As the tech world is moving towards the cloud, it’s hard to imagine it functioning without IoT. And as we indulge ourselves in our devices and pour large amounts of data in this enormous mesh called IoT, it has swelled up to gigantic proportions. Such a huge system demands an extensive amount of technology and skills in order to sustain itself. But do we have the what it takes to monitor, maintain and secure IoT? According to Nick Jones, VP Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, “A recurring theme in the IoT space is the immaturity of technologies and services and of the vendors providing them. Architecting for this immaturity and managing the risk it creates will be a key challenge for organizations exploiting the IoT. In many technology areas, lack of skills will also pose significant challenges.”
It is estimated that by 2020, there will be tens of billions of data-spouting devices connected to the Internet. So the technical obstacles are bound to grow and we would require efficient technology and services to keep it in check. As we are moving towards more connectivity for all our devices for syncing and management, IoT is getting ladled up with data from all over the globe and from all walks of life.
The term “Internet of Things” was originally coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 in the context of supply chain management. Although, as the technology progresses the definition of “Things” has expanded to a network of interconnected objects that not only harvests information from the environment (sensing) and interacts with the physical world (actuation/command/control), but also uses existing Internet standards to provide services for information transfer, analytics, applications, and communications. Its goal being to make a computer sense information without the aid of human intervention.
The seamless transfer of information, it’s availability, seemingly limitless capacity and it’s usability for both individuals and companies have unfolded a large market of possibilities for the IoT:
- Actually be connected in every sense. We will be able to see the large form of connectivity we see to day. We will soon witness a unifying IoT standard come to life. It could be Google’s Project Billo (Thin Android OS for connected devices) or another competitor. It will give us complete flexibility in accessing a device, as everything that needs to be connected will will have the ability to be present on the Internet.
- Evolution of an intelligent network. IoT will be able to process all the things in a more humanistic way and be more understandable.
- Emergence of Unified Standardised Ecosystem. With such a large user base and wide pool of devices, a new standard will be a necessity.
- Smart cities and traffic. Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS) gather together a broad range of information that improves the performance and safety of the transportation infrastructure. Because of all the information being readily available, it’ll give rise to new and improved smart city systems. As with other technologies, such as electricity, sewers, and traffic lights, mayors will slowly implement IoT solutions to save money, shape the future, and make their cities better places to live.
- Smart homes. The Assisted Living Service System has much to offer for the safety of home, especially for senior citizens who want to live at home as long as possible. Imagine driving to your home, turning on the room heater, automatically brewed coffee, preparing for hot water even before reaching home.
- The ability to aggregate and analyze disparate data and using data from devices to make intelligent, informed decisions.
- The evolution of personal devices and advanced hardware.
- The emergence of new platform. The “things” will get increasingly inexpensive, applications will multiply, and connectivity will cost pennies. It will gradually lead to the development of a horizontal platform to tie it all together – the new OS.
- Operational optimization with improved data capture from the devices by improving the model of the machines – how they interact with people and record what they did.
- Improved security measures. Since, IoT will be catering to all sorts of devices using simple to complex processors, it will be a big challenge to keep it all secure. There will be an emergence of improved and sophisticated security systems with communication encryption to prevent sleep attacks, impersonation of ‘things’, informations attacks and physical tampering.
With devices serving various purposes and different people that use them, IoT is bound to be a giant mesh of things both in its proportion and data. The concept of IoT and its implementation has still a long way to go and many obstacles to conquer such as storage and security. But one thing’s for sure – it will revolutionize the world as we see it today and reinvent several things in its wake. Even with all these predictions about its usage, we have but seen the tip of the iceberg that is IoT. And with such a promising field, we can only begin to imagine the innovations, inventions and applications that would bring upon its era.