29 June 2015

Welcome to IoTA- Internet of Things Academy!

Internet of things is where everyday items became fitted with the ability to collect, send, and receive information.

Pre requisites

·        Any natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address. For example:  heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, electric clams in coastal waters, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue
·        It must be provided with the ability to transfer data over a network.

Why the hype?

These “smart, connected products”- the term used by many nowadays- not only offer opportunities for new functionality, greater reliability and much higher product utilization, but also the capabilities that move far beyond conventional product boundaries. Meaning they will alter industry structure and expose them to an environment with not only competitive opportunities but threats too leading to the shaping up of entirely new industries. This sounds pretty much like a futuristic concept but its already on the move, happening all around you, for example:

·        Internet-based maps pulling anonymous data from motorists' cell phones to record real-life driving patterns to provide accurate travel time information.
·         Doctors using portable monitoring technology to keep track of their patients' health.
·         Homeowners controlling the thermostats, lights and other home appliances from their smart phones.

Working and purpose?

“Connectivity” enables wired or wireless connections with the product, it can take three forms:
·        One-to-one: An individual product connects to the user/manufacturer/ another product
·        One-to-many: A central system is connected to many products simultaneously.
·        Many-to-many: Multiple products connect to many other types of products and often also to external data sources.
To achieve high levels of functionality all three types of connectivity are necessary.
Connectivity serves two purposes:
1.     Allows interchange of information between the product and the environment it operates in, its maker, users and other product and systems.
2.     Allows some functions of the product to exist outside the physical device-known as the product cloud.

Where’s the problem?

1.     The worry is that powering all this extra hardware will require exponentially larger amounts of electricity—not to mention all the money and space spent on the hardware itself. Internet of Things devices may improve power efficiency in theory, Jason Mars says, but it’s unclear how well they will actually work—or whether we humans will use them as a effectively as we should. “I’m not going to hold my breath on how effective future products will be at reducing the power consumption of society to the point of being ‘net negative’ relative to data centers,” he says.
2.     Privacy/Security: One of the biggest concerns- Privacy. You wouldn’t want your friends to know your financial situation or your boss to know what medications you’re taking. The larger the amounts of IoT data being transmitted, the more is the risk of losing privacy. The transmission and storage of data, and how well it is encrypted is a big question and a big concern in context of privacy.
3.     Complexity: Due to the presence of all complex systems, in the Internet of Things, the opportunities of failure could skyrocket.
4.    Safety: Imagine if a notorious hacker changes your prescription. Or if a store automatically ships you an equivalent product that you are allergic to, or a flavor that you do not like, or a product that is already expired. As a result, safety is ultimately in the hands of the consumer to verify any and all automation.

The advantages of IoT- mainly the time and money saved by consumers and companies- outweigh the disadvantages, as a result IoT is garaunteed to become much more common in the years to come. We just have to look out for the disadvantages and steer clear of the issues mentioned above, and we’re good to go!