The History of IoT
Internet of Things (IoT) first coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, co-founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT . He mentioned the internet of things in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble in 1999. Wanting to bring radio frequency ID (RFID) to the attention of P&G’s senior management, Ashton called his presentation “Internet of Things” to incorporate the cool new trend of 1999.
The IoT was initially most interesting to business and manufacturing. Its usage is sometimes known as machine-to-machine (M2M). Actually, the emphasis is now on filling our homes and offices with smart devices, transforming it into something that’s relevant to almost everyone. Early suggestions for internet-connected devices included “blogjects,”objects that blog and record data about themselves to the internet. Also, other suggestions are ubiquitous computing or “ubicomp,” invisible computing, and pervasive computing.
The concept of the Internet of Things ecosystem didn’t really come into its own until the middle of 2010. Actually, it was when the government of China said it would make IoT a strategic priority in its five-year plan.
What Is IoT?
The Internet of Things refers to billions of physical objects that are now connected to internet, sharing and collecting data. “Thing” in IoT could be a person with a heart monitor or an automobile with built-in-sensors. It refers to objects that have been assigned an IP address and have the ability to collect and transfer data over a network without manual assistance or intervention. The embedded technology in the objects helps them to interact with internal states or the external environment, which affects the decisions taken.
Thanks to cheap processors and wireless networks through which you can turn anything into part of the IoT. Increasingly, organizations in a variety of industries are using Internet of Things. They can do many with this, like operating more efficiently, better understand customers to deliver enhanced customer service, improving decision-making and increasing the value of the business.
How Does It Work?
Devices and objects with built in sensors are connected to an Internet of Things platform. It integrates data from the different devices and applies analytics to share the most valuable information with applications built to address specific needs.
These powerful IoT platforms can identify exactly what information is useful and what can safely be ignored. This information can be used to detect patterns, make recommendations, and detect possible problems before they occur.
IoT devices share the sensor data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway where data is either sent to the cloud to be analyzed or analyzed locally. Sometimes, these devices communicate with other related devices and act on the information they get from one another. Although people can interact with the devices, the devices do most of the work without human intervention. For example, human can set them up, give them instructions or access the data.
What Are the Benefit?
The internet of things offers a number of benefits to organizations, enabling them to:
- monitor their overall business processes;
- save time and money;
- integrate and adapt business models;
- improve the customer experience;
- enhance employee productivity;
- make better business decisions;
- generate more revenue.
IoT encourages companies to rethink the ways they approach their businesses, industries and markets. Moreover, it gives them the tools to improve their business strategies.
An Example of An Internet of Things Device
Actually, we should say that most of physical objects can be transformed into an IoT device if it can be connected to the internet and controlled that way.
The term IoT is mainly used for devices that wouldn’t usually be generally expected to have an internet connection. Also, it would be hard for us to expect them to communicate with the network independently of human action. That’s why a PC isn’t generally considered neither an IoT device nor a smartphone. However smartwatch or a fitness band or other wearable device might be counted as an IoT device.
A lightbulb that can be switched on using a smartphone app is an IoT device. Also, an IoT device could be a child’s toy or a driverless truck. Moreover, it can be even as complicated as a jet engine that’s now filled with thousands of sensors collecting and transmitting data back to make sure it is operating efficiently.
IoT Security And Privacy Issues
The internet of things connects billions of devices to the internet and involves the use of billions of data points, all of which need to be secured. Due to its expanded attack surface, IoT security and IoT privacy are cited as major concerns.
One of the most notorious recent DDoS attacks was Mirai. It was a botnet that infiltrated domain name server provider Dyn and took down many websites for an extended period of time. It happened in one of the biggest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks ever seen. Attackers gained access to the network by exploiting poorly secured IoT devices.
Because IoT devices are closely connected, all a hacker has to do is exploit one vulnerability to manipulate all the data, rendering it unusable. And manufacturers that don’t update their devices regularly or at all, leave them vulnerable to cyber criminals.
Additionally, connected devices often ask users to input their personal information, including names, ages, addresses, phone numbers and even social media accounts. They are information that’s invaluable to hackers.
The IoT bridges the gap between the digital world and the physical world, which means that hacking into devices can have dangerous real-world consequences. Hacking into the sensors controlling the temperature in a power station could trick the operators into making a catastrophic decision; taking control of a driverless car could also end in disaster.
Privacy And Business Issues
Badly installed IoT products could easily open up corporate networks to attack by hackers, or simply leak data. So it might seem like a trivial threat.
However, hackers aren’t the only threat to the internet of things; privacy is another major concern for IoT users. For instance, companies that make and distribute consumer IoT devices could use those devices to obtain and sell users’ personal data.
Beyond leaking personal data, IoT poses a risk to critical infrastructure, including electricity, transportation and financial services.
Also, consumers need to understand the exchange they are making and whether they are happy with that. Some of the same issues apply to business: would your executive team be happy to discuss a merger in a meeting room equipped with smart speakers and cameras, for example?
Where Does the Internet of Things Go Next?
As the price of sensors and communications decrease, it becomes cost-effective to add more devices to the IoT. Even if in some cases there’s little obvious benefit to consumers.
As the number of connected devices continues to rise, our living and working environments will become filled with smart products. Assuming we are willing to accept the security and privacy trade-offs. Some will welcome the new era of smart things. Others will pine for the days when a chair was simply a chair.