04 Jul News on Tech: What is The Internet of Things?
With the advent of high-speed internet platforms such from Fiber internet and LTE, the application of internet has evolved not just in accessing information from the World Wide Web but in the automation of the human lives; from factory processes to necessary household activities. This evolution is called the internet of things, and so the question is what is the internet of things?
The internet of things (IoT) is slowly gaining attention both in workplaces and even in regular human endeavors. With high-speed Internet becoming widely available, cost of connectivity is relatively becoming cheaper. Also more devices becoming Wi-Fi capable, and with smartphones becoming more affordable. These changes in technology are creating a perfect environment for the IoT. The concept is connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (or to each other). This includes cell phones, washing machines, smart TV’s, headphones, wearable devices, lamps. And almost anything you can think of. Also when you add humans into the interface, you will get a massive network of connected “things” including people.
Anything connectable will be connected, and this is the principle behind Web 3.0. Today Web 2.0 is still the common thing but sooner or later Web 3.0 will take-over. This will be the time when your browsers can connect to your devices and appliances. Your cell phone can command your laptop and all other tools you are using. However today, IoT is slowly being utilized. Companies have shifted to robots that are being fully automated with the control of the internet.
In households, some appliances can be controlled with the internet, such as smart TV’s. Using a cell phone, you can now change channels, browse the net and access Netflix with it. You can even adjust the TV’s color temperature, brightness, and other settings. Soon it won’t be just TV’s. Soon it will air-condition units, stoves, and even toilets. These appliances when connected to the same network can virtually talk to each other. And they automate themselves without any human command. A scenario would be that when you set your phone to alarm at a particular time, it can trigger your coffee maker to start heating up water, then the air-conditioning unit would automatically adjust the temperature to suit your body to feel more awake, your lights would automatically grow dimmer since the sun is already up.
Your Internet-connected car can even analyze traffic data and can automatically notify your office that you will be late. When you set off for work, your car can drive itself, using its sensors and traffic commands from internet-connected traffic lights and road signs. The application of IoT integration into human lives is practically limitless. The possibility is both exciting and at the same frightening.
The Exciting Benefits and Advantages
The positive impacts of IoT are seemingly endless, its applications have such a broad spectrum, and any aspect of human life can be integrated with IoT. For the sake of brevity, we will be considering health, business, education, and urban life. This will illustrate a broader idea of what is the internet of things.
In the field of health, the application of IoT has already started. Most recent smartphones can now analyze your walking of activity concerning steps and can roughly estimate how many minutes/hours and kilometers you’ve walked giving you an idea of how much physical activity you need to stay healthy. Heart rate is now readily determined by putting your finger on the sensor high-end of smartphones. In medicine, IoT is being used regarding analyzing health data that can lead to better healthcare service.
Remote health monitoring is now made possible with IoT wherein patients have their kits that monitor their health, and the results or findings of the control will be sent over to a doctor/specialist in a hospital, reads the results then gives medical advice to the patient via online voice call. Through these hospitals are congested, travel cost is minimized, personalized healthcare is achieved, and services are expanded. These are just some of the current health applications of IoT and so much can still be done.
IoT has already made its way into some companies. Manufacturing is now being done by robots that have their programming via the internet. These robots are automated real-time through internet connectivity with very high precision and accuracy. This would mean that there will be more items made within a period, but with fewer factory defects and rejects in the things being produced. Other current applications of IoT is the continuous engagement of customers through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can provide feedback to customers questions 24/7.
IoT can be applied to how students learn. A connected school can help tailor suit how a student can learn a content. IoT can keep in check loads of materials on a whole range of topics and suit what kind of materials fit the personality of a student based on his data. Attendance monitoring can be automated without the use of class records, and AI can be used to create alternative assessments on a pool of available estimates. This will give a lot of students the chance to use their multiple intelligences, achieving authentic assessment. Parents can also be able to see how their children are doing in school via broadcast of the class of sessions and give feedback to administrators on how they can improve learning. It can create participatory dynamics in teaching-learning.
Another fascinating application of IoT is the creation of smart cities. A city that connects and functions are automated. Traffic lights can adjust to real-time vehicle load or unexpected incidents and provide alternative routes to cars that are also connected to the internet. Roads that can absorb solar power and use that power to power the electric vehicles of the future wirelessly. Even in disaster preparedness, bridges can help automatic lower down if water tends to become too high or too turbulent. When there’s flood, tunnels that are signaled by water rise can pump the excess water out, channeling the water to where they can be used or direct it into another area. Additionally, you can check parking spaces online when you go to public places so you can decide if you should go there.
The Frightening Disadvantages
Even with all the positives, there are still apprehensions. In anything invented, there is always a drawback. As we learn more about what is the internet of things, it is also appropriate to look at its cons. The primary concern when things become connected is security. In an online world, how much of your information stays private. How can you make sure that your data doesn’t leak out?
For innovators in this field, this must be their priority. They must offer safeguards to people so that people will still have control as to what data they share. It is without a doubt that IoT will continue to grow exponentially, but it should not cost people their privacy. With these things being connected to the internet, hacking becomes a significant concern.
Another would be a health-related concern like radiation exposure. With so many electronic devices present, people would be exposed to more radiation. It is hoped, those devices of the future will use new materials that reduce radiation emission. Lastly would be the psychological effect of this connectivity to the next generation of users concerning their socialization and physical activity.
Possible vital steps to address adverse impact
The devices of the future should have a limit as to what data they will acquire or eventually store so the possibility of hacking won’t be a significant drawback. Companies that will manufacture “smart devices” must see to it that their products won’t be able to access too much personal data, and set safeguards into them. More antivirus companies will soon include stronger cloud protection into their software products because the demand for cloud security will skyrocket.
People must learn how to use these products later, the necessity of learning it will be comparable to the need of learning how to operate a padlock. It is but imperative that more people can learn more on how they can be safe in a connected world, this is where the integration of cyber security in the curriculum of schools in the future is necessary, for it is inevitable that connectivity will be as standard as riding vehicles when that future comes. The basics of cyber security must be started out as early as when the child learns to operate a device, then as they grow they will learn advanced ways on how they can keep online data private. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Therefore, caution should always be considered in the pursuit of its advancement.
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