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31 May 2016

In simple terms, Internet of Things is the interconnection of “Things” or objects like vehicles, building and devices that can interchange information among each other and human beings, through embedded hardware and software. Through IoT, these objects can sense and control each other across well-knit network connectivity and thus can be integrated onto computer based systems that can benefit people across several levels. This cyber physical arrangement provides the base for what we call today smart homes, or smart cities, or even intelligent transportation. Each object which is a part of the internet infrastructure is provided with embedded computing system that can interoperate in between and act in accordance. Further, objects or things in this regard may be devices like locks or bulbs, with actuation capabilities which can be controlled remotely with sensor devices and hence needs technical excellence to operate. As per experts the concept is going to rule the world within few decades!

Rapid acceleration of IoT – The underlying causes

Several factors have accelerated the growth of Internet Of Things, and most of them have been the advancement in the field of Technology. For example, if someone wishes to increase the scale of devices from 10 to 1000, one can’t work with limited IPV4 addresses, which are unique identifiers of machines when put in network. Thanks to engineers who have come up with IPV6 addresses, and have made it possible to interconnect several such devices without any issues. IoT enables us to embed networked devices with limited resources, and that can be used to collect information from various means and channels, ranging from man-made buildings to Mother Nature.

IoT can be implemented everywhere - from urban planning and environmental sensing, to media and automobile safety. When it comes to performing actions, IoT can be used for crating Intelligent Shopping System strategies, where analysis of the shopper’s buying behavior can be done. This will help the retailers to pitch customers the right product with the right price being made available at the right time. IoT can also be utilized in energy management, transportation system, home security features and automation. This is interesting because one can control every movement at home through electrical devices, connected via internet, even not being physically present there. There can be a network of biological sensors, that uses cloud based technologies to study human body DNA for accurate biological deductions.

What potential does IoT hold for the future?

There are lots of ways in which IoT can change the world in near future. Experts are foreseeing the possibility of open networks where automatic entities, virtual objects, and self-sufficient devices will be interoperable in the environment. Such connected devices can detect changes, faults in sensors, and also propose mitigation measures, that itself is another huge area of research. The day is not far behind when sensor units will be deployed in real time environments to capture data and act accordingly. However, one cannot forget that IoT is complex to design and understand, and various facets like size and space considerations are required. IoT will need to have hundreds of applications that needs to act with same number of devices, which are not designed to share protocols. Predictive interaction is one of the ways to solve the problem where experts will predict the next action of the users, which will trigger some reactions that can be captured by sensors as well.

Technologies that have enabled IoT can be RFID, optical tags, Bluetooth, low energy IP networks, ZigBee, LTE advanced, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, and can be suitably implemented through popular network layer simulators like NetSim, NS2, NS3, and OPNET. So ultimately it is seen that IoT will empower citizen, introduce transparency in government, and widen access to information. However, few critics have questioned whether IoT will affect privacy of mankind as everything is open and will it eliminate the need of human beings as “Things” or objects will be replacing them in near future. Security of data is another concern that one needs to be aware of, because things being operated through network might be under the threat of cyber crimes.

We would love to hear your take on the impact and role of IoT in the near future. Do write in to us to know more about CIGNEX’ Internet of Things (IoT) services that is helping enterprises capture the essence of IoT and utilize it for the benefit of end customers.