The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that has been thrown around for years and years now by tech enthusiasts.
Along with concepts like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, it is one of the cornerstones of the evolution that the tech landscape is expected to take going forward. And as more tech enthusiasts continue to be excited about it, the curiosity around it has also continued to grow – by an estimated 19% in 2023.
An Introduction to the Internet of Things
When you consider the current tech landscape, you will find that pretty much everything revolves around devices. From your smartphone to your electric fridge to even your vehicle, technology has pretty much infused itself into every space there is.
Luckily, devices keep getting smarter and more advanced in their capabilities. Think about it – there was a point in the not-too-distant past when mobile phones could only call and perform basic functionalities – send messages, use the calculator, etc. Now, people pretty much live on their phones. The same with devices like toasters, fridges, cameras, and more. Devices are getting smarter and more capable across the board.
However, there is still a sense of disconnect somewhere. The landscape as it is currently is filled with devices that work in isolation. Everyone is pretty much doing their own thing, and that leaves a lot of gaps.
The Internet of Things is primarily a concept that describes an ecosystem of devices operating autonomously but also sharing data and information.
Essentially, the IoT encompasses every device being connected to the internet and primarily “talking” with each other. From simple sensors to smartphones and even wearable devices, the IoT describes these devices sharing information and operating in automated environments. This makes it possible to gather information, analyze it, and help users to perform specific tasks or processes.
How the IoT Works
In the simplest sense, IoT devices are connected and can share sensor data that they connect to a dedicated gateway or edge device. Here, the data is either analyzed locally or sent to the cloud.
These devices can sometimes communicate with other related devices and act on the data they get from each other. However, the point is that they work without any form of human intervention – although it would still be possible for humans to interact with them.
Why Should Devices Be Connected?
Over the past few years, there has been a rising question about the need for device connectivity and interoperability. After all, the fact that devices should be connected doesn’t necessarily mean they should be.
However, there is a huge argument for why this should be so. As the current tech landscape stands, each device pretty much operates with circuits and sensors. All of these components collect data in some form or the other, transmitting them to data centers where engineers analyze them and understand user behavior better.
Take casinos, for instance. While you play video poker for real money, your activities are being logged in. This allows the game developers to provide a more customized and personalized gaming experience that you will love.
It’s the same way you could find the Demon Slayer Mugen Train movie on Netflix, and the streaming service immediately knows that you might be a fan of Manga movies. So, they recommend more of those to you.
Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram do the same. You check out a form of content, and they recommend similar ones. You get to enjoy a more seamless experience on the platform, guaranteeing that you can come back.
Now, imagine that this was done on a much broader scale. When all the devices you use can easily communicate, your patterns and behaviors can be logged, allowing manufacturers to create more personalized experiences for you.
Combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, the IoT analyzes data quickly, passing on recommendations to developers. From there, these developers can gain insights into their users and immediately work on action items. At the end of the day, end users get to benefit the most from this development.
What Does The Future Hold?
It is easy to get excited about the implementation of IoT into everything we do. But, it is worth remembering that the concept is still in its infancy. For one, products don’t always connect so easily – a process which gets more complex as more products are added.
Also, there are security issues that need to be addressed. With so much data being fed to a single location, a hack or security breach could be devastating.
Nevertheless, the future is undoubtedly bright. Over the next few years, it is expected that more companies will evolve their technologies to adapt to this need. Just as dial-up internet gave way to WiFi and 5G or landlines gave way to smartphones, the coming years should see significant developments in these capacities.