The Internet of Things (IoT) has exploded and changed our everyday lives almost overnight. We find ourselves using smartphones to open locks, checking calories on our watch and wearing shoes that count your steps.
If the pace continues to pick up, in a few years we will have machines controlled with our mind and internet-connected cities. Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it?
For now, IoT gathers 15 billion devices of all types that we use every day. It is estimated to grow to 80 billion by 2020, which makes 10 IoT connected objects per person. The quantity of collected and studied data will be enormous. It is going to have an incredible impact on the way we live and work. IoT is no longer a general term, it gathers aspects from simple applications to things as sophisticated as smart dust. Also, it will spread to nearly all parts of our existence, cumulating savings and facilitations. We can even say that each and every one of us will be a kind of human-sensor, monitoring actions happening around.
The Internet of … the world?
The US Government is predicted to save up to 4,7 TRILLION $ in the next 10 years thanks to Internet of Things. Healthcare will benefit greatly as well. Mostly because of easier, on-line admissions and special sensors monitoring the health at all times, alerting doctors whenever there’s a threat to patient’s life. More personal facilities will start at homes: systems controlling temperature and light are just the beginning. Not sure if your oven is off? Not a problem anymore. Agglomerations as well as teeny-tiny cities will benefit enormously. Systems tracking pollution levels or high-frequency soil movements might be a lifesaver. When it comes to transportation, most trucks will be supplied with monitory sensors tracing the locations and distance of the vehicles. Marketers will benefit greatly due to mobile promotions that will be adjusted personally to each shopper. All thanks to their purchase history and localisation tracking. There is something else worth mentioning – most devices will become very self-reliant and dynamic. They will be able to detect or even predict problems with their own software and fix them. And you know what… all their actions will be fully automated.
Are there any dangers of IoT?
As everything, IoT has its shortcomings – problems that must be solved quickly, to prevent serious issues. The word that is shouted from almost every direction is security. At the moment, we have 25 million devices online, some of them with sensors that gather information. Most endangered are vehicles, homes and machines of industrial control. Hacking all of the above may be easier than you think. Most vehicles have the kill-switch, which may be easily enabled by hackers and possibly cause accidents. Homes are vulnerable due to security breaches as well. Some of the devices used at home have the on/off switch and overusing it may lead to electrical damages and even fire. What is more, most Android-operated devices can become the epicentre of attacks. Taking pictures of your home and eavesdropping conversations are just the tip of the iceberg.
We all know that IoT brings a breakthrough to our lives and it is really hard to say how enormous it will be. That is why, I’ll finish with a quote ‘ (…) I think over time the IoT is going to be very much like this fabled elephant – that it will be much, much bigger than any of us can imagine it being today’