It has various names such as, M2M i.e. machine to machine, Internet of everything, Skynet etc.… It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. But what exactly is the “Internet of things” and what impact is it going to have on you, if any? There are a lot of complexities around the “Internet of things” but I want to stick to the basics. Lots of technical and policy-related conversations are being had but many people are still just trying to grasp the foundation of what the heck these conversations are about.
So what is Internet of Things? A proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig.
The Internet of things is a giant network of connected “things” (which also includes people). The relationship will be between people-people, people-things, and things-things. Internet of things will have very wide scope in future and some examples are: Say you are on your way to a meeting; your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on
supplies and automatically re-ordered more? So there are endless advantages of internet of things.
The reality is that the Internet of things allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can’t even think of. It’s not hard to see how and why the Internet of things is such a hot topic today; it certainly opens the door to a lot of opportunities but also to many challenges. Security is a big issue that is oftentimes brought up. With billions of devices being connected together, what can people do to make sure that their information stays secure? Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and thereby get access to your entire network?