The Internet of things (IoT) connects “smart objects” to people across the network. The goal of the Internet of Things is to give an electronic identity to things, places and to the physical environment.
In this article, we will see what the Internet of Things is about and what are the main application domains and operating environments.
What does the Internet of Things (IoT) mean?
When it comes to the Internet of things or IoT, we refer to a network evolution that seems to be going to have a significant impact on our daily lives.
As indicated by the neologism, the Internet of things merely follows the need to attribute specific names to all real-world objects that are connected to the Internet.
As mentioned earlier, we are talking about something that could radically transform our present and our future. Today, there are many devices connected to the Internet and it seems that this trend is clearly increasing.
Basically, the virtual Internet network is turning into an ever-realistic tool able to connect various devices between them. Thanks to the network, objects have the possibility to communicate and thus interact with the surrounding world in such a way as to store information and provide the most accurate and detailed answers.
Obviously, this path is just about to lead to the creation of a kind of electronic identity.
What is the Internet of Things?
But what does the Internet of Things really mean and what are the practical implications of such an innovation?
Starting from the assumption that the number of objects connected to the network is increasing, it is clear that there is the need to give shape to a new concept from which to redesign the way to live new technologies.
In fact, there are many people who, even though own a device connected to the Internet, do not know its real potential. Basically, it is crucial to teach people how real objects can be more and more powerful if connected to the network.
To be able to better understand the importance of the Internet of things, we can give you a few examples.
The opportunities of the Internet of Things
Cameras rather than thermostats, watches, sensors and detectors today are all connected to the network and are therefore called to become part of an interconnected network where data and information are exchanged. It is easy to understand, that when it comes to the Internet of things, we refer to all of those technologies that make the connection of real-world objects to the network possible.
This does nothing but give the possibility to have a full control on the real world in the fastest time possible. Just think that, for example, if a streetlight in a downtown street does not work, the Internet of things would immediately send a notification to solve the problem.
This is not all: that same streetlight could also provide information about the purity of the air or even the presence of individuals.
According to research, it seems that within 3 years there will be 25 billion objects in the real world connected to the network. To tell the truth, there are also those who declare that these estimates are too modest. The number could, therefore, be exceeded given the considerable interest shown by many companies.
The Internet of Things as a potential threat for privacy and security
On the other hand, it is necessary to take into account the fact that such an interconnected world could create some problems with data management. In fact, data is bound to grow exponentially, and this does nothing but creates the need for apps capable of handling such a large amount of information.
Even in this case, business opportunities are not lacking. For sure, there will be many apps that will be developed in the coming years to be able to store and process all the data provided by the real-world objects put on the net.
Some examples of the apps of the Internet of things
To better understand what we mean by the Internet of things, it is appropriate to make some practical examples. One of the objects that can be connected to the net is the fridge.
Although it may seem very difficult to think that a normal refrigerator can provide network information, we are dealing with an inconceivable fact.
Being connected to the network, an ordinary refrigerator has the ability to provide data in real time, to turn on and off and to manage any kind of request made by the user. Traffic lights too are to consider as part of those objects belonging to the Internet of things. In Switzerland, the so-called intelligent traffic lights light up in green as soon as they detect the presence of a car, as far as that there is no one else on the other side.
Common objects do no more than coming into life and connect with each other. Therefore, what was told by George Orwell in 1984, is turning into reality. We are not talking any longer about something that might happen in the future. We are talking about a clear intention: to allow the network to make everyday life hyper-connected. Amongst the most consolidated apps of the Internet of things, there is surely the smart home, which is nothing more than a video surveillance system that is able to communicate any intrusions or anomalies in a timely manner.
Even small and big cities are becoming increasingly smart, and thanks to the help of the big data, they are able to provide innovative solutions to all citizens. With the Internet of things, it is possible not only to store data but also to develop strategies i.e. for rationalizing consumption and developing strategies to protect the security of citizens.
There are also many experiments. Health-related technologies are still at an early stage and require further laboratory tests.
The goal is to give shape to real-world objects that, thanks to the connection to the Internet, will be able to remotely monitor patients in order to greatly reduce the costs for hospital care management. The same reasoning also applies to the role of the Internet of things in the field of renewable energies. The road toward the Internet of things is now open, nothing remains but to leave to this innovation the necessary space to be able to transform into a veritable reality in our everyday life.
With no doubts, in the near future all commonly used objects will be interconnected and, above all, they will be able to transform every event into a piece of information to be stored and processed.