KEEP IT SMART – Basics #2: What is The Internet of Things (IoT)?
You may have come across the oft-quoted Gartner statistic that 20 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020. Predictions have reached as high as 50 billion, which seems insanely high, but if you think of any corporate industry, chances are that IoT is already being used or planned for as the age of digital transformation grows.
The name ‘Internet of Things’ originated in 1999 in a presentation given by Kevin Ashton, a co-founder of MIT’s Auto-ID Lab. Twenty years later, the web is littered with disparate definitions of IoT, a term that’s proven difficult to define. It’s no surprise that the ‘Internet’ in IoT refers to the same Internet you’re using to view this article. The term ‘Things’, on the other hand, is intentionally generic. There’s a reason for this: the ‘Things’ in question represent any device or entity capable of sensor-enabled connectivity.
Wouldn’t the ‘Internet of Devices’ be an easier term to explain?” Not in this case, because to most people a ‘device’ conjures up images of the ubiquitous ‘electronic devices’ that dominate our tech-hungry lives: smartphones, tablets, the wearable tech analysing your sunrise jog. By contrast, an IoT ‘Thing’ means any tangible object to which a sensor can be connected, including living beings. If that description conjures up futuristic images of cyborgs, the reality is that we’re already there. Need an ingestible camera that monitors your colon for tumours? Already approved. Want nanosensors that sit in your bloodstream and alert you to infection via an app? Under development. IoT gives us a level of control over technology that we haven’t previously achieved, a degree of precision in monitoring and data analysis that’s gathering steam every day.
In short, the Internet of Things is a system, a network that – with suitable hardware and bandwidth – could potentially connect any being and object in existence in a data exchange. It has the capacity to transform our lives in new ways – some positive, some negative, but all extraordinary.
mySmart has been playing in this area for over a decade now, and we’re excited to see IoT finally gaining momentum. We’ve made considerable in-roads in this area across a wide range of sectors – from buildings to agriculture.
Contact us to identify how IoT can affect positive change for your needs – it’s what we’re good at.