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Anytime, Anywhere: What is the Internet of Things?

Anytime, Anywhere: What is the Internet of Things?

2/20/2023 7:03:22 AM

It’s amazing to live in a world where a tap on your smartphone can show you the status of your charging electric car or your air conditioning unit and TV even when you are outside running errands. The Internet of Things (IoT) makes this possible.

For a long time, only devices like phones and computers had access to the Internet. However, connectivity eventually became available in regular home appliances and gadgets. Simply speaking, IoT is a network of devices connected to the Internet. Smart homes best illustrate the powers of IoT.

How does IoT work?

The goal of IoT is to create a seamless system where normal functions that used to need human intervention to happen are made automatic. To make this possible, there are components that the system needs. Take smart homes as an example. IoT devices are classified into two: the general devices and the sensing devices.

The air conditioning unit, water heater, smoke detector, light bulbs, and other appliances in a smart home are general devices. These devices are the main components in data collection and information exchange. These gadgets and appliances are interconnected using wired or wireless connections.

Sensing devices, on the other hand, are responsible for measuring parameters like temperature and humidity (and pretty much every measurable thing you can think of).

The sensing devices and general devices are all connected to one network using a gateway. The information from the sensing devices is sent to the cloud by the gateway through a connection like WiFi. The data sent to the cloud is then analyzed and studied. And according to the data collected, action will be performed by the general devices.

In other industries, there are IoT devices capable of sensing and collecting data and acting on it all on their own. An example is automatic water systems used in farming. When a low moisture level is detected, the irrigation turns on automatically.

What are other applications of IoT?

IoT has amazing automation powers and industries have been developing a system of their own to cut down working times and improve productivity.

There is smart farming in agriculture, wearable health monitors and telehealth in healthcare, self-driving cars in automotive, traffic management in huge cities, and smart retail. The list goes on.

Despite its amazing range of capabilities, IoT is still in its rudimentary stages. A lot can still be improved on. Self-driving cars used to be a thing of the imagination in the years that preceded the era of the Internet but look at the recent development in smart cars. Imagine what can happen in ten years’ time.

Look back at the recent health crisis brought on by the pandemic. While telehealth had its limits prior to the pandemic, the healthcare industry depended on it to provide health services to immuno-compromised patients, and it was a huge help.

Researchers and developers forecast that soon, IoT will be more widely adapted, accessible, and affordable.

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