Lets travel backward in time of our lives to the last ten years. No, not the 90’s. Come back, you. Its the 2000’s. People are fretting with their monotonous white computer machines with Windows 2000 and Linux based systems. Little did we know that in less than a decade the air will be filled with communications with devices the size of our finger nails and watching our every move. (spying is apart, we’re not gonna see NSA, The Machine or Samaritan kind of stuff now) Its not exaggeration if changes that IoT made-this enormous technology that is hiding in our plain sight, is changing the way we see things, perceive data and even live our life, slowly though, but surely yes.
How it all began: The internet of Things in everyday “things” :
“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it”.
– Mark Weiser.
Until the Internet was just via wires and only locally available, the prospect of Internet of Things couldn’t have even been nascent. A far cry at best. With the internet connectivity adopted into wireless networks and satellite connectivity, the base for IoT was laid. The very first avatar that IoT took was in the form of RFID‘s. The development from there is nothing short of exponential. Now IoT has changed from simple tagging objects to automated car driving. Following is a gist of what have been all changed by the advent of IoT in our lives.
How life changed through introduction of Internet of Things?
Household items and the IoT:
The fact that the Internet of Things is already there in our homes is a standing testament to Mark Weiser’s words.
IoT takes various roles in domestic household gadgets. Imagine the times where you had to run to home from office to see the dishes undone in the dishwasher, clothes in the washing machine waiting to be washed, and stumbling across room full of objects to reach the light switch. Ever wanted someone to switch your thermostat or the air conditioner well before you got home so that you’d step into a very welcoming environment? Well, the technology is already up and running, thanks to embedded devices that connect the aforesaid machines to the internet, ultimately controlled by your smartphone. Not too long into the future, you might be getting a text from your hall that the bulb was the out and a link to order the same online! The most important feature however would be the home security systems that could be programmed to alert the cops in case of a breach. This feature could be used to remotely unlock or lock homes just from any web browser, provided you have the authentication.
IoT in Energy Management:
Ten years back, the only way to know the energy consumption, be it a single bedroom house or a huge industry, it was only with energy
meters. The readings could be tampered with, or be erroneous at times. There was no way to predict a good energy conservation practice than good-old electrical analysis of the entire industry. This meant costly analyzers and shutting down the systems and the following loss in productivity. With the introduction of IoT into energy meters, real time data analysis, load prediction and economic load dispatches. Electricity theft reduction would prove so very beneficial on a national scale. From a consumer point of view, this means that, the electricity bill can be monitored, sent to and as well paid directly from a smart phone.
Healthcare system is an all time priority field. There used to be a time when people were so paranoid, that anytime during the night, they might go down with a heart attack or hurt themselves pretty bad from a fall and be unable to reach the phone in time to call an ambulance or a doctor. Then came the mobile phones but people still were paranoid, should they leave the phone on the table while they are in need of emergency medical care. If the devices of today were powerful enough to even remotely control the Mars Rover, why can’t they be used for medical purposes? Now various healthcare based devices – let it be a fitness tracker, insulin measuring devices or pacemakers, all can and will be connected to the internet. This way, all of the patient’s data can be monitored remotely by the doctors, and if and when emergency assistance is required, the device can trigger an ambulance and the doctor simultaneously, thereby ruling out all the possibilities of paranoia that the previous generations had.
IoT and Retail Market:
The processes of inventory management, warranty management, insurance, quality management were all manually done before the intervention of IoT. This was time consuming and prone to errors. In case of a festive season, the discounts and offers were to be manually entered and calculated in computers of old, thereby increasing the service times and decreasing the consumer satisfaction. When all these systems are connected to the cloud and managed remotely by various servers, thanks to IoT, all these processes can be automated as well performed efficiently. This is currently employed in next generation of vending machines.
Impact of IoT in the automotive sector:
When it comes to automotive sector, IoT plays a huge role with the help of Augmented Reality, which is explained in detail, here. The changes have been vast in this field, as in ‘toppled the world of automobiles’ is probably the sentence to explain the change. Traffic control management, road mapping, identifying alternative routes, communications with the other automobiles, driver-less driving, none of this were even existent before the advent of IoT.
Internet of Things in ‘Tracking of things’ :
The business of logistics, even as of late, is a tricky business, prone to various environmental factors such as the weather, the trade route and the internal politics of the region. This becomes fairly significant when it comes to international logistics, done on a incomprehensibly huge scale. The tracking of every containment, every box in the shipment is virtually impossible when done on a manual scale. Now with RFID’s and each one of them connected to the internet, the tracking of every single object on transit has been made possible, the checking of inventory – automated and loss of shipment impossible to happen. Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company has started using AT&T devices to track refrigerated containers moving perishable goods across the world.