Internet of Things or IoT is a concept that has gained enough popularity in last two years. In order to understand what the internet of things is, we must also understand that its fundamentals are not new at all. For about 30 years we have been working with the idea of making all everyday objects a little more interactive. Ideas like the smart home, also known as the house of tomorrow, have evolved before we realize in the home connected to enter the Internet of things.
But what exactly the Internet of Things is?
The Internet of Things powers objects that were formerly connected by closed circuit, such as communicators, cameras, sensors, and so on, and allows them to communicate globally through the use of the network of networks.
If we were to give a definition of the Internet of things probably the best would be to say that it is a network that interconnects physical objects using the Internet. The objects use embedded systems or specialized hardware that allows you not only the connectivity to the Internet, but also program specific events depending on the tasks that are dictated remotely.
It allows any object to communicate with another around it and carry out a certain task or function.
According to Gartner, a consulting and development company for research studies in technology, during the year 2016, the number of devices that were connected to the Internet of things was increased in by 39%.
How does the Internet of Things work?
As we have already said, the trick in all this is embedded systems. These are chips and circuits compared to, for example, a smartphone, they may seem very rudimentary, but they have all the tools necessary to perform very specific specialized tasks.
There is no specific type of objects connected to the Internet of things. Instead, they can be classified as objects that function as sensors and objects that perform active actions. Of course, there are those that fulfill both functions simultaneously.
In any case, the principle is the same and the key is the remote operation. Each of the objects connected to the Internet has a specific IP and through that IP can be accessed to receive instructions. Also, you can contact an external server and send the data you collect.
What can we do with the Internet of Things? What can be applied?
When we talk about the Internet of Things, we can see that there are many areas of application of this technology and that serve to improve different aspects of our lives:
Who does not know if a light has been left on the house or an open faucet? Would you like to be able to turn on the heating of your home depending on the room temperature? With IoT this is possible.
Appliances that communicate with the user:
This is the case of smart refrigerators that can let us know when a product inside is close to an expiration date or when nearing completion and we should buy more.
Biomedical control systems:
These are systems that easily control our vital signs, our food, our sleep. We can also talk about applications that control the proper functioning of a pacemaker and predict situations that may be critical for the patient. In this case, information processing can be combined with subsequent decision-making: interconnected clothing, exercise control systems that are included in sneakers that can monitor our running or wearing wearables.
Trends in consumer use:
Being able to identify whether or not a rider has the correct shoes for the routes he or she is using or if he or she uses the most suitable thermal clothing in the general environments, would be some examples of IoT use in this area.
Vehicles that are able to detect the best route in real time by a city to avoid traffic jams or no lights on the road.
The mass production industry:
The machinery that controls manufacturing processes, assembling robots, temperature sensors, production control, everything is connected to the Internet in more and more companies, allowing centralized control of infrastructure.
Control of urban infrastructure:
Control of traffic lights, bridges, train tracks, urban cameras. More and more cities are implementing this kind of infrastructures based on the Internet of Things that allow them to monitor the correct functioning of their structures and to adapt their operations more flexibly to new events.
One of the areas in which the Internet of things is having more success since it allows access from almost anywhere to information of atmospheric, meteorological, and seismic sensors.
More and more clinics and hospitals around the world rely on systems that allow health staff to actively monitor patients on an outpatient and non-invasive basis.
There are also Internet applications of Things for transportation, energy industry, and virtually all commercial sectors. As we have said, the great slope is the consumer market, or what is the same, homes, a place that is probably a matter of time for us to see the great explosion of IoT.
How can it change our day-to-day lives?
We will begin to have more and more “Smart Homes” and even the “Smart Cities“, which will allow for example to control and monitor the illumination in the road public, detect if there are areas with free parking, among many other things.
The risks that can lead to the Internet of Things
It is important to keep in mind that, as with other devices and tools, the use of the Internet of things will require acting with the corresponding security measures, since any object can be vulnerable to possible attacks.
For this reason, and as we always recommend, the security and protection of information must be an essential part of our day-to-day life.