The phrase “Internet of Things” was first coined by entrepreneur Kevin Ashtonin, a British visionary Technologist in 1999 in one of his conferences. One of the first IoT applications was adding RFID (Radio-frequency identification system) tags to expensive pieces of equipment to help track their location. RFID is often seen as a prerequisite for the internet of things..

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What is it?

The phrase “Internet of Things” was first coined by entrepreneur Kevin Ashtonin in 1999 in one of his conferences. IoT refers to a system involving physical objects that are assigned unique identifiers or IP addresses. It is capable of gathering and sharing electronic information, i.e., these are accessible through the internet. It effectively merges the digital and physical worlds. An impressive aspect of IoT is that any physical object can be turned into an IoT device provided that it is connected to the internet and can be controlled from anywhere..

Some popular examples of IoT range from industrial machines that transmit data about production processes, wearable devices or smartwatches like the Apple Watch which broadly cover fitness, health and entertainment requirements to collect data and information about the user; IoT devices also include smart speakers like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, internet-connected baby monitors, and video doorbells to sensors that track information about the human body.

How does it work exactly ?

IoT is based on the concept of connected machines or devices. An IP address is allotted to each machine. The same protocol is used to recognize or identify a computer and is allowed to communicate with one another. IoT connected devices communicate through networks or cloud-based platforms connected to the Internet of Things.

The main aim or idea behind the internet of things is to have devices that collect data in real-time enabling more informed decisions. Using embedded sensors, processors and communication hardware web-enabled devices collect, send and act on the data they acquire from their surrounding environments. This leads to improving efficiency by highlighting important information more quickly without depending on human intervention. The internet of things technology allows for a level of real-time information that we've never had before.

A brief overview of where IoT is used

  • A coffee maker can be activated through an app on a smartphone and the coffee will be ready at your convenience.
  • Through Internet-connected sensors, a fridge can automatically order groceries.
  • A house can automatically adjust to an individual’s required heating levels.

And lastly, how would one benefit from IoT?

Costs can be reduced by improving efficiency, utilization of assets and productivity by using IoT platforms. There has been a tremendous advancement in tracking devices or objects which use sensors and the internet which has led to helping people make smarter decisions. Opportunities open up for people and businesses or industries as IoT would contribute to making relevant and important connections.

When we look at the bigger picture, uses of IoT in the case of waste management, attaching RFID tags on the bins and fitting collection trucks with onboard computers, what kind of waste materials are collected can be closely watched. With the help of this data, a company can increase the amount of reusable or recyclable items. This is a great solution to saving and preserving our environment.

Energy grids which are connected to IoT, also called smart grids analyzes the behavior of consumers and suppliers to improve the efficiency of electricity consumption and use. Providing less or more energy than needed leads can be damaging.

Predictive software help smart grids to harmonize supply and demand. Sensors can track the entire plant and send updates and alerts

In IoT, most emphasis has been laid on the creation of smart cities but the technology is being applied to countless industries and sectors currently. IoT is credited with bringing connectivity and simplicity to businesses, lower operational costs and promoting easier and smoother procedures. More often than not, these applications are not as exciting as smart homes or devices. Investing in IoT seems to be a lucrative investment as it is predicted that 20.4 billion people will be using this technology by 2020.