The idea of the Internet of Things or IoT was first conceived in the mid to late 1990s where the RFID tag and RFID readers were first being introduced and pushed into the main market. The term “Internet of Things” was first coined by Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer who co-founded Auto-ID Centre at MIT way back in 1999.
As Kevin Ashton describes it that “RFID and sensor technology enable computers to observe, identify and understand the world—without the limitations of human-entered data.”
The internet of things is basically the interlinking of things into the internet. This will give a layer of information that will greatly help our daily lives moving forward into the future. The internet of things will have a profound impact on every aspect of our lives.
So, what is the official definition of Internet of things? Based on Wikipedia, the Internet of Things consists of a network of physical devices that are embedded with sensors and actuators. This form a network connectivity that enables the connected objects to connect and exchange data via the internet.
In other words, an internet of connected physical things. Therefore, one of the core element in the Internet of Things is the sensors and actuators that are embedded in the physical products.
EVOLUTION OF THE INDUSTRY
Before we even reached this level, let’s go back a bit to our first industrial revolution. By understanding the history, you will appreciate more the profound impact the industrial 4.0 will have currently and in the next decade.
INDUSTRY 1.0 – The invention of the steam engine by James Watt in 1781 has given rise to mechanical and machines that can power trains and factories. This becomes the backbone of an industrial revolution which gives rise to many inventions and product at that time.
INDUSTRY 2.0 – The second industrial revolution is much related to the mass production of products such as the automotive. New methods, tools and techniques introduced at that time have created a new revolution in the industry where it can mass produced an entire segment of product in a shorter time and less expensive.
INDUSTRY 3.0 – The third industrial revolution was started from the introduction of computer and automation into the industry. It allows rapid prototyping and automation of key processes at a greater height than before.
INDUSTRY 4.0 – The fourth industrial revolution is the basically the convergence of physical and the internet that will increase the efficiency and productivity of many industries. New inventions and innovation will happen as the result of the fourth industrial revolution.
HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR THE IOT
If you are somewhat sceptical or probably think the IOT does not impact you yet, just take a look at your smart phones. You can see that they have started to have many smart features that can support the internet of things. This includes biometric recognition, e-wallet, and health and fitness tracker. If you have an iPhone, all this feature is already available on your phone. Some of the interesting gadgets in the market that will be the catalyst of the internet of things are as below:-
Amazon first introduced Amazon Alexa as a smart speaker way back in November 2014. Amazon also introduces Amazon Echo. The interesting about Amazon Alexa is that it has a voice recognition in which you can activate certain task by voice. Some of its function includes controlling some of your home smart devices, music playback, playing audiobooks, telling you the weather, playing podcasts and many other things. Read our previous article on what is Amazon Alexa to know more.
The nest is one of the smart gadgets needed for you to make your home smarter. It can be accessed via your iPhone and can control many things in your house such as your thermostat and also house alarm. It will be only a matter of time that Apple will integrate Nest with Apple’s Siri and make Nest much more than a smart home appliances.
Google Home is Google’s answer to Amazon Alexa. It is a smart speaker as well as considered a home assistance application. It can control some of your home smart devices, answer questions via Google search engine, stream podcast and many others. The same as Amazon Alexa, Google Home is activated also by voice.
FUTURE AND BEYOND
The future of the Internet of Things will definitely be limitless. We are now seeing the application of IOT transcending infrastructure, businesses as well as health and fitness.
SMART CITIES – With the internet of things, the application of sensors and software’s for tracking things can be deployed seamlessly in a city. A city can be much smarter through an intelligent control of its traffic. Energy can also be conserved intelligently as more tracking mechanism can be deployed within a city boundary.
DRIVERLESS CAR – It is only a matter of time that we are going to see more and more driverless car in the street. The driverless car would be made possible due to the network and connection to things via the internet. The car would be able to communicate with other car and therefore can determine the safest and fastest route to reach a certain destination.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – Artificial Intelligence or AI is no longer in the realm of science fiction. Some of basic AI has already been in the market for some time. The AI will be further improved in the future and this tremendously makes our lives more productive and efficient than ever before in the history of mankind.
SMART HOMES – One of the immediate impacts that we will see from the internet of things is the improvement of our home. Some of our main component in a home such as the TV, thermostat and air-conditioner and refrigerator would be connected to the network. It will be able to self-regulate and maintain itself via reaction to the condition of the home. Your refrigerator might be able to automatically order by itself if your kitchen supply is running low.
So, there you have it. Some introduction and background to the Internet of Things. Please leave us a comment below on what is your take on the Internet of Things and how it can impact your life.