The 4th industrial revolution has arrived, and along with it, the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) has become one of the most crucial topics of discussion, due to its fundamental consequence on everyday life, as we know it.
Essentially, the ‘Internet of Things’ is fairly simple as a concept: the connection of physical objects used within everyday life to the Internet, thereby linking them to a wider spectrum of abilities. It takes everyday physical objects and gives them new function and meaning through the power of the internet. This relatively new technology consists of two main parts, namely, the ‘Internet’ which regulates connectivity, and ‘Things’, which refers to the objects or devices themselves, which capitalize on collecting and interpreting stimuli coming from the internet.
Regarding the basics, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a computing concept which takes into account everyday objects that are connected to the internet, and that can connect themselves to other devices. Essentially, it is defined by allowing enhanced means of communication, although it can also include the functions of sensor and wireless technology.
Indeed, the Internet has given us a wide variety of benefits, and has opened up a new dimension of connectivity. For example, compare the functionality of your cellphone before the advent of the smartphone. In this example, where calling and texting were the main functions of the device, now, reading books, watching movies, or listening to music is entirely possible due to the addition of a simple internet connection.
Another functionality of IoT is the ability to minimize the physical labor done to complete a task. Through such technology, many things can be operated on through a device such as a smartphone. With this increase in connectivity, the amount of time normally spent doing the same task has decrease, thereby maximizing efficiency.
An example of this includes voice based support through Amazon’s Alexa. Such devices provide answers to questions without requiring the use of a phone or PC. Another example is in regards to watering plants. Indeed, automatic plant sprinklers have been available for a long time. In contrast to previous designs, current systems have allowed sprinklers to water plants according to a set time schedule. Such systems will also take into account the state of moisture of the soil.
A more practical example includes the use of Smart plugs with Wi-Fi connections, as opposed to a standard electrical outlet. These Smart Plugs connect appliances within a household with your smartphone, allowing the users to control light switches, ovens, fans and other things from their phones, as long as the objects are within range of the internet.