Ever heard of the phrase “small world”? In many ways, it is indeed a small world. Technology has brought us closer than ever before. We were once the Homo sapiens rubbing stones to start the fire, now we are the engineers who can do amazing things ranging from manipulating genetic makeup to create new life to creating nuclear power. We are always inventing, discovering and moving to the next big thing.
WHAT is our next big thing?
It is the Internet of Things (IoT). Introduced by Kevin Ashton in 1999, IoT is a scenario where the physical world and the internet come together. What I mean by the physical world is anything and everything around us like people, animals, trees, chair, table, u get the idea!
HOW do we make this connection?
First, we take a thing and give it a unique IP address. We have upgraded ourselves from IPv4 to IPv6 i.e. we have expanded from 32-bit system to 128-bit system. This enables us to allocate a unique address to every atom on the planet and still have a lot of memory space left. We give it the ability to communicate and transfer data over the network along with five senses in the form of sensors. These sensors help machines connect with us through the embedded chips in our devices like the smartphone.
IoT enables machines to communicate with each other without human interaction. I know it is difficult to wrap your head around this phenomenal idea. Looking at the first machine to implement the IoT probably will make the concept clear.
First IoT device was a Coke machine in the Carnegie Melon University. In fact, it is the only Coke machine on the internet. The main purpose was to find out whether the machine contained coke bottles and how long each bottle had been in the machine before coming to collect your favorite drink. The server program consisted of micro switches attached to the Coke machine that eventually connected to the main departmental computer. This simple communication just made things easier. Now imagine everything to be things in the Internet of Things space. We will have the fridge reminding us to buy milk, bed with an inbuilt sleep monitor that resets your alarm clock according to your sleep cycle and many such use cases. We will be connected to the world at a completely new level.
IoT is going to bring about a phenomenal change in the field of medicine, balancing finance, safety, and everyday planning. It is going to help build a better and efficient society. IoT is the big thing that is going to take us closer to the utopian world- an ideal society.
As this concept swirls in your head, many questions will arise. Will we be over-relying on technology? Are we not already? We cannot deny the fact that we interact with machines better than with humans.
IoT sounds like a complex idea. Will it not increase the risk of failure? Our day-to-day data is transmitted to many. What about our safety and privacy?
We have to understand that there will always be disadvantages to our daily innovations. IoT has a major advantage to save consumers a lot of money and time. This alone will guarantee that IoT will become common in the coming years. We should never let our guard down, be conscious of the potential risks and keep ourselves safe.
IoT is a world changing opportunity that is going to enhance the quality of life in all aspects and it is left to us to grab it.