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Internet Of Things (IOT) - How It Can Change The Way We Live

· IoT Zone

Access the survey results 'State of Industrial Internet Application Development' to learn about latest challenges, trends and opportunities with Industrial IoT, brought to you in partnership with GE Digital.

An environment in which devices are connected to the Internet simply by assigning an Internet Protocol (IP) to them can be described as the Internet of things (IOT). 

When I mean devices, I refer to things such ordinary contraptions, such as washing machines, televisions, dish washers, wearable devices, etc., besides machine components, which all have sensors. 

Kevin Ashton, the co-founder and former executive director of the MIT Auto-ID Center, is credited with coining this phrase. When he was working for Procter & Gamble in 1999, this awesome futuristic notion struck him.

The concept is mind-boggling to say the least! Gartner, the prominent IT research firm, expects that by 2020 included in the ambit of the IOT will be 26 billion devices. 

The IOT will be able to execute advanced computing applications as they will be incorporated with powerful microprocessors. And a few years down the line, these devices, which will be connected, can manage applications that PCs and smartphones currently handle!

Recently, major IT players like Intel, Samsung, and Dell have decided to collaborate and come up with an industry standard to enable smart home appliances to talk with each other via the Machine to Machine (M2M) communications, according to Mashable. 

Meanwhile, another interesting development to take cognizance of is that Google acquired Nest, a maker of thermostats and smoke alarms, at a cost of $3.2 billion, so that the search engine company can make a hardware foray into IOT. 

So IOT will usher in a new development where most of the Internet activity will be due to these appliances, and not typical computing devices. These embedded processors will infest your life more than you can imagine. They will not even leave your pup, passport, credit cards too! 

But why is it that the IOT is picking up now? One may ask. This can be attributed mainly to the introduction of IP Version 6, in 2012. This development enabled the exponential increase in the number of unique Internet addresses, which, in turn, is now causing umpteen number of devices to be connected to the Internet. 

Another catalyst for the emergence of IOT is cloud computing, which is enabling massive amount of data generated by the sensors to be stored. Finally, all of these developments are being abetted by powerful analytical tools and faster computers. 

Let us have a look at a few examples as to how it will affect normal people. 

It will have an impact on people, who will wear devices that will enable them to be connected to the Internet; it will let people monitor their homes remotely; factories will have sensors that will let its personnel keep tabs on movement of materials; and finally, it will enable us to get real-time readings from cities, forests and oceans, on various aspects, including pollution levels, climate changes, etc. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg. It will affect subtly our communication with devices so much so that some random examples are not at all sufficient to explain its magnitude. 

Not all are, however, feeling buoyed by this new technology. The people, who are concerned, are worried that IOT may encroach too much into our private space, which already is in the public domain in the connected world. There are also worries about security being breached, what with so many personal devices being on the Internet. If unscrupulous elements amongst us exploit it, it may lead to chaos, feel the doomsayers. 

As they say, it is anybody's guess as to what the future holds for us.

The IoT Zone is brought to you in partnership with GE Digital.  Discover how IoT developers are using Predix to disrupt traditional industrial development models.

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