IoT refers to all physical things in the world that are connected to the internet, all gathering and disseminating information. It is simply the concept of connecting a device to the internet. It includes everything from mobile phones, iron boxes, washing machines, coffee makers, headphones, among others. IoT also applies to components of machines like the drill of an oil rig. If a device has an on and off switch, it can be classified as Internet of Things. To date, there are billions of connections.
How it works
All devices with a built-in sensor are connected to an Internet of Things platform, which collects data from the different objects and applies analytics to share the most crucial information with applications made to address particular needs. These IoT platforms have the ability to identify exactly what data is valuable and what can be ignored. This data can be used to sense patterns, make suggestions and detect possible problems before they happen.
The platform has web-enabled digital devices that use embedded systems, like sensors, processors, and communication hardware, to gather, share and act on the information they collect from their surroundings. The devices disseminate the sensor information they acquire by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge object where data is shared to the cloud to be analyzed. At times, these objects communicate with other connected things and respond to the information they receive from each other. The objects operate without human assistance, although people can interact with them. For example, to give them orders, set them up like an alarm clock, or access the information.
IoT can use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to make the data collection process more manageable. The communication process, connectivity, and networking of the devices greatly depend on the particular IoT platform used.
Importance of IoT
IoT helps people to work more innovative in their day-to-day lives. They also acquire full control over their lives. IoT is also beneficial in business ranging from the performance of machines to supply chain and logistics.
IoT helps organizations automate all operations and cut costs of labor. It also cuts waste and improves service delivery, making it cost-effective to create and deliver goods and services. Additionally, customer service/transactions are made easy and transparent.
Here’s what IoT does to businesses;
- Monitor their general business operations.
- Save time and resources.
- Improve customer experience.
- Increase business revenue.
- Make sound decisions.
- Increase workers productivity.
- Make use of business models.
However, IoT has some disadvantages, including;
- Businesses might have to deal with many IoT devices, and gathering and managing the information from all devices can be a challenge.
- In cases of a bug, all connected devices in the system will be affected.
- The more the number of connected devices, the more the data is shared between devices, increasing the possibility of confidential data being stolen by hackers.
Basically, IoT is more effective in transportation, manufacturing, and utility planning, using sensors and other IoT devices in organizations. However, it has been found to be helpful in agriculture, infrastructure, and homes. This technology touches all industries from businesses within healthcare, retail, finance, manufacturing, e.t.c.