Internet of Things (IoT) in its simplest terms, means digitally connected universe of everyday physical devices. These devices are embedded with internet connectivity, sensors and other hardware that allow communication and control via the web. IoT converts once “dumb” devices “smarter” by giving them the ability to send data over the internet, allowing the device to communicate with people and other internet enabled things.

HISTORY

The concept of a network of smart devices was discussed in 1982, with a modified Coca-Cola vending machine at Carnegie Mellon University becoming the first Internet-connected appliance, able to report its stock and whether newly loaded drinks were cold or at normal temperature.  Between 1982 and 1997, several companies proposed solutions but the field gained momentum when Bill Joy envisioned device-to-device communication as a part of his “Six Webs” framework, presented at the World Economic Forum at Davos in 1999. The term “Internet of things” was likely coined by Kevin Ashton of Procter & Gamble in 1999, though he prefers the phrase “Internet for things”. 

APPLICATIONS

  1. CONSUMER APPLICATIONS 
  • Smart Homes: – The best example of IoT in action is the “smart home”. Internet-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors, doorbells and security alarms create a connected hub where data is shared between physical devices and users can remotely control the “things” in that hub via a mobile app or website. 
  • Elder Care: – The use of this technology in the healthcare industry is improving how professionals deliver elderly care. Cloud-based IoT allows efficient communication between different systems. A doctor can access the data from a heart monitor and see the progress of a patient without leaving the office.
  1. COMMERCIAL APPLICATION :-
  • Medical and healthcare: – IoT enabled devices can be used to enable remote health monitoring and emergency response systems. These health monitoring devices can range from blood pressure and heart rate monitors to advanced devices capable of monitoring specialized implants, such as pacemakers, Fitbit electronic wristbands, or advanced hearing aids.
  • Transportation: – Dynamic interaction between the components of a transport system enables inter- and intra-vehicular communication, electronic toll collection systems, logistics, smart traffic control, smart parking and fleet management, vehicle control, safety, and on road assistance.
  1. INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION
  • Manufacturing: – Network control and management of manufacturing equipment, asset and situation management or manufacturing process control also brings IoT into the field of industrial applications and smart manufacturing. IoT intelligent systems allow rapid development of new products, dynamic response to product demands and realtime optimisation of manufacturing and supply chain output.
  • Agriculture:-In agriculture, there are various IoT applications such as data collection on temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pest infestation and soil material. Such data can be used to automate farming practices, make informed decisions to increase quality and quantity, mitigate risk and waste, and reduce crop management efforts. Farmers can now track the soil temperature and humidity and even apply IoT acquired data to precision fertilization programs.

Research indicates that the effect IoT would have on the planet in coming years would be monumental. From consumer preferences for entertainment and media, infrastructure and energy management, agriculture, transportation and even medical care, the increase in its impact and application can be assessed. Given the current trends, the effect of IoT on human life is increasingly growing, and will only continue to increase. At the same time, however, concerns arose about the dangers and possible risks of inculcating the IoT into all facets of human life.

Here are some of the problems with the IoT:

  1. Security

One of the greatest risks to IoT stems from the burden put on the global knowledge sharing network on which the IoT depends. The 2018 Global Risks Report highlights the possibility of cyberattacks and the danger to all interconnected undertakings if the IoT is compromised by internal vulnerabilities. Clouds would be the first to be breached, despite how severe the problem is, as security regulations are still not completely established. Cybercrime’s annual economic cost is measured at around $1 trillion, which supersedes natural disaster costs including Hurricane Sandy and Katrina.

  1. Privacy

Another pressing issue with IoT is the safety of consumers. Hacking is not only a breach of security, but also a violation of user privacy. A new analysis at Glasgow University reveals users are generally unsatisfied with the lack of privacy that IoT allows. When consumers have become more aware of the scope of cyber surveillance, they have begun to take their privacy more seriously and thus insist that absolute authority of their data will remain with them. There is a need for enhanced organizational accountability to ensure customer data are not exposed to others.

  1. Internet Walls

The prospect of losing critical data by hacking is a risky proposition not only for businesses but for nations by cross-border attacks as well.The World Economic Forum predicts that such attacks will drive nations to build internet walls which will limit the IoT operation to different regions. In fact, nations will ultimately be compelled to protect their commercial interests, because economies are unable to function openly within a global network of online businesses. 

This essentially jeopardizes the whole concept of the IoT as walls prohibit unrestricted data sharing requested by several businesses.Such laws will also stand in the way of technical development by substantially slowing it down.

  1. Cloud attacks

Based at the signs of this global battle, it is extremely likely that cloud networks will be the next possible threats to IoT. This is because cloud networks have the biggest supplies of data to power the IoT. According to new estimates, cybercrime’s total economic expense in 2017 was measured at about $1 trillion, which is a multiple of the 2017 record year gross loss from natural disasters of nearly $300 billion. To understand the magnitude of the issue, the report of the World Economic Forum cites a study which put 

forward the takedown of only one cloud provider could cause financial harm of $50 billion to $120 billion.

  1. Understanding IoT

Rapid growth in technology has resulted in a limited understanding of the IoT. For consumers to make use of the internet and all that the IoT has to offer, it is essential to work upon their awareness of the changes taking place within IoT to make it more efficient. Not only will the comprehension empower them, it will prepare them mentally and they will possibly be able to find solutions on how to take caution from any of the mentioned problems.

Solutions to the hindrances of IoT Success: –

A report published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made the following three recommendations: 

  • Data security – At the time of designing IoT companies should ensure that data collection, storage and processing would be secure at all times. Companies should adopt a “defence in depth” approach and encrypt data at each stage.[155]
  • Data consent – users should have a choice as to what data they share with IoT companies and the users must be informed if their data gets exposed.
  • Data minimization – IoT companies should collect only the data they need and retain the collected information only for a limited time.

INDIAN GOVT ON IOT

The Indian Government’s proposal to build 100 smart cities in the country for which Rs. 7,060 crores have been allocated in the current budget could result in the country’s massive and rapid expansion of IoT. In addition, the government’s launch of the Digital India Program, which aims to ‘transform India into a digitally empowered society and an information economy’ would provide the impetus needed to grow the country’s IoT industry. The various initiatives proposed under the Smart City concept and the Digital India Program for setting up the country’s Digital Infrastructure will help boost the IoT industry. IoT would be key to smarter cities.The concept behind IoT is to build a device that will store all the data people need without getting a direct hand in collecting it. 

Conclusion:

It is very clear that companies around the world are embarking on IoT driven digital development projects to improve capabilities and market efficiency, in addition to serving their consumers and citizens ‘demands better. These projects may have risks, but if adequately managed, companies should be more assured and the path to success and performance in IoT would be impartially smooth.

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