Internet of Things – The Future is Here

Internet of Things – The Future is Here

September 10, 2017

Being a 90’s kid, I remember watching the television series named “Robocop”, which showed police officers using a telephone that could show live video of the person at the other end. It was so fascinating to see such a futuristic technology at a time when all we had was those rotary dial phone sets. From that science fiction to the world of devices communicating with each other independently, connectivity technologies have come a long way. Imagine the following scenario: you are done with your work for the day and plan to go home. You use your smartphone to see where your car is parked and then turn on the engine remotely. Once you get in the car, you instruct your home system to turn on the AC in your bedroom. After reaching home, you see that you are out of detergent and so you verbally command Alexa to order the product online. This hypothetical scenario is completely plausible in today’s world thanks to one of the biggest digital revolutions of the early 21st century, Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT is a system of inter-networking of physical devices without direct human involvement. These devices are called connected devices or smart devices. This includes vehicles, building utility systems, wearables, different machineries etc. These smart devices are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable them to collect and exchange data. IoT allows objects to be sensed or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention.

IoT has influenced in almost all walks of our life. From an individual consumer’s point of view, IoT can help us control our vehicle and home remotely with absolute ease. The concept of “Smart Home” is one of the biggest buzzwords these days. Turning off light/fan/AC remotely, managing the home security system, tracking and controlling vehicles etc. are some of the major use of IoT technology. Another highly useful IoT device is Smart watches and fitness bands. These devices constantly keep collecting data and then showing us different index on our fitness status and/or any possible health hazards.

Government is also an important benefactor of IoT technology. IoT enables the ideas of “Smart Cities”, where many different public services and systems will be centrally monitored and controlled. This can include traffic management, city-wide central surveillance system, water and electricity distribution, environmental monitoring and many more. Imagine the thousands of security cameras spread all around the city and the amount of manpower required to constantly monitor these. With the help of IoT, these cameras can communicate with each other in recognizing different patterns and changes in the external environment to predict and/or raise flag on potential security risk situations.

However, the most important use of IoT technology is in the manufacturing industry. Machine to Machine (M2M) is a sub-segment of IoT that allows different components of production machinery to communicate to each other and improve the overall production efficiency. For example, information like temperature of an industrial machinery is a critical factor which sometimes forces adjustment in the production process. Now instead of someone manually taking temperature reading from one instrument and then making necessary changes in the next stage instrument, these two devices can communicate with each other through M2M technology and preemptively make the required modifications. IoT also enables the use of smart meters for utility services like electricity, water, gas etc. So there is no need of anyone physically checking this meter at each individual home anymore. This reduces the chances of corruption and increases efficiency drastically. Bangladeshi utility companies have started this project on a pilot basis and hopefully will start full commercial implementation soon.

With the advent of IoT, technology has the potential to empower people to a far greater degree than in the past: unlocking the latent creativity, perception and imagination of human beings at every level of every organization. However, the fear that it is somehow going to replace humans altogether in the workforce is not necessarily true. Technology will supply us with the insight and the perspective we need to reach solutions for our problems, but they won’t supply the judgement or the ingenuity. The world will always need the brilliance and creativity of human minds to looks beyond what machines can see.

Written by

Pricing Specialist, Internet and Digital Products
A Leading Telecom Company in Bangladesh

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