TC Global Insights

Tech and Innovation

All You Need to Know About The IoT (Internet of Things)

We live in a digitally connected world – not only in terms of connected people, but also everyday physical devices. Internet connectivity and data analytics have transformed the way we live – be it the way we work, we learn or basically do anything. It’s what’s called “smart living”, when everything talks to everything else.

We’re talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) – a term used to describe this smart living where devices are digitally connected to each other using the internet and sensors. IoT basically makes devices smart by allowing them to send data and communicate (machines talk to machies). For instance in a smart, connected home you’d be able to turn on the heater from your car before you reach home, or unlock the main door to let someone in if you’re not home. But, IoT is more than about only smart living, it’s being used in every industry to better experiences and find smarter solutions. And in a post-pandemic world, the role of IoT has become ever more critical.

Healthcare is a case in point. IoT technology is playing a big role in streamlining the healthcare processes – enabling patients to connect with doctors via virtual visits; helping with patient tracking, care of chronic diseases and the like.

How does it IoT work?

Simply put – IoT is a giant network where devices are digitally connected to a network (mostly the internet). Each of these devices is installed/embedded with sensors (in the physical devices) so that it can report how they are used (respective to what it was designed for) and how it is operating in the conditioned environment. We are talking about electronic devices, smartphones, traffic signals, security systems, industrial machinery, and more. Once the devices start sending reports, or data, this is where IoT comes in by acting/serving as the platform that receives all these data from various devices.

What does IoT do with these data?

It’s simple. Once the sensors send back the data, IoT then translates them into useful information by analysing and extracting the useful information as per requirement based on the respective devices. This result is then shared to other devices for evaluation, efficiency and better automation.

This process shows how simple operation of IoT. According to Software Testing Help, IoT follows certain life cycle, i.e. Deploy device à monitor device à service device à manage device à update device regularly à decommission device.

Industries where IoT Devices are (or can be) used

IoT, in itself is a wide, umbrella term that is industry-agnostic. It can be applied anywhere.

Let’s look at some examples:

Consumer Products: This includes the devices we use to make our every-day living more comfortable, something that would contribute towards a smart home such as – kitchen/household appliances, smart watches, security cameras, light bulbs, etc.

Industrial Machinery: Designed for smarter, quicker and energy saving use among others, industrial (IoT) machinery includes Pumps for agricultural, manufacturing unit with sensor, industrial washing machines, and more.

Logistics device: This will be for the cargo moving machineries that are used from one place to another. IoT devices here help reduce operational cost and human error, and increases production cost as well.

The Internet of Military things (IoMT) is also an important component as it is used in the military field to develop robots for surveillance, create human-wearable biometrics for combats, and such. That said, IoT devices can be used by industries dealing with transport and logistics, automotive, manufacturing, healthcare and even service-related environments, among others.

Examples of popular IoT devices

Perhaps we never realised it but we are surrounded by IoT. Here are some of the popular IoT devices:

Amazon Echo Plus
A popular IoT device that everybody seems to love, this Echo Plus gives a 360-degree audio. The things it can do include
– play a song
– set alarm
– make phone calls
– manage to-do-list
– suggest shopping list

Philips Hue
A smart lighting by Philips, these hue bulbs come with a control via Bluetooth or voice. The hue is inbuilt with different light ambience, i.e.
– wake up tone
– energise tone
– concentrate tone
– read tone
– relax tone
– sleep tone

Google Home
This is another voice-controlled device. Its features include:
– play any media
– alarm
– light
– volume control

Fitbit Versa Smart Watch
This is one of the most popular fitness watches with a built-in Amazon Alexa. Upon tracking the activity, it gives real-time work-out summaries and statistics. Things it does-
– monitor heart beat
– automatically track physical activity and sleep
– give personalised reminders based on goals
– connect to Bluetooth

Logitech Harmony Remote:
Here’s one device that gives you almost all control over the (smart) devices in your home. What it does-
– control media
– control lighting
– control game console, and more!

IoT in 2020 and beyond

As the physical world moves (if not entirely) to a virtual one, the importance of IoT devices come into play. It is apparent that IoT will continue to stay relevant in this and post-covid19 world.

The Business Insider’s Intelligence- The Internet of Things 2020 reports that ‘there will be more than 41 billion IoT devices by 2027, up from about 8 billion in 2019’. The report also further analysed that the IoT market is set to grow to over $2.4 trillion annually by 2027 as all modern-day devices with internet connectivity are integrated.

In the same line, according to Mc Kinsey & Company, Sensor technology (embedded in IoT devices) will continue to become cheaper, more advanced, and more widely available. And this will indirectly impact the growth of device-enablement platforms, in turn the growth rate is projected to grow at an average (compound) annual growth rate of 48% for the IoT use cases.

Speaking of the local (India) market, a positive growth rate is being projected as well. As per the report- IoT-enabled Sensors Market in India 2019, the market for IoT-enabled sensors in India is projected to expand at a (compound) annual growth rate of 62.96%, i.e. a value of INR 81.07 Bn by 2024, from INR 4.83 Bn in 2018. The report also states that IoT installed units in India are projected to increase from 60 million devices in 2016 to 1.9 billion devices by 2020.

This means that IoT is going to impact our lives in ways we have not imagined.

Can I learn IoT (online)?

Yes, there are many online courses to pick from. Here are a few you can choose from.

Free

 

Provider
Course
DurationFree/ Paid
Microsoft Word
Business Intelligence for IoT Solutions
4 weeksFree
Microsoft Word
Azure IoT Developer Specialty certification
Self-paced
Total 20 modules
Free & Paid options available
Stanford University
Introduction to Internet of Things
60 daysFree
Curtin University

IoT Programming and Big Data

5 weeksFree
Universitat Politècnica de Valencia

Introduction to the Internet of Things

6 weeksFree
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
AWS IoT: Developing and Deploying an Internet of Things
4 weeksFree
University of California, Irvine
Introduction to the Internet of Things and Embedded Systems
15 HoursFree

From being coined the “Internet of Things” in 1999 by Kevin Ashton (a British technology pioneer known as the father of IoT), the technology has come a long way from being a system where sensors acted like the eyes and ears of a computer. Today, IoT presents countess opportunities that can be used to streamline operations, efficiency and productivity across industries. In a post-COVID world especially, IoT will see further growth, as people become less physically connected, and devices become all the more. We’re living in a IoT world…

Date added
25.06.2020

Filed under:

Tech and Innovation

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