The Internet of Things and what is it?
Because I kept seeing the acronym IoT I looked it up to find out what it was. Simply it was The Internet of Things. As the terminology has been round a long time, I should have known what is was.
In explanation the Internet of Things is “a network of Internet connected objects able to collect and exchange data.” You have “things” that sense and collect data and send it to the internet. Each of these things has a UID – a universal identifier. Importantly the data from one “thing” can link to another “thing” .
How did it start?
In the beginning it was largely the Internet of People. Human beings could connect via the Internet. Then there were things.
Although we did not see the term “the Internet of Things” until 1999 the first example was a Coca Cola machine in the early 1980’s. Programmers at an American University would connect by the Internet to the refrigerated machine. They could check to see if there was a drink available and if it was cold. They did this before taking the three flights of stairs to the machine.
Dataversity is an education data information provider. Their definition is quite concise:
“Simply stated, the Internet of Things consists of any device with an on/off switch connected to the Internet. This includes almost anything you can think of, cellphones to building maintenance to the jet engine of an airplane. Medical devices, such as a heart monitor implant or a biochip transponder in a farm animal, can transfer data over a network. These are all members of the IoT. If it has an on/off switch then it can, theoretically be part of the system. Ring a doorbell that links to your smart phon. When the doorbell is pressed, you can see on your smart phone who it is. You can speak to them.”
As you would expect there is a lot more information in the article and concerns about privacy and security. To read the full article click on the link below.
What does IoT mean for you?
You probably are already part of it. If you have a smart phone, various software can track your movements and know what websites you use and what you “Google”. Advertisers can target you because they know your interests and habits. If you have a fitbit your exercise, sleep patterns and heartbeat are monitored and stored on line. Your Smart TV can stream movies via your wi-fi modem.
You can check on your home from a distance using your phone and cameras. Google’s Home Assistant is just one of several systems you can use to find out information by asking the device a question. These systems can also automate many home functions.
You can set it up to turn on lights, dim lights, turn on air con in other rooms, open windows etc. A voice command can turn on the TV and play a favourite show on Netflix. Domestic appliances such as washing machines can have a UID and if something goes wrong the problem can be diagnosed by linking to a smart phone.
Motor vehicles are also part of the IoT. GPS and Google maps help us find out way. Advanced electronics mean that if a warning light comes on in the car, the fault can be sent automatically to the manufacturer’s data base, an appointment can be made to have the fault repaired. If parts are needed they can be ordered, and be at the garage in good time for the appointment.
There are many google home compatible devices to help you:
- Smart Locks whereby you can lock or unlock from your phone or Google Assistant.
- Thermostats to control the temperature in different rooms
- Smart Light bulbs to turn light or dim them
- Smart tap devices to turn on sprinklers
Tom’s guide to some of the best devices to help you organise your home. Click on the link.
What does IoT mean for me?
As well as being able to enjoy the benefits of IoT myself, it also means I have a lot more variety in my work. I now not only fix computers and networks. Today my tasks reflect what is happening in the broad technological world. Some of the things I now do as well as Computers:
|Smart TV’s||Security Cameras||Smart Phones|
|Google Home||Ipads||Android Tablets|
If you need help setting smart things up, call me.