The Internet of things might seem like a buzzword to some, but it actually represents a fascinating new prospect of technology that may end up changing human societies forever. The Internet of things allows autonomous activity to be synchronized across devices, which means that the things around us can collaborate to help us. The information technology has had an enormous impact on the way we live and it is easy to see how quickly things have changed just in our lifetimes.
Remember when cell phones used to be brick sized devices that could only make calls? At the time they seemed futuristic, but in just 20 years the future has brought us technology we couldn’t have ever imagined. We now have smartphones in our pockets that are more powerful than the personal computers we used a decade ago. The Internet too is a crucial platform that has completely changed the way human societies work, live and interact.
Every new Internet development that seems cutting edge is in reality just the start of more things to come. We have only been investing on Internet technologies properly for a few decades now but the dividends have far been beyond what we could have imagined.The Internet of things is the latest avenue of information technology that will completely revolutionise the way we work and live. To understand the Internet of things, we must first look at differentiating it from the Internet of humans.
The things we are used to associating with the Internet; such as email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other websites can all be considered the Internet of humans.Our Internet is based on devices talking to devices. When we click on a video it is transmitted from the server to our computers.The distinguishing factor is that the information is supposed to be conveyed to a human. Whatever the method of communication may be, the final recipient of the information is meant to be a human.
The same is not true about the Internet of things. On the Internet of things the final recipient and decoder of the information is a device, not a human being.While the information may still be used to provide a service to a human being, a machine that decodes it.The Internet of Things basically refers to the concept of our devices collaborating together to make our lives easier.
The Internet of Things is meant to provide autonomous technologies. For example, we already have self- driving cars being tested on our roads. Tesla already has limited self-driving capabilities in the latest update for its vehicles. Now imagine that the car uses your phone’s Internet to inquire about traffic conditions and chooses the quickest route home. This is the concept of the Internet of things- Devices interacting. Imagine your phone being able to tell your air conditioner that you are on the way home, based on GPS location. The air conditioning could the turn on so you arrive home to a pleasant, cold room.
The Internet of Things combines many different types of technologies to exploit their full potential. Our advancements in hardware, our advancements in information technology, and our advancements in artificial intelligence, are all a part of the Internet of Things. It opens up new possibilities for devices that will change the way we live. Transportation will be changed completely; and it is entirely likely that automatic cars will outnumber manual cars in a few decades.
The Internet of things will allow vehicles on the road to interact with each other and drive in the best and most efficient way possible. Accidents will be a thing of the past as the Internet of things allows vehicles to communicate and ensure there are no collisions.
Uber, which has become an Internet darling, also aims to have a fully automated fleet within two decades. This means there will be no more Uber drivers, just Uber vehicles that will drive to the passenger and then to the destination automatically.
We will also be able to provide faster and better medical care than ever before. Imagine an ambulance being automatically driven on a programmed route by a powerful computer? Devices are also being developed that can monitor a patient’s health and hail an ambulance if any warning signs are given.
An important function of the Internet of things is efficiency. We harm the environment and lose a lot of energy just because people are careless. All this will be eliminated once the Internet of Things is in effect. Your home’s power will be automatically adjusted for your use; unused lights will go out by themselves and devices will shut off when there is no one home. This will result in us lowering our energy emissions use by a wide margin.
The development in healthcare is perhaps the most exciting prospect for IoT. The Internet of Things will aid with monitoring patients, provide assistance, and even begin automating life saving procedures. It will also help us get fitter by tracking different metrics from our body and recommending activities, as well as being able to remind us to take our tablets on time. An efficient monitoring of our health and lifestyles will help all of us get fitter and live longer.
The smart city concept is based wholly on the IoT. We will have cities being cleaned automatically by robots, based on data collected by sensors. We will also see pollution levels being maintained properly with real time metrics of how healthy the air of a city is. We will even be able to become more involved with democratic processes through e-governing features.
The Internet of things is not just a possibility; it is an emergent phenomenon that cannot and will not be avoided. As our technology converges it will collaborate for our benefit. There is no way to predict where we will be in 50 years because of the pace of development in the last 50 years. What we are sure of though, is that things will continue to become more and more automated. Most of the menial tasks we go through will be eliminated because they will be done automatically. The implications of the IoT for the public sector are immense. It will allow us to truly collaborate as the technology in cities and nations are honed to increase the quality of our lives.
The Internet of things allows for truly smart environments. We could have whole infrastructures of cities interact with each other through sensors and make changes as necessary. For example- we’ve already seen traffic signals that use basic sensors to turn red or green; but newly developed smart signals will talk to the cars on the road, and to traffic updates in order to reroute traffic in the most efficient way possible. Pollution levels will be also be easier to manage, as any pollutant in the air will be detected automatically.
The Internet of Things will be implemented at different rates throughout the world but its development is rapidly evolving. Countries with a communication infrastructure that can handle double or triple the current load will be able to exploit it much before other countries. It is predicted that countries and cities in the Middle East, which have invested a lot in their infrastructure in the previous few years, will be able reap the most benefits of this exciting new technological development.