The Internet of things (IoT) describes physical objects that connect and exchange data with other systems over the Internet.
Over the past few years, IoT has become one of the most important technologies of the 21st century.
A thing, on the internet of things, can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low or any other natural or man-made object that can be able to transfer data over a network (even something basic in your kitchen).
The concept of the "Internet of things" and the term itself, first appeared in a speech by Peter T. Lewis, in September 1985. According to Lewis, "The Internet of Things, is the integration of people, processes and technology with connectable devices and sensors to enable remote monitoring, status, manipulation and evaluation of trends of such devices."
Now that we can connect everyday objects to the internet via embedded devices, seamless communication is possible between people, processes, and things.
By means of low-cost computing, the cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile technologies, physical things can share and collect data with minimal human intervention.
IoT can also make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to aid in making data collecting processes easier and more dynamic, considering that now cars can communicate with the buildings, that connect and communicate with human personal assistants (like Alexa) which can also communicate with your kitchen stuff and back communicate with other sensors around the city.
Going forwards, sensors could be used to monitor events or changes within structural buildings, bridges and other infrastructure. This brings benefits with it, such as cost saving, saved time, quality-of-life workflow changes and paperless workflow. A home automation business can utilize IoT to monitor and manipulate mechanical and electrical systems in a building. On a broader scale, smart cities can help citizens reduce waste and energy consumption.
But security is the biggest concern in adopting Internet of things technology, with concerns that rapid development is happening without appropriate consideration of the profound security challenges involved and the regulatory changes that might be necessary to protect personal data and privacy.
IoT wearables enable people to better understand their own health and allow physicians to remotely monitor patients. This technology also enables companies to track the health and safety of their employees, which is especially useful for workers employed in hazardous conditions.
The precious thing here, is that now we can collect this large amount of data (non-personal), bring some Data Science to the conversation and predict healthcare concerns in a population or a trend in terms of risk to human health.
In this hyperconnected world, digital systems can record, monitor, and adjust each interaction between connected things.
The physical world meets the digital world, and they cooperate.
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Originally published here.