It’s the new and improved digital age, where if you aren’t online, well….you might as well give up existing! And connectivity is a great by-product of this new lifestyle, with everything literally on our fingertips, whether it’s communication, financial transactions, shopping…you name it, it’s there. Taking the connectivity idea to the next step is a technology called the Internet of Things. So what is this exactly? Simply put, it is an idea that could connect any technology-based device, vehicle or building that you could think of to the internet or each other with the click of a button. Sounds like a tech-geek’s dream come true? Well, here is all you need to know about the IoT, as it’s known:
- So basically any device that has an on and off button comes under the Internet of Things or it is commonly called IoT. The term was first used by a British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton in 1999.
- Many analyst firms believe that by 2020 more than 26 billion devices will be connected through IoT.
- It includes everything from devices that are used inside the home- microwave, cooler, air conditioner, television set to huge machinery like aircraft components, different types of vehicles, machinery used in industries. Apart from computer and mobile phones which are considered ‘smart’, it connects everything else too. So other than connecting to the internet they can also be connected to each other.
- Currently the best example would be the connectivity could be what if your car knew it was running low on fuel and searched the closest fuel station for you? Or What if your mobile phone books tickets for you when you have already typed in your travelling plans for a meeting into it?
- So how does this extreme level of connectivity between devices improve our lives? Well it will definitely increase efficiency as we cut down on time we waste on doing things manually. It can also help reduce other environmental issues like pollution and wastage of material by monitoring them.
- Talking about social and environmental issues, wherein governments around the world are coming up with the concept of ‘smart cities’, IoT will prove to be super useful in the operation of such hi-tech cities.
- Apart from better consumption of material, it also creates more opportunities for people to innovate, explore and really dig in to what all the pandora’s box of internet can offer for the advancement of our lives.
- Though IoT is a topic of discussion and think-tanks are being created to get a complete idea of it, there are a few cons as well. With so much connectivity and life becoming too tech-savvy, a simple break down could cause a huge disruption in day to day life.
- Security also can be an issue. For example, hacking is still a huge threat, and with all devices being connected, if someone hacks into your washing machine, they might get to your locker or laptop as well and through that to your bank accounts.
- Another downside of IoT could be our already retreating civic sense. While earlier, friendships used to begin on journeys and talking to people seemed the right thing to do if one needed to find out simple things, like asking for directions, today a search engine like google provides us with the answers. And guess what, the habit of keeping information at our fingertips rather than making the effort to remember it, is also affecting our memory adversely. We surely don’t want a world where devices are smart, but humans are dumb, do we?
Feature Image Credit: Palin