The Internet of Things: What you need to know

Posted on Posted in IT

The Internet of Things has emerged as one of IT’s hottest trends of 2014. We have a great set of resources to help you figure out how it can help your business. Up until last year, the undisputed hottest topic in IT for several years in a row had been cloud computing.  Beven by now people have got some idea of what cloud computing and will be using it in some shape or form. Then,  at the beginning of 2013 big data stepped in and arguably stole the crown last year. For 2014, there’s likely to be a new top dog: The Internet of Things.

Also known as Internet of Things or machine-to-machine (M2M), The Internet of Things is all about sensors that can connect lots of formerly-mundane objects to the Internet and automatically send their data to IT systems for analysis. The objects can be everything from health care monitors to traffic lights to freezers to trains.

Things, in the IoT, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, bio transponders on farm animals, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. Current market examples include smart thermostat  systems and washer/dryers that utilize wifi for remote monitoring.

Due to the ubiquitous nature of connected objects in the Internet of Things, an unprecedented number of devices are expected to be connected to the Internet. According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. Integration with the Internet implies that devices will utilize an IP address as a unique identifier. However, due to the limited  address space of  IP 4  (which allows for 4.3 billion unique addresses), objects in the IoT will have to use  IP 6  to accommodate the extremely large address space required. Objects in the IoT will not only be devices with sensory capabilities, but also provide actuation capabilities (e.g., bulbs or locks controlled over the Internet).

The embedded computing nature of many Internet of Things devices means that low-cost computing platforms are likely to be used. In fact, to minimize the impact of such devices on the environment and energy consumption,low power radios are likely to be used for connection to the Internet. Such low-power radios do not use WiFi, or well established Cellular Network technologies, and remain an actively developing research area. Besides the mass use of new application areas for Internet connected automation to expand into, IoT is also expected to generate large amounts of data from diverse locations that is aggregated and very high-velocity, thereby increasing the need to better index, store and process such data.

Some items that are all ready embrace IOT are:

  • Wemo from Belkin which allow you to remotely switch device attached to the plug on and off based on sensors or remote access.
  • Philips light bulb, again can be controlled based on the weather, time , a number of different sensors
  • IFTTT.com – a amangement sweet to automate more and more of your life.
  • Smart Appliances –  No matter what the kitchen appliance, chances are one of your favorite white goods manufacturers has released a “smart” version that is connected and controllable via an app. Samsung, LG and others have Wi-Fi connected fridges  , GE has a smart stove, Whirlpool WHR  will help you remotely clean your dishes, and Crockpot and Belkin can help check in on that stew you’re making from work with a connected Crockpot.
  • Google Driveless Cars
  • Microsoft even is embracing it check here for more details
  • Heart monitor implant

The list is endless, but there is one thing you can guarantee is that IOT is slowly becoming the norm. As more device and solution come on line the security and privacy consultant switch from conventional solution to the IOT, to safe guard the valuable data.

 

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