Internet Of Things (IoT)

This is a pretty old post that I made when IoT was Buzz Word back in January 2015!


Internet of things, this is something which is coming up a lot recently. Its pretty cool too. Ubuntu came up with a system which was ready for IoT Microsoft too with its latest Windows, Windows 10 said it was ready for the IoT. Apple on the  other hand had its kind of a IoT from a quite some time.

So what is this Internet Of Things ???

Internet in earlier days comprised only of computer systems, fax machines to some extent. As time proceeded things such as PDAs,mobiles,SAT Phones and the rest started getting added to this already size-ably massive network of computers and servers. Slowly and steady more and more devices such as gaming consoles, TVs, music players and a plethora of things started getting added to this massive network. As new protocols were developed the number of devices the performance of the devices and the reliability of this massive network increased. Currently there are billions of devices that are connected via the Internet. The internet of things is just a concept which aims to add more common everyday unimaginable set of gadgets to this network.

Lets take an example...
Smart watches and health monitors are becoming really popular today. A lot of companies are coming with watches and a plethora of wearable tech that can monitor everything from distance walked heart rate to calories burned and so on.. These devices are connected via our smartphones or in some cases individually to the internet where all the data is collected and processed. Internet of things adds more devices to this existing. Say if your fridge, microwave oven, your stove, a set of bowls and spoons were added to this setup. What we could do is collect all the data from these devices to figure out the number of calories consumed, amount of found eaten and then on the basis of this information and current health condition design a custom work out, a diet plan and the rest of the stuff which usually requires human intervention and a lot of money easily, automatically and at a fraction of the cost it would normally take. 

Another example...
This involves just having intelligent sensors and lights and other home needs connected to each other via the IoT. The lights could communicate between each other and adjust the luminosity as per the mood of the user. The heating/cooling equipment in the house doesn't need to be on all the time. This wastes a lot of energy. It could take data from your phone including your location and proximity to your house and switch on or switch off. The traffic data could be taken from various sources efficiently. The temperature in your car could be taken as a reference and the entire set up could be made so as to minimize the temperature difference. Solar panels donot receive the same amount of energy throughout the day. There are sometimes during the day say afternoons when the energy is maximum. The washing machines could be programmed in such a way so as to use this extra energy reducing the load on the existing energy grid.

One more...
Cars could be connected to the internet to create a network. This can be really helpful to predict and minimize traffic. It could also be used to make more better maps. If the cars are connected to the internet the existing media libraries and other files say from the cloud or other sources could be accessed effectively. In-car entertainment systems will be totally revolutionized.

Basically IoT implies connecting devices to the existing network to provide and use data effectively for betterment..

I hope you may have understood the concept by now.
There are already multiple smaller networks that exist now in realtime. The motive here is to expand them.

Is this possible ??

Yes it is possible to create such a massive network. The ipv6 protocol allows more than a billion addresses. So in terms of address issues there is not much of a problem. In  terms of hardware if taken in a gradual approach this can be done easily over time of say 3,4 years. As chips become more and more efficient, storage capacities increasing by the day along with better compression algorithms the data that is generated can also be taken care of. Big data algorithms can be used to effectively manage and process this data.

Problems

One of the major problems here is of security. Security on the existing network is doubted a lot of time. Hacking of servers of massive corporations are increasing by the day. Thus one of the major concern here is of security. A lot of harm can be done once everyday devices are connected. One could simply mess up with the diet plan of a certain person and kill him without even anyone realising it until it is too late. The amount of malicious stuff that can be done with IoT is enormous. Earlier and even now bot net attacks were of a pretty large scale. Imagine what the size or the impact of a bot net attack created by an IoT would be. It would be massive. Massive enough to take down the severs of mega corporations easily and quickly. Thus security remains one of the biggest problem here.

Next comes power management. I agree that compared to 5 years ago the power efficiency of current generation of chips is really awesome. But then it is still not enough. Clean energy output isn't that impressive in developed as well as developing countries. Thus improvements need to made in these fields. And fast.


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