The What, Why, and How of IoT Network

IoT Network

The What, Why, and How of IoT Network

While a lot of people may not really realize it. The Internet of Things is now becoming one of the biggest technological markets to look out for. The Internet of Things recently became a big contributing factor to humanity’s continued improvement. Since its inception just a few decades ago, the Internet of Things has changed the way we live our daily lives. As well as how we conduct our business. Utilizing an IoT network for different tasks and processes has proven to be quite effective in improving efficiency and productivity. Despite its huge impact in our society, most people probably don’t really know what the technology is all about.

What is IoT Network?

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is basically the existing network of objects and machinery that are capable of sending and receiving data. This is through the use of different communications technologies. Such as WiFi, the internet, Bluetooth, NFC, and RFIDs. The physical devices that are included in the growing network is not limited to only computers and gadgets. But may also include things like light bulbs, smart air-conditioning systems, security systems, and even home appliances. As long as a device is able to gather data, communicate with other devices, or relay any type of information, it can be considered as part of the larger IoT network.

With the advent of advanced sensors, electronic components, microprocessors, actuators, and advanced connectivity technologies. Almost any object can now be transformed into an IoT device. In addition, the development of faster and more reliable internet networks has also enabled more data to be sent and received through the internet infrastructure. Just a few decades ago, the internet was basically considered to be the “internet of people”. All of the data, which includes eBooks, documents, images, and video clips, were uploaded by people for other people to consume. However, with more devices now communicating through the internet infrastructure, the internet is now mostly comprised of data being uploaded and downloaded by machines and other devices.

As of last year, the number of IoT devices that are in active use has grown to 8.4 billion. It is estimated that by 2020.

there could be more than 30 billion devices worldwide. The global market value for IoT is also expected to be reaching around $7.1 trillion by 2020. The total amount of data that will be “in the cloud” at any given time in the future may be majorly put there. This is through machines and other devices instead of people.

Given that the internet is a significant part of the entire Internet of Things concept. The development of the technology is one of the things will determine its future. While there are other ways to send and receive data, most of the data that will be transmitted by IoT devices will be through this medium. Companies such as AT&T, IBM, and Google are currently trying to move this technology forward to prepare it for the expanding number of IoT devices. Cisco is also reportedly busy building essential components that will be vital. This is to the further improvement of the entire internet infrastructure. This breakthrough will serve as the backbone of the whole Internet of Things network. With the development of advanced automated computer systems, such as advanced APIs and artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistants, the entire internet network would have to be expanded to support more bandwidth.

The existence of Cloud

Cloud-based computing has also recently become a popular method of controlling different IoT devices. These systems, of course, have different needs apart from larger bandwidths such as increased storage space and complex software. Through the use of cloud-based computing, artificial intelligence systems can now perform analytics and computations much faster. These systems also don’t necessarily have to be installed into resource-constrained devices. As they can do the bulk of the processing in the cloud.

The data is just sent to the IoT devices when needed. Although, with better and cheaper electronic components, devices may soon be embedded with these systems. Without the need to always be connected to the cloud. Future devices will soon have some level of intelligence with its machine learning capabilities. Advanced IoT devices will be able to interact and operate independently of other device basing its decision on the context and circumstances of its environment. This will, of course, have varying degrees of impact in both our society and in different industries.

Why is IoT a huge deal for everyone?

With more devices and machines now being able to connect to the internet and exchange data. More opportunities for direct integration and more efficient functionality can be achieved. With more devices now tied to computer-based systems, economic benefits and efficiency improvements are a certainty. It also has to be noted that with reduced human intervention, less errors and mistakes are likely to occur. Power savings is also another big side effect of the technology when it is integrated into home and business systems.

By being connected to an IoT network, any device may be considered as a “smart” device. A light bulb for example is essentially transformed into a smart device when it is embedded with different sensors and electronics. If the smart light bulb is equipped with a photovoltaic sensor, it will now be able to detect the ambient light within its surroundings. This will essentially allow it to automatically decide when to turn on or off. Depending on the amount of light around it. If the same device is equipped with a motion sensor, it can now consider another element. This will eventually  become part of its decision making process.

With communications capabilities, a smart light bulb can now be operated through the internet either by an actual user or an automated system such as an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant. A more popular application of the technology that is currently becoming a big trend around the world is with smart vehicles.

How does IoT affect our lifestyle?

Smart cars that are capable of driving themselves through the highway and even parking themselves are now piquing the interest of the public. This form of technology is the perfect example of the multiple benefits of integrating the different IoT devices into machines that we use every day. With the use of GPS sensors, vehicles can now easily be tracked wherever they are in the world. This allows logistics companies to properly keep tabs on their fleet and in some cases formulate better routes to increase efficiency.

Modern vehicles that are equipped with computer systems and various onboard sensors on its different components can now keep track of their own mechanical and electrical condition without an actual person having to perform any type of diagnostics. The vehicle itself can now “tell” mechanics what exactly is wrong with it. For preventive maintenance applications, a vehicle’s computer systems can now send out warnings to its operators. Which enables it to tell them if a particular component needs servicing or if it needs to be replaced.

This saves car owners a lot of headaches as they won’t have to wait until their vehicles break down. More advanced systems such as radar and AI-systems are now making vehicles even more “smarter”. By allowing it to make split-second decisions without any human intervention. Some vehicles are now equipped with these systems that were put in place. Specifically to improve safety for both the occupants and pedestrians. Safety systems such as collision warning, automatic braking, lane departure warning. And other features are now becoming mandatory for some vehicles in the United States. Through the use of these different systems connected to the IoT network, vehicles have become so much more than just simple modes of transportation.  

IoT Development

Different companies are currently working on further advancing the technology with varying approaches. Google, for example, is now working on significantly expanding its cloud and web services to improve the capacities of the current IoT network. The company has the power to create a significant improvement in the world of the Internet of Things. This is thanks to its broad coverage of different technologies. The company recently spent billions of dollars to acquire different IoT companies. Which it is planning to integrate with its various products. Google is also developing its IoT platforms that are being marketing to start-ups so that they can create their own IoT projects.

As of the moment, Google has its hands full as it works on different IoT fronts. Including commercial IoT products, smart consumer electronics, ans artificial intelligence. As well as mobile products, software, and cloud services. Several other companies are also following suit. Microsoft, for example, is too busy expanding its portfolio to include different products based on the Internet of Things. Microsoft also has its own SaaS offering that is aimed at users who want to create their IoT software at different scales.

While other companies are busy developing the various components that are necessary to evolve the technology. Companies such as Samsung further and GE are now materializing some of these concepts into actual products. That people can purchase and use day to day. The first wave of products will likely not be adopted by consumers right away. But as the infrastructure evolves and improves, the global adoption of the different IoT devices will most definitely be a certainty.

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