“Every morning it’s not my buzzing alarm clock that jiggles me out of my dreams; it’s a sweet notification that will keep repeating itself until I am out of my bed, quite similar to what my mother does. And then there are little devices around me which help me stay fit; whether it’s my treadmill, or the health band around my wrist tracking all my calorie intake and utilization; I feel like being surrounded by well-wishers all the time.”
This is Internet of Things for a fitness freak.
Now if I talk like a techie, the scenario will be somewhat like, “forgetting to turn-off the coffee-machine or any other electrical appliances are taken care of by my home automation system, synchronized with my Smartphone. And whether it is about finding a parking space in a mall or getting all the information about a new gadget displayed on the store’s window; it will all come up on my phone’s screen in no time.”
What is Internet of Things (IoT) ?
If I try to put it in the simplest words the environment created by the interaction of devices to make our lives easier is the Internet of Things.
Now I will put the definition of Internet of Things in a more technical way to you, an ecosystem to collect information from various gadgets and create an interactive environment with the aid of applications, such that users can attain maximum benefit from it.
What is the Internet of Things unless, it involves the users of the gadgets and applications which make up the environment. The concept is still in its progressive stage and will continue to evolve as technology will take newer steps.
Why is IoT Getting Popular?
As President Obama comes out in favour of Net Neutrality to include Internet also in the Utility lists; it is coming out as a fact that the users of the World Wide Web are now increasing at a much faster pace than it was a decade ago. Hence, if we continue at this pace it will soon become an inevitable necessity to join the sphere of the IoT in order to survive in this world.
When Apple decided to disrupt the Healthcare sector with the launch of its HealthKit it was pretty much evident that this was its major advancement in the sphere of IoT. With the rising health awareness amongst people across the world, this was the best time to hit the nail on the head and they did it well too.
The simplest reason which makes IoT important to me is its quality of ‘Making Life Easier’. If my devices are communicating amongst themselves to ensure a trouble-free journey back home along with carrying out some major and minor preparations, like turning the heater on; and/or informing the kids that I will be home in 10 minutes etc.; it just makes my life so relaxed and who doesn’t like it.
IoT has opened gates to a whole new ecosystem for us developers. The environment of the Internet of Things is totally based on Machine to Machine (M2M) protocols. Hence, for devices to operate and interact with each other to create the proper IoT environment; you will need the aid of smart applications, a sturdy backend and even stronger API. And here we step in, thus the technologists have correctly gauged the bright future of IoT in the coming years.
What will be the Impact of IoT in the coming Years?
When I had watched the movie ‘Smart House’ as a kid, it had both delighted and frightened me into thinking that technology is accommodating but it might takeover, if you can’t control or handle it. But now when I hear of the revolution by the name of Internet of Things, I think I want to give it a try.
According to a report by Gartner CRM deployments will be 80% to 85% by 2025; and in order to keep up with the pace of this rise, it will become but inescapable for us to depend on the automation industry.
Although after the recent iCloud attack in September 2014, users were somewhat sceptical about the cloud storage concept. However, tech-giants like Microsoft and IBM are ensuring the adoption of best security measures for their IoT environment, which have made people put their faith once again in the cloud and automation industry.
The future of IoT can be gauged from some simple contemporary developments:
Imagine any device that you would want to see connected, whether it is the elevators, surveillance cameras, wheelchairs, billing machines, traffic and environmental sensors; anything and everything will soon be cloud based. The IoT environment means immense increase in in the data exchange process and only the cloud technology can handle such substantial data storage. Hence, if you want to enter into the IoT environment, it is time you joined the cloud world.
So, most of your equipment getting ‘SMARTER’ is a sign that they have joined the arena of Internet of Things. As the world is getting not just connected but sort of addicted to the Internet it is but obvious for us to start linking everything with it to lighten our burdens.
For instance, instead of having a security guard or relying on a burglar alarm solely, if you can personally keep an eye over your house no matter where you are, you feel safer.
Beacons, though still in their developing stage are steadily becoming part of IoT. Although, mostly being associated with the retail sector this technology has lot of scope in various other fields too. Considering this gizmo’s rising popularity it is pretty much evident that in the coming days there will be more surprising development in the IoT environment and users are equally interested in it.
These have already become a craze both amongst the manufacturers as well as users. There’s a cut-throat competition amongst tech companies to come up with their variety of wearable, whether in the form of a wristband, eye-gear, headgear or maybe some sort of footwear too in the coming days.
Internet of Things is about to take every sort of technology in its embrace then why not start with the latest ones; which has made wearables the first choice of this ecosystem.
While reading and discussing on the topic of Internet of Things, I was able to gather different opinions. Some of them in favour and others even stating that this is just another marketing method of giving a complex terminology in order to create inquisitiveness in the minds of the users; which we will be taking up in details in our next blog.
As far as the question of marketing tactics are concerned, there’s certainly no doubt that every tech innovator is trying to communicate the message so that we prepare ourselves for this new wave of IoT.
Whether marketing tactics or not, if a concept is unable to fit into the UX which means provide suitable ease of usage and feedback to the users; it will be rejected completely and forgotten in no time.
So the promises made have to be fulfilled and the world of Internet will have to expand itself enough to surprise its audience.
Newer and Smarter Applications
If we are to embrace IoT fully and absolutely, which at this point of time is looking unavoidable then we also need to understand the increased dependency on third party applications. For every device that you will need to connect, there will be several related applications and hence the market is just going to widen for developers with skills and ability to introduce unique concepts.
However, this also points out the increase in the dependency on these third party applications as well as the definitive necessity for talented mobile application developers both for iOS and Android.
Third Party Applications especially those pertaining to payment portals are being scrutinized for their safety related subjects; which surely need to be dealt with care if we are to go into a safer IoT atmosphere.
What could be the Social and Economic Effects of IoT?
Does IoT intimidate me?
I can’t totally deny that I am not awed by the environment of IoT; however what daunts me more is what effects it will have in the different sectors in the coming days.
Soon there will be a plethora of new devices and the requirement to create demand for these is a concern that needs to be sorted now; hence the Internet of Things has been created. This is the argument presented by most critics of Internet of Things.
According to technologists we are anyways gradually moving towards an era where almost every device that we have around us will be connected; leaving us with no option but to enter the world of Internet of Things.
Social Impact of IoT
Currently we are living a life which we often find entangled between an ‘Advanced Outside World’ and the same ‘Unhurried Inner World’. It is certainly going to get easier with interactive devices which will balance both these worlds.
Let me define it with an example, if there’s a device to remind you that it’s time to take your dog out for a walk; or what stuffs are you soon about to run out of, from your regular grocery stock, life will get much easier. With the aid of electrical and Bluetooth sensors you can easily find out which roads to take for a smooth drive, how to manage different chores both official and domestic from various corners.
Indeed it will be easier if we are forwarded a well-planned inventory that makes life manageable.
However, the important part which goes unnoticed is that the gamut of IoT is not limited to our domestic and outdoor lives alone; it is certainly going to have a bigger impact on the society as a whole. This social influence will certainly be triggered by the minor devices which the consumers will embrace.
Economic Impact of IoT
According to Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research, “Digital changes the IT market in a big way through the Internet of Things. In the technology and telecom sectors, revenue associated with the Internet of Things will exceed $309 billion per year by 2020.”
The way railways and telephones connected the world and brought about an economic revolution; the same is expected of Internet of Things. They are not simply going to connect devices and applications to each other; rather it is going to be a network huger than we are imagining at the moment.
The industrial benefits of IoT is undeniably going to provide better output than we are getting now. All the more being a reason why companies like IBM, Google and Microsoft is showing so much enthusiasm in building and linking the IoT with the present world. When beacons have proven to be such a transforming innovation then certainly there’s more in store which will transfigure towards a better and empowered world.
There will be more connected devices and increasing number of users will be interested in adopting better and faster means of stepping up in the ecosystem created by IoT.
While learning about IoT I came across different opinions and each was equally convincing in its own way. However, what excites my inquisitive mind is that will the Internet of Things be able to amaze its users i.e. in this case the worldwide population; simply because the audience these days cannot be fooled with propagandas. They will reject your concept if it does not fit into their User Experience.
A lot of changes are being anticipated with the evolution of IoT and it promises a more organized method of device interactions. For those closely following the developments, the big moment is somewhere around.