Internet of Things (IoT) is the inter-connectivity of computing devices that are embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. It is simply defined as an extension of internet connectivity introduced into physical devices and everyday objects. These physical devices range from ordinary household objects to sophisticated industrial tools.
It is basically a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and has the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
With IoT, it's possible to turn anything, from a paper to an airplane to a self-driving car to a smart home device. IoT gives a level of digital intelligence to devices, enabling them to communicate data real-time without a human pulling the strings, thereby effectively merging the digital and physical worlds.
From connected smart home hubs, smart thermostats, remote door locks, and all the various app-controlled appliances, chances are, we already know how useful IoT is in our everyday life.
IoT is growing daily in importance, for both industrial, commercial and everyday use. It is making our lives better in so many ways, and it will likely continue to do so.
The application if IoT to real-life problems is endless. It can be applied in our day to day activities, business operations, home chores, community, medical, entertainment and so many more. Its application is endless in almost all spheres of Life.
For instance in Medical Fields, for Animal/Pet monitoring, Public utilities such as street light, CCTV cameras, Waste Management, monitoring, and control. Divers form of Alarm systems can be managed by this technology - IoT.
Wearables to track Human Health: IoT enabled wearables can be used to track and monitor general human health. IoT wearables enable people to better understand their own health and allow physicians to remotely monitor patients.
Improve Efficiencies in Manufacturing: With IoT, you can increase manufacturing power effectively. Machines can be continuously monitored and analyzed to make sure they are performing within the required tolerances. Products can also be monitored in real-time to identify and address quality defects.
Improve Existing Mundane Processes: With IoT based devices, we can improve and increase the time spent on carrying out some processes. Like for instance the time a farmer spent monitoring each crop can significantly speed up using IoT enabled drone.
Smart Home Devices: In the consumer segment, for example, smart homes that are equipped with smart thermostats, smart appliances, and connected heating, lighting and electronic devices can be controlled remotely via computers and smartphones.
There are so many industries IoT can be applied to and below is a list:
Medical and Health center: In healthcare, IoT offers many benefits, including the ability to monitor patients more closely in order to use the data that's generated and analyze it to better understand patients. Doctors, nurses, and orderlies often need to know the exact location of patient-assistance assets such as wheelchairs. When a hospital's wheelchairs are equipped with IoT sensors, they can be tracked from the IoT asset-monitoring application so that anyone looking for one can quickly find the nearest available wheelchair.
Manufacturing: This is another industry that IoT can help make manufacturing and production of products faster with error tolerance. Manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage by using production-line monitoring to enable proactive maintenance on equipment when sensors detect an impending failure.
Agriculture: In agriculture, IoT-based smart farming systems can help monitor, for instance, light, temperature, humidity and soil moisture of crop fields using connected sensors. With IoT, drones can be deployed to monitor plants and crops in order to quickly detect crops with pest and diseases.
Retail: In retail, IoT applications lets them manage inventory, improve customer experience, optimize the supply chain, and reduce operational costs. For example, a retail company may employ smart shelves fitted with weight sensors can collect RFID-based information and send the data to the IoT platform to automatically monitor inventory and trigger alerts if items are running low.
Auto: In the auto section, IoT can be applied in various ways. IoT enabled sensors can detect impending equipment failure in vehicles already on the road and can alert the driver with details and recommendations. IoT devices can be installed on vehicles for various tasks, for instance, you can make your electric gate whenever it senses your car coming close to it.
The features or characteristics of the Internet of Things - IoT are:
1. Intelligence: Intelligence in IoT is concerned with the smart and seamless interactions between devices, while user and device interaction are achieved by GUI - Graphical User Interface and Standard Input Methods.
2. Connectivity: Connectivity in IoT brings together everyday objects/devices. It facilitates network connectivity, accessibility, and compatibility in the things.
3. Dynamic Nature: Dynamic Nature in IoT is responsible for dynamic changes that take place around the connected devices such as; sleeping and waking up, connected or disconnected, state of devices including temperature level (hot/cold) and location.
4. Sensing: Sensing in IoT is powered by certain sensors which is designed to detect or measure any changes in the environment in order to generate data that can report on their status or even interact with the environment.
5. Heterogeneity: Heterogeneity in the Internet of Things is responsible for supporting direct network connectivity between heterogeneous networks. The requirements for heterogeneous things in IoT are scalability, modularity, extensibility, and interoperability.
6. Security: Security in IoT is an important area because IoT devices are naturally vulnerable to security threats. and It is important to secure the endpoints, the networks, and the data that is transferred across all things involved.