IoT (Internet of Things) is a paradigm shift in information technology. This shift, allowing the things to talk to each other, create services, and make day to day decisions programmable by human beings, is an inevitable part of our lives at home, at work and anywhere else.
IoT is a topic close to my heart. I am a thought leader and solution developer in the field, but I also use IoT to enhance my capabilities. IoT is a godsent technology in my life and lives of many people who want to improve their living conditions.
Let me explain.
IoT is a broad topic relating all aspects of our lives. Before delving into technical aspects, my aim is initially to introduce IoT's personal and business value. I studied the topic in detail, taught it to many students, and produced many business solutions.
In this post, I want to create awareness on importance, benefits and value proposition of IoT.
Let me start answering these two essential questions.
- Why is IoT gaining so much attention?
- Why is it so important?
IoT is gaining attention and is essential because the IoT technology and solutions change the things we perceive and experience in our homes, workplaces, and all walks of our lives.
The IoT solutions transform our environments to new levels by introducing novel frameworks and interesting functionalities with a tremendous impact on our lives.
This new technology and its integrated solutions allow the physical and virtual devices to have multiple human-like senses such as hearing, seeing and thinking and most interestingly making decisions on behalf of human beings. This is a non-trivial situation that may concern each individual and overall society at various levels.
The IoT applications can be part of all walks of life. From functionality and usability perspectives, this technology and its integrated solutions could save our lives, improve the quality of our lives, and reduce the desired day to day stress for many of us.
What is novel about IoT technologies and solutions is that they allow things, or devices that are not computers, act smartly and make collaborative decisions beneficial to many applications in various domains.
To repeat with emphasis, the IoT solutions allow things to hear, see, think or act by allowing them to communicate and coordinate with others to make logical decisions.
IoT's main benefit and value proposition come from collecting an enormous amount of data from various means and devices then build services upon analyses of these massive amounts of data. Creating new services from the collection of data is a substantial outcome with multiple implications.
Paradoxically, the IoT solutions (products and services) allow us to know ourselves from various angles better than ourselves. What does this statement mean?
Here is a simple example from our day to day lives. Several IoT devices on the market can inform us about our health factors such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, and blood tests. A sophisticated smartwatch can monitor our health, alert us for risks and take appropriate actions for us. A simple Fitbit device can inform our sleep patterns as it is naturally impossible for a human being to monitor their sleep without using such a device. This is a significant value, added by these devices, for our lifestyles.
Another value of IoT is that it helps us predict the future. The more data are provided to the IoT systems, the better analyses are performed, and better outcomes may occur. These data-rich analyses help us predict the future better and intervene before any potential damage occurs.
As IoT synthesizes data via cognitive analytics, IoT solutions can help us gain better insights from structured, unstructured, dynamic or static data by integrating with cognitive systems.
A cognitive system undertakes the duties of learning, understanding, planning, problem-solving, deciding, analyzing, synthesizing, and assessing like human beings.
IoT solutions can be used for many facets of lives to control our economies. These solutions can be used at home or in our workplaces for various reasons.
For example, some IoT solutions can be used for reducing food wastage. They can inform us when food is needed and where it is needed. Such a solution can be implemented to fridges in our kitchen connected to various other locations such as grocery stores in an automated way.
IoT systems are expected to get smarter. These progressive, intelligent devices can predict what we need and want. These devices can even constitute bridges amongst generations.
For example, they can help us create a memory repository and pass it to the next generations with tremendous details on our lives which can shed light on their ancestors. Wouldn't you wish there were IoT 5000 years ago? We could have learned so much about our ancestors from the hindsight hence wouldn't have made the mistakes they made.
As an extended electronic ecosystem, IoT solutions can help cumbersome technology to disappear.
For example, the undesirable noise, screens, and hardware clutter can shade gradually, and we only deal with active service providers around us.
In other words, technology can be supportive rather than intrusive, as it has been a terrible stress creator in our lives.
There are many applications for IoT. Some typical applications of the IoT solutions are:
- Home Entertainment,
- Home automation and control such as smart lighting
- Industrial control
- Robotics and artificial intelligence systems
- Medical data collection and analysis
- Workplace safety and security
- Embedded sensing in buildings
- Remote control and remote work support
- Traffic control and risk management
- Self-driving cars
These exciting IoT applications and solutions can relate to many of us. They can extend and enhance our intelligence. These applications have the capacity to help us go beyond our capability. These services are not just concepts in science fiction books and movies anymore.
Even though IoT technologies and solutions are at the nascent state to some extent, many users are already gaining benefits. Many businesses have already added them to their core growth strategy and reaping returns on investment (ROI). Personal and business values of IoT are apparent and compelling.
Considering these compelling benefits and values, I believe that IoT will be the next big thing in our lives. As many futurists believe, IoT will even bigger than the Internet itself and play a pivotal role to prepare our future.
I hope this brief introduction gives you an overview to understand the value of IoT.
Thank you for reading my perspectives.
If you enjoyed this story, you may check my other technology articles on News Break.
Reference: A Practical Guide for IoT Solution Architects by Dr Mehmet Yildiz.