Understanding the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been slowly working its way into the mainstream in the past few years, and figures show it is now on the brink of the big explosion that pundits have been anticipating as consumers and businesses alike start embracing it wholeheartedly.

In fact, by the year 2020, Gartner expects the number of smart connected “things” around the world to exceed 25 billion. That’s why it is important to have a good grasp of what the IoT entails and how it can help you.

Breaking it Down

It sounds complicated, but the Internet of Things is a way of referring to everyday objects that you have in your home or workplace that can connect to the internet. A classic example of this is a thermostat that you can control using a smartphone app to make sure your air conditioning turns on just before you get home from work, for example.

This is actually a pretty simple application of the technology. As it becomes more advanced, you might see things like a refrigerator that can remind you that you need to get milk when you run out or a garage door that will open automatically after detecting that you’ve turned the corner onto your street.

It’s not just your daily tasks that are made easier thanks to the IoT. Some factories are essentially running themselves using it, with machines communicating with each other to ensure everything runs smoothly. The tiny size of control chips and increasingly lower cost of the technology is making it possible for objects of any size to gain connectivity and its related capabilities.

Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing. There are some risks when it comes to IoT, as you might expect given the vast amount of data involved. An IoT device can even be thought of as akin to a bug, with some smart devices having the ability to see or listen to you. The question of what happens to all that data and whether it is recorded or shared is one concern, and the possibility of hacking is another one. While the IoT remains a truly groundbreaking development, it’s important to proceed with caution and make sure the proper safeguards are in place before diving in.

This blog post was based off of an article from Cloudwards. View the original here.

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