Internet of Things in simplified terms
Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Enabling Factors of a Connected World
In the past years, many devices have been designed to connect to the internet. Back in 2003, only half a billion devices were connected to the internet and the majority of these devices were laptops and computers. In addition, small devices that were connected to the internet were really expensive. For example, the notable laptop at that time, the Apple Power Mac G5, costs almost 2000USD (which costs 2,879.10USD today) and it was the first personal laptop with a 64-bit processor. On the other hand, the standard laptops at the time had a 32-bit processor which can only handle up to 4GB of RAM. To put this in perspective, the recommended specification to run Zoom meetings is 4GB of RAM but then you would have to operate other applications such as anti-virus software, operating systems, and many more.
Forward to today, processors not only increased their computing power exponentially, but they are also cheaper and smaller. However, processors are not the only parts that have been upgraded. Factors such as network bandwidth, storage capacity, and sensors like cameras and microphones have also improved in the past decade. Several specifications of these devices have been improved such as size, cost, computing power, and many more.
Endless Possibilities with IoT
Electronics have been more affordable and faster such that computers and phones are not the only devices that are getting connected to the internet. Several devices like home appliances are also getting smarter due to the additional installments within the appliance’s system.
The most well-known example of these smart devices is smart home devices like Alexa. From doing simple functions like turning on and controlling the volume through buttons, these devices can now control other smart appliances such as lights, televisions, and even vacuum cleaners. Not only have these devices gained more functionality than ever, but they can also communicate with each other through the internet. Hence, most people call this technological phenomenon “Internet of Things” or IoT.
The Internet of Things has enabled most appliances and devices -all sorts of
things!- by connecting itself to the internet to increase functionality or even make smart decisions by itself. To move towards a world filled with these smart devices, both private and public sectors must be more open to having their needs met by using internet connectivity to add smart functions to ordinary objects they use regularly. The function can be as simple as automatically turning off the light switch, or as significant as optimizing the whole manufacturing plant.
Business Considerations with IoT
With the countless applications that IoT can provide, it is no wonder why its market is highly in demand. A study conducted in 2016 states that the compound annual growth rate of the IoT market will be 32.4%. In fact, smart devices have increased a hundredfold from 2003 to 2020, with 50 billion devices connected to the internet. In that same study, the top industries which will be looking towards IoT devices are automotive and transportation, as well as industrial, and healthcare, respectively.
With the hype of self-driving cars, it is no wonder that companies such as Waymo and Tesla are using smart sensors to achieve autonomous driving. In the manufacturing/industrial side, factories want to optimize their processes in order to deliver their goods in the cheapest and most efficient way possible. As a result, they install sensors and numerous smart devices within their machines so that they can better monitor their machines and assets. Healthcare companies would also want to monitor their patient’s health using connected medical devices such as heart rate, blood sugar, and many more. The internet can enable doctors and nurses to attend to those in urgent need much faster especially with connectivity speeds increasing at an incredible rate.