevation, chemical data such as humidity, or a mixture of some or all types
- Transmit data – in most cases, the transmission is directed to a central server or a sub-central server; can be wired or wireless over the internet
- Should be in real time – a little delay is acceptable but shouldn’t be much slower to significantly alter the results)
- Must be weak or self-powered – it doesn’t matter if the sensor/object uses solar energy or external heat to maintain a sufficient charge to continue operating
- Must have an IP address – Everything on the Internet has an IP address.
These “things” cannot be exempted. If they don’t have an IP address, they are not on the Internet and therefore not part of the Internet. Take a farm for example. The owner attaches sensors to each of his cattle and other important items on his farm. He then uses a computer or phone to determine the location and welfare of “things” (which, in this case, are his livestock). This is the smallest example I could find for the Internet of Things. This should give you an idea of what the Internet of Things would look like when used, on a larger scale, as an intercontinental service!
Is the Internet of Things good or bad?
The Internet of Things is not a special entity. He is already all around us. He has been around us. The buzz these days is about Big Data, and the Internet of Things has been the main resource for it. This is why people are now interested in knowing more about the Internet of Things. Personally, I couldn’t see any negative examples for the Internet of Things except for the surveillance issue. Everyone now owns a phone, and it can be used to track you. Even if you turn off GPS, your mobile phone’s SIM card (the thing in the Internet of Things) continues to send signals that can be used to track your movements.
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I also see a future that will disable the option to disable GPS – given how our governments are moving forward with NSA PRISM etc. Other than that, things can be designed to harm. For example, a small bomb is attached to your vehicle and goes off when you reach a specific speed or use the brakes. Since they are tiny, you cannot notice it. This is going to sound weird. Although not possible at this point, there could be an awareness of the machines so that they interconnect all the networks to give you a huge Skynet from Terminator (the movie). Again, this is fiction, and we have plenty of books and movies about it. From now on, one thing on your wristwatch can keep tabs on your pulse. If it drops or rises, it may give you instructions, depending on your age.
Plus, it can trigger alarm signals if you don’t respond and send your location details to pre-populated phone numbers so you can get help. A server at a vehicle company knows where all of its vehicles are and can direct the nearest vacant vehicle to a location to pick up someone in need of transportation by making an automated phone call to the vehicle. It can also analyze vehicle movements and speed to note erratic drivers. Many examples exist as options. More than anything, statisticians are happy because they can get their hands on a lot more data with this. They get better data and therefore more accurate forecasts!
The Internet of Things: my conclusion
The Internet of Things can be used for virtually anything as it requires cheap hardware and can be easily implemented anywhere. Unlike the 90s and 2000s when the Internet was more of a luxury and an art of computer systems, computers are now just “things” on the Internet! Ten years ago you were just an internet consumer, now you are also playing the role of a resource! Your data: your personal profile, card details, favorite topics and many other information are they not available or stored somewhere on the numerous servers of the Internet?
You may also want to read this article on the Dangers of the Internet of Things.
Image source and further reading: IBM BIG DATA HUB.