The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next evolution of the internet which will enable physical world objects like appliances, smartphones, cars and various machines to connect to the internet and will usher an era of machine-to-machine communications (M2M) devices that will interact with humans. IoT offers advanced connectivity of smart devices, systems and services far better than before. It covers a diverse range of domains, protocols and applications. The Internet of Things has emerged as the third wave in the advancement & development of internet and is expected to lead in automation in nearly all fields. The companies like Qualcomm, Cisco and Google are leading in the Internet of Things revolution.
According to Gartner, “there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020. ABI Research estimates that more than 30 billion devices will be connected wireless to the Internet of Things (Internet of Everything) by 2020. As per a recent survey and study done by Pew Research Internet Project, a large majority of the technology experts and engaged Internet users who responded, 83% agreed with the notion that the Internet of Things and its application, embedded and wearable computing (and the corresponding dynamic systems will have widespread and beneficial effects by 2025. So it is believed that the IoT will comprise of huge number of devices interconnected to the Internet.
It is predicted that the Internet of Things will connect 28 billion “things” to the internet by 2020 which includes wearable devices like smart watches, fitness trackers to automobiles, home appliances, industrial equipment and more. ‘Things’ here refers to an extensive range of devices like smart meters that show energy consumption, robots that automate factory floor operations, heart monitoring implants, smartphone IOS/Android, automobiles with built-in sensors, smart washer/dryers, smart transportation systems that adapt to traffic conditions, biochip transponders on farm animals, or field operation devices that helps fire-fighters in search and rescue operations.
The Internet of Things has shown rapid growth as of 2014 due to emergence of multiple technologies, ranging from embedded systems to micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and wireless communication to the Internet. In detail, we can say traditional fields of embedded systems, wireless sensor networks; automation (including home and building automation), control systems and many more have significant role to enable the Internet of Things (IoT) at a greater pace.
Applications of Internet of Things (IoT):
Internet of Things has vast uses almost in every field. Here are some of the most important areas where IoT has enormous uses:
1) Industrial Applications: The networking machinery, sensors and technology control systems make IoT a very important component of large and small industries. IoT boosts productivity and takes control of manufacturing and processing and enables real time response to product demands.
2) Infrastructure Management: In infrastructure management,monitoring and controlling operations of rural and urban developments like construction of railway tracks, bridges, on- and offshore- wind-farms is a crucial application of the IoT. IoT enhances coordination between service providers and users, thereby saves time and reduces cost as a whole. It also monitors overall development which can reduce risk factors like collapse or accidents.
3) Environmental Monitoring: IoT usually uses sensors while dealing with environment. It helps to monitor water pollutions, air pollutions and soil erosions. IoT can also be used by emergency environmental services or meteorological departments to give more early warnings earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunami and even weather forecast.
4) Medical and Healthcare Systems: IoT is widely used in medical emergency services from health monitoring devices like digital heart rate monitors, sphygmomanometer (blood pressure monitoring device) to more advanced implant devices like pacemaker and more.
5) Transport Systems: IoT can make our transportation system much better by controlling and monitoring overall infrastructure which includes communication, control and road safety. The installation of IoT enables smart parking, smart traffic control, fleet management, and digital toll collection and safety measures.
6) Building and Home Automation: Whether it is public, industrial or residential building, IoT can be used to control and monitor mechanical, electrical and electronic systems there, It can control overall lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, security & safety, communication and much more. All home appliances, home security systems, thermostats will become “intelligent”. For example, a fridge will be able to tell the homeowner what to get from the grocery store via message to their smartphone.