The Internet of Things

What is the big deal behind the Internet of Things (IoT)? How is it revolutionising the way we live? What effect will have on our economy in the days to come? What to look for and how to be a part of the IoT revolution? Talking of businesses, McKinsey and Company estimates that the IoT has a total potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. At the top end, that level of value—including the consumer surplus—would be equivalent to about 11 per cent of the world economy, reveals Uday, in the weekly column, Thursday TechGuru, exclusively for Different Truths.

The internet is a relatively well-understood phenomenon by now. I mean even my uncle, who was born in the pre-independence era, understands and leverages it. The internet of things (IoT) is a more recent yet interesting phenomenon which needs some discussion. Let us try and decipher this revolution and what it will soon mean for us.

First things first – the IoT, is the network of physical devices, vehicles, and all the everyday things which allows it to communicate with each other by means of sending and receiving data.

What this means is a smarter and intelligent way of dealing with our day to day activities. Let us consider this with some examples so that it is clearer:

  1. You are on a vacation and it is a bright sunny day. The humidity sensors in the soil where you have planted flowering plants trigger the dry set point, which signals the sprinkler system to start and it waters the pots. As soon as the upper limit is reached, the sprinkler system stops, optimising the water usage.
  2. You have a road trip coming up on the weekend. This is put up on your calendar, which your car has access to. A self-diagnosis tells it that the rear tyres need replacement so it texts you about the same – or if authorised, goes ahead and takes an appointment at the service center for the replacement of the tyres before the road-trip.
  3. You consume a fair amount of eggs every week. Your smart fridge makes it a point to replenish the stock of eggs as soon as it goes below the 50% mark. It automatically places an order at the grocers and they get delivered without fail every time so that you have a guaranteed breakfast every day!
  4. You have a condition of the heart that needs to be monitored. A sensor in your heart continuously updates your doctor of the condition, which he can remotely monitor. If there is any alert or notification that needs to be taken care of, your doctor will be notified and he can prevent an untoward incident by taking necessary steps well in advance.

The applications are exponential, you will find these in various fields like healthcare, hospitality, infrastructure, transportation, education, etc.

Security in IoT becomes much more critical! Imagine if an evil programmer hacks into your refrigerator and gets access to your home power network? Or if someone hacks into your car and manipulates your calendar? More seriously terrorist organisations, can hack into flight control systems and wreak havoc without even boarding the airplane!

Since IoT is recent, there are a lot of devices connected to the net with vulnerabilities and can you imagine with their default passwords not even reset! There is a whole new business model in IoT security!

Talking of businesses, McKinsey and Company estimates that the IoT has a total potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. At the top end, that level of value—including the consumer surplus—would be equivalent to about 11 per cent of the world economy.

With so much interest and buzz around it, the demand for executives experienced in IoT development will sky rocket sooner than later! It will surely pay to do your research, listen to Ted Talks, look at what open source development has happened in this area and be ready to board when the IoT bus comes to your stop!

©Uday Biradar

Pix sourced by author from the Net.

Uday Biradar

Uday Biradar

Uday Biradar is a software professional based out of Mumbai. He works in the Oil & Gas industry creating software products that monitor critical machinery and keep them running. Outside of work, Uday likes to travel and trek the sahyadri ranges near Mumbai. He likes to share wada-pav, chai and laughter with friends.
Uday Biradar

Latest posts by Uday Biradar (see all)