The Internet of Things is far bigger than we can ever imagine. Whenever we talk of the “next big thing” we don’t grasp the concept of how big it can be in reality. This is not because we lack a sense of imagination but we lack sense of observation instead. It is believed that the future is always in sight and you don’t have to imagine what is there already.
Case in point: The Internet of Things
Internet of Things or IoT as it is popularly referred to in these days is the concept of machine-to-machine communication built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors. IoT is mobile, virtual and establishes an instantaneous connection. It is believed that the Internet of Things is going to make everything from our houses to airports “smart.” As stated at the beginning of this post, I stated that people don’t realise how big this IoT thing is or can be, here’s the explanation why – “The usual talk is about the machine-to-machine communication as in devices communicating with other devices. But the concept of a machine is that it is an instrument; a tool which physically does something. Whereas when we talk of making machines smart the reference is to sensors and not the M2M phenomenon.
What is a sensor then? Let us first understand that a sensor is not a machine for a simple reason that it doesn’t function in the same manner as a machine does. The function of a sensor is measuring and evaluating, basically gathering data. The Internet of Things was conceived on the idea of connecting sensors to machines. This simply means that the significance of IoT element happens at the intersection of gathering data and then leveraging it. We can gather all the information in the world but it will be rendered useless until and unless we have proper infrastructure to analyze it in real time.
It should be noted that it is the cloud-based applications which are most important while using the leveraged data. The Internet of Things function would not happen if it is not for cloud-based applications. These applications are the key to interpreting and transmitting the data that comes in from all these sensors. It is cloud which allows your apps to go to work for you from anywhere, anytime.
Let us understand this with an example. In July of 2009, a metro bridge collapsed in the national capital killing half a dozen people and injuring thirteen others. The reason for this mishap was that a pillar gave in while a launcher was being erected. The cause can be related to a lot of inadequacies like the tensile strength of iron used or poor quality cement. Now, consider cement or iron plates equipped with sensors which regularly monitor any flaws in real time while the construction is happening. This is the construction material which alerts us in case of any wreckage, cracks or stresses thus helping us to fix the problems before a catastrophe strikes.
Now that we have sensors which keep track of all sorts of data and cloud apps; converting that data into useful intelligent information and sending it to machines, thus making real time responses possible. This phenomenon is what makes our cars, smart cars; our street lights, smart street lights; our cities, smart cities and so on. It is a big world, you can do the math.
The usual wonderment is about three basic questions – advantages, savings and applications to industries?
Here’s where we have to have a broader vision. IoT is not just about saving money or smart cities but it is a huge fundamental shift. The moment we start creating intelligence (read machines), it will drive the creation of new products and services in a huge way. It can be stated without any doubt that of all the technologies which are in play right now, IoT is and will be the biggest of all. This technology will give us the most disruption as well as maximum opportunities over the next few years.
Collabera TACT provides great training programs on this amazing technology. If you wish to expose yourself to the world of Internet of Things and give your career an upward swing, then Collabera’s IoT Training is just the right thing for you.