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IoT: That Things Will Do
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Internet of Things
IoT is network of physical devices, vehicles, appliances, homes - equipped with sensors, software, circuitry and connectivity to create, collect and exchange data. A machine-to-machine network comprising of Things, Network (preferably 5G) that connects these Things and Analytics that makes use of data that flows between these Things.
IoT, term coined by Kevin Ashton, is predicted to touch anywhere between 30 to 50 billion connected devices by 2020. So it's everywhere?!
Wait! Before we confuse it with Internet of Everywhere (IoE).
Internet of Everywhere is all encompassing, it comprises of 3 sub-systems: IoT (Internet of Things)- how Things create data, IoH (Internet of Humans)- how humans create data on the internet, and IoD (Internet of Digital)- how data is created and communicated for further use.
That Things Will Do
IoT has found application across industries, businesses and functions:
IoT: How to get started?
Focus on areas which can improve, enhance customer experience.
Pro-active services- instead of customer calling call center to complain problem with television, the call center comes to know first and pro-actively calls up customer.
Identify algorithms, analytics (AI tools) that would be required to process, analyze and use data being churned out by devices
Data is the next business opportunity. So think of IoT initiatives as a business platform, which will serve your business and also other organizations. You could provide data as a service to other companies.
Security is another important area which requires due diligence: challenge is the multitude of protocols, standards and devices. Network security (network that connects devices to back end systems). Authentication (multiple users authenticating on single device- and in this case users are actually devices). Encryption (encrypt resident data and in transit between devices; and between devices and back-end systems).
It is estimated that over 80% cars would be connected to internet by 2020. Self-driving cars apart, there are devices that help in navigation, plug into On Board Diagnostics (OBD) port of car and provide cloud based analytics. IoT for automotive monitoring and fleet management.
Self-driving cars are some of IoT applications that necessarily need 5G network- that will help car stay continuously connected to internet; instead of 3G/4G that breaks once in a while.
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With so many devices connected, creating and exchanging data- there is need for new payment methods, micro-payment systems, need to address topics like management of financial assets, digital assets, Intellectual Property, Royalties. We may soon have a situation where your car will pay for diesel. Your house will pay the utility bill. To enable all this it is important that infrastructure is available for security and privacy. ID management of humans and also devices. Authorization for humans and devices.
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Autonomous devices include robots and drones. Robots being used on production shop floor in the assembly line. Robots where humans cannot work e.g. cleaning or housekeeping of atomic power plants. Tasks that are tedious e.g. cotton picking. Tasks that need to be consistent e.g. construction and painting.
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This is one application that is estimated in excess of $400 million by 2020. Smart watches, fitness tracker, virtual reality headsets- all generate/create data which can be used. There are devices which are sports specific e.g. golf, running. Specific for conditions like blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases.
With the expected exponential growth of connected devices, businesses that support IoT have mushroomed. Processor manufacturing for smart watches. Product Engineering. 3D printing. IoT design, testing and debugging services. IoT platform developers, hosted on cloud, so that you need not build your own.
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Amazon Echo is one of the best examples of IoT. It can play music, read news, answer questions, weather report, control fan, light, sprinklers, call Uber, Domino's. It responds when called "Alexa" - "Alexa" find me a Chinese restaurant. "Alexa" can also answer questions on children's health.
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IoT finds vast application in Smart City initiatives. Monitor pollution, air quality, smart street lighting, surveillance of public places, ATMs.
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