IoT: That Things Will Do

The IoT is a network of physical devices, vehicles, appliances, homes – equipped with sensors, software, circuitry and connectivity that create, collect and exchange data.

A machine-to-machine network comprising of Things, the network (preferably 5G) that connects these Things, and Analytics that makes use of the data that flows between these Things.

IoT, is a term coined by Kevin Ashton, and it’s 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).

The Internet of Everywhere is all encompassing; it comprises 3 sub-systems:

IoT (Internet of Things) – how Things create data
IoH (Internet of Humans) – how Humans create data on the internet
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:

SMART HOMES

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”  eg “Alexa find me a Chinese restaurant”.  “Alexa, play some soothing music”.


WEARABLES

This is one application that is estimated in excess of $400 million by 2020. Smart watches, fitness trackers, virtual reality headsets – all generate/create data which can be used. There are devices which are sports specific e.g. for golf or running.  Health ppecific for conditions like blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases.

SMART CARS

It is estimated that over 80% of all cars will be connected to the internet by 2020. Self-driving cars apart, there are devices that help in navigation, plug into the On Board Diagnostics (OBD) port of your car and provide cloud based analytics.  IoT for automotive monitoring and fleet management.

Self-driving cars are some of the IoT applications that need 5G network- that will help the car stay continuously connected to the internet; instead of 3G/4G that breaks once in a while.

 

FINANCE & ACCOUNTING

With so many devices connected, creating and exchanging data- there is an urgent need for new payment methods, micro-payment systems, 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 bills. 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.

 

AUTONOMOUS DEVICES

Autonomous devices include robots and drones. Robots being used on the production shop floor in an 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.

SMART CITY

IoT finds vast applications in Smart City initiatives. Monitor pollution, air quality, smart street lighting, surveillance of public places, ATMs.

 

IoT ALLIED BUSINESSES

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.

 

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).

 

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