Internet Of Things Everything You Want To Know

What is the Internet of Things? 

So What is the Internet of Things? The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to smart, connected devices in homes, businesses and our surroundings that have the ability to communicate with other devices over a network. These devices are outfitted with data-collecting sensors so they can communicate with one another as a way to determine the health and status of things, inanimate or living. While some think the IoT is device to device communication over a closed network, like your app for changing channels on your cable box, or your Fit Bit app that tells you how many steps you took today, that operation is really just an internal net or intranet, not the wider sensor-enabled network that connects a multitude of things to a multitude of other things.
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Internet Of Things

To explain further, currently apps are deployed for a specific purpose. Your lawn sprinkler app turns the water on and off and your step counter app counts your steps and calories burned, but these apps don’t interact outside of that closed network. That’s why presently we end up with a separate app for every “smart” thing. One app controls your garage door, another for the lawn sprinkler, still another for your fitness tracking and so on. Managing all these apps is the equivalent to having multiple remote controls on your coffee table, one for your TV, another for your DVD player, and still another for your cable box. 

Where Did Internet Of Things Come From?

The concept of a network of smart devices was tested in 1982, with a modified Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University. That machine became the first internet-connected appliance able to report its inventory and whether newly loaded drinks were cold. But the actual phrase ‘Internet of Things’ was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999. While at Proctor & Gamble, Ashton got assigned to help launch a line of cosmetics. It began to bother him that he’d go into a local store to look at the cosmetics lines he controlled and find that there was one particular shade of lipstick that always seemed to be sold out. He checked with P&G’s supply chain people, who told him they had plenty of that color in the warehouse and suggested that Ashton had just happened to go into a store that couldn’t keep that color in stock. But Ashton didn’t buy it: He wanted to know where his lipstick was, and what was happening to it. No one could tell him. 

Ashton then got the idea of applying Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips or sensors, which can hold a multitude of data and share that data through a wireless network. These sensors were seen as a prerequisite for the Internet of Things. If all objects and people in daily life were equipped with identifiers, computers could manage and inventory them. Like a lot of innovations, the IoT grew out of a new solution to an old problem, and now it’s opening up new solutions to a whole host of problems. And like a lot of innovations, the IoT happened less by magic and genius than by a lot of small steps and bits of luck. 

How Does Internet Of Things Work? 

 A device or object becomes “smart” when technology, such as a sensor, is embedded inside it. That object then becomes “connected” when it is connected to other devices all collecting and sending data somewhere to be processed. This becomes a network of sensors that communicate with each other. The goal is automating processes without any human interaction. This network of sensors as it relates to the IoT is referred to as a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN). A WSN is a group of specialized sensors that monitor and record the physical conditions of their environment like temperature, light levels, sound levels, bodily functions, humidity, pressure etc.
and organize that data at a central location or gateway. That organized data in the gateway can then be used to communicate and trigger an action. For instance, a video surveillance camera or pressure-sensitive welcome mat at your front door sends a signal to lock your doors if it detects a presence. At the same time it also sends an alert to your TV that there is someone at the front door. With miniaturization and universal connectivity, it is possible to make all types of products smart and connected. Applications of sensor networks include automated and smart homes, medical device monitoring, traffic and weather conditions, and even robot control. 

Final Thoughts 

The implications of IoT are far-reaching for broadband operators. There are many hurdles to overcome but it’s an interesting space full of promise. We are at the forefront of a connected world and the next few years will probably be the shaking out years for the Internet of Things, with a huge amount of connected devices being developed and announced and infrastructure and network upheavals to accommodate them. In order to quickly and efficiently accommodate these new IoT ready de- vices, and monetize the emerging IoT infrastructure, operators will pursue new partnerships with the myriad device vendors similar to the relationships they have experienced for years with content providers. It may take some time to get the stars to align on IoT, but it seems clear that operators will be a central player in IoT home solutions.

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