Explain Like I’m 5: The Internet of Things
Too embarrassed to ask what all this, Internet of Things, IoT, IIoT and IoE stuff is all about? Look no further; we’ve got you covered.
Our ELI5 (explain like I’m five) series explains the Internet of Things from grassroots –and why it matters!
- Over the course of a few short posts, we’ll unpack:
- What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
- Real-life of examples of IoT that you use daily.
- Getting down to Business: Commercial and Industrial Internet of Things.
- Where is the future of IoT heading?
- Security, Privacy and the Internet of Things.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
IoT stands for “Internet of Things”, and it is a broad term that can refer to just about anything. That’s because “things” comprise absolutely any physical objects that are connected to and able to transmit data via the Internet without human intervention.
As soon as a common object has a computing device embedded in it, can connect to a network and share information, it is considered a smart device. The Internet of things connects smart devices that can sense their environment, record store and transmit this data over the Internet.
Essentially, the Internet of Things is the phenomenon of giving everyday things the ability to sense and then communicate over the net.
IoT Interconnects the Digital and Physical World
In the early days of the Internet, we primarily used it to communicate with each other- connecting people to people. IoT connects, “people-people, people-things, and things-things”, says Jacob Morgan.
How Dumb Objects Became IoT Devices
The Transition of Dumb Objects to Smart Devices
Think about your air conditioner. Back in the day, you would set the temperature of your choice, and the appliance will continue to work at that temperature until you physically changed it. You might set it to 17 degrees to cool a room down and then later have it to turn it up when the room feels chilly. If you forgot the air-con on and left the room, it would just keep on going. You could expect a pretty hefty electricity bill. Ouch.
Air-cons like these are considered “dumb” meaning that wasn’t connected to a network and relied on you to operate it.
These days, air-conditioning units are SMART. They have sensors and computing devices embedded in them which enable them to not only learn your preferences but save energy too!
Machine learning gives them the ability to “learn” your preferences. They can sense the ambient temperature in your room and independently adjust themselves to maintain that. For example, if you open a door cool air escapes, affecting the room temperature. The AC can sense this change, cool down further and briefly pump up the fan until it reaches your ideal levels again, and then switch over into a mode to sustain that.
More than being able to sense changes to room temperature, air conditioners can also detect when you are in the room. They can actually switch themselves on or off accordingly – helping to conserve energy.
Smart Devices Communicating over the Internet (Internet of Things)
An example of the transition into IoT happens when you can control your AC from your phone so that you can turn it on as you’re on your home and arrive at the perfect temperature. Another example would be the unit’s ability to send a message alerting the manufacturer that it needs a repair on detection of a fault – all by itself!
It may sound way out there, but this is a reality. These sorts of thing are happening in the present, and every day new devices are connected to the web with even more sophisticated features.
The Anatomy of The Internet of Things
And there you have it The Internet of Things comprises Things, any objects with sensors (light, temperature, speed, and pressure), an IP address and a way to connect to a network (platform of application) and finally, the Internet.
You may not have even realised quite how much you’re interacting with the Internet of Thing every day! Read our next post, Real-life of examples of IoT that you use daily to find out.
Want to get your business or home connected? Speak to us about Fibre Internet.