According to tech news over the last few years, you’ve heard of the Internet of Things. The IoT, we’re told, is supposed to revolutionize the way we interact with technology and will fundamentally change the way we live our lives.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is the concept of connecting any device (so long as it has an on/off switch) to the Internet and to other connected devices. The IoT is a giant network of connected things and people – all of which collect and share data about the way they are used and about the environment around them.

That includes an extraordinary number of objects of all shapes and sizes – from smart microwaves, which automatically cook your food for the right length of time, to self-driving cars, whose complex sensors detect objects in their path, to wearable fitness devices that measure your heart rate and the number of steps you’ve taken that day, then use that information to suggest exercise plans tailored to you. There are even connected footballs that can track how far and fast they are thrown and record those statistics via an app for future training purposes.

The Internet of Things is actually a pretty simple concept, it means taking all the things in the world and connecting them to the internet.

How does it work?

Devices and objects with built in sensors are connected to an Internet of Things platform, which integrates data from the different devices and applies analytics to share the most valuable information with applications built to address specific needs.

These powerful IoT platforms can pinpoint exactly what information is useful and what can safely be ignored. This information can be used to detect patterns, make recommendations, and detect possible problems before they occur.

Forward Looking

Already, our planet has more connected devices than people. And, as with many new successful technologies, the IoT will transform the way businesses, governments, and ‘we the people’ interact with the rest of the connected or soon-to-be connected world.

But as with any new technology, IoT issues exist. These include acceptance, cost, connectivity, security, and more. Additionally, standards are not yet set, as many new players enter the field. But even with these challenges, the end goals of IoT have so much promise.

IoT innovation will continue to evolve as even newer technologies and connectivity strategies hit the market, furthering the transformation of unconnected objects into smart connected devices. This will impact a multitude of industries, as well as the personal lives of us all.

Business in term of IoT

Today, businesses are IoT-motivated by the prospects of increasing revenue or reducing operating costs by improving efficiencies. Or, businesses might be driven by a need for regulatory compliance. Regardless of the reasons, IoT device deployments provide the data and insights needed to streamline workflows, visualize usage patterns, automate processes, meet compliance requirements, and compete more effectively in a changing business environment.

What are the benefits of the Internet of Things for consumers?

The IoT promises to make our environment — our homes and offices and vehicles — smarter, more measurable, and chattier. Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home make it easier to play music, set timers, or get information. Home security systems make it easier to monitor what’s going on inside and outside, or to see and talk to visitors. Meanwhile, smart thermostats can help us heat our homes before we arrive back, and smart lightbulbs can make it look like we’re home even when we’re out.

Looking beyond the home, sensors can help us to understand how noisy or polluted our environment might be. Autonomous cars and smart cities could change how we build and manage our public spaces.

However, many of these innovations could have major implications for our personal privacy.

Though the Internet of Things is a wonderful development that will bring a lot of improvement to both our lives as well as the way business is conducted, the risks associated with it should not be ignored or downplayed.

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