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What in Internet of Things (IoT)? Application & Challenges of IoT

Internet of things

What is Internet of Things (IoT)?

Internet of things or IoT is the systematic collection of various technological devices that are connected to the internet all collecting and sharing the data. The devices are equipped with sensors, software, and other technologies that are exchanging the data over the internet. There are 4 billion devices that are connected to the internet and this number is expected to reach 10 billion by 2025.  This internet of things is making our world smarter every day.

From controlling the temperature of the air conditioner from a smartphone to tracking your health system from a wristwatch, gadgets are getting more intellectual every day. Every physical device can be considered as IoT as long as it can be connected to the internet to be controlled and communicate information.

Some of the common examples of IoT devices are

  • An Air Condition can be controlled with the Smart Phone with the help of the application.
  • Smartwatches can measure your heartbeat and show how long you have walked.
  • Your car can calculate and suggest the shortest route while driving.
  • A jet engine is connected with hundreds of sensors to send the data back to the ATC.

But, the term IoT refers to those devices which can have an internet connection and that can establish communication with the network independently of human action. So, a PC is not necessarily an IoT device.

Why IoT is Important Today?

With the advancement of technology, our daily life is almost led by smart gadgets. There not much involvement of humans in the daily activities which would otherwise take months to accomplish. Over the past few years, IoT has become an important aspect of our daily life. We can connect everything from kitchen appliances, automobiles to small baby dolls. Everything can be connected and establish seamless communication between people, processes, and things.

Technologies for IoT

There are many technological advancements that made the IoT possible.

  • Internet Connectivity – without internet connectivity, we can not imagine the concept of IoT. The network works as a host to connect different devices to the cloud for efficient data transfer.
  • Cloud Computing Platforms – The concept of cloud computing enables individuals and companies to access, store, manage their data stored at one place from anywhere in the world. Data from one place can easily be shared and communicated over the internet.
  • Machine Learning & Analytics – Advanced algorithms of machine learning can give the best possible result by processing a big amount of data. The vast amount of data stored on the cloud is processed by the computed and shared insight on the network. With the help of this insight, various IoT devices can make decisions.
  • Artificial Intelligence  – Advances in neural networks have brought natural-language processing (NLP) to IoT devices and made them appealing, affordable, and viable for home use. Examples are Alexa by Amazon, Siri by Apple, Google Home, Cortana by Microsoft.
  • Advancement in Smart Sensor Technologies – IoT has been possible because of the advanced and affordable sensor technologies.

Application of IoT

There are multiple applications of the Internet of Things in heterogeneous fields. IoT is adjustable to almost any technology that is capable of providing relevant information about its own operation, performance, activity, and even about the environmental activities.

These days, many companies have adopted the IoT so as to increase productivity, output efficiency. Let’s discuss the different applications of IoT one by one.

  • Wearables – Wearable enables people to better understand their health condition. This is probably one of the earliest industries to have deployed the IoT at its service. FitBits, Heartrate monitor & smartwatches can be seen everywhere these days. Apple watch, MI smartwatch are common examples of wearables.
  • Health – As we talked about earlier, small wearable sensors can be connected to the patient’s body to get the information.
  • One best example of the smart wearable is the Guardian glucose monitoring device which is developed to aid people suffering from diabetes. This device detects glucose levels in the body with the help of an electrode called a glucose sensor. This device is placed under the skin and it sends relevant information to the monitor via radiofrequency.
  • Traffic Monitoring – IoT plays a great role in managing the traffic system in larger cities. The various devices interconnect with the applications can help us in avoiding the traffic jam, calculating the shortest path, etc.
  • Smart Home Appliances – With the help of IoT, our home is being smarter. The best examples are Amazon Alexa, Google Home. These devices allow us to communicate in two ways and provide relevant information by analyzing the surrounding.
  • Smart Cities – As the world be moving the smart cities, IoT has a lot of scope in implementing smart cities. Smart surveillance, automated transportation, smart energy management systems, water distribution, security & environmental monitoring all are examples of internet of things applications for smart cities.
  • Agriculture – Agriculture is another best applications of IoT. Smart drones, devices can be interconnected to gather relevant information about farming and disseminate it to the respective person. It allows farmers to get the right information about the next action. Sensing for soil moisture and nutrients, controlling water usage for plant growth, & determining custom fertilizer are some simple uses of IoT.
  • Hospitality – The use of IoT brings significant improvement in the hotel industry. Some common examples of IoT in the hospitality industries are smart keys, smoke detectors, map navigation, applications to book rooms, etc. One simple example, automatic keys help the hotel owner to get all the relevant information about the guest, so the guest does not have to explain everything.
  • Business – Of course, a business can not be apart from IoT. The use of IoT has an exponential contribution in scaling the business. So, IoT has a huge application in the business.
  • Industrial Automation – One simple example of industrial automation with IoT is e-attendance. Before the advancement of IoT, people used to manual attendance. But, now there are lots of things which is automated with the help of IoT. The industry is one of the fields where both faster developments, as well as the quality of products, are the critical factors for a higher ROI. With IoT, one could even re-engineer products and their packaging to deliver better performance in both cost and customer experience. IoT here can prove to be game-changing with solutions for all the following domains in its arsenal.
  • Smart Parking
  • Smart Retail

State of Art of IoT

The IoT is both a dynamic and global networked infrastructure that manages self-configuring objects in a highly intelligent way. This, in turn, allows the interconnection of IoT devices that share their information to create new applications and services which can improve human lives.

Originally, the concept of the IoT was first introduced by Kevin Ashton, who is the founder of the MIT auto-identification center in 1999. Ashton has said, “The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did. Maybe even more so”. Later, the IoT was officially presented by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2005. The IoT has many definitions suggested by many organizations and researchers. However, the definition provided by ITU in 2012 is the most to connect both humans and things anywhere, and anytime, ideally using any path/network.

IoT has become one of the interesting topics for many researchers. According to Google. Scientists suggested that there are 10 billion devices that are connected to the internet and this number is expected to reach 10 billion by 2025.

Challenges of IoT

Apart from many advantages of implementing IoT, there are many challenges that stand in the way of the successful deployment of IoT applications. They are

  • Big Data
  • Networking
  • Heterogeneity
  • Scalability
  • Security and Privacy
  • Interoperability
  • Maintenance

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