By the time you finish reading this line, 350 slices of pizza would have been eaten in the USA. Because that is the number of slices consumed in 1 second. And by the time you realize what you’re reading is about the Internet of Things and not pizza, 6 iPhones would have been purchased in this one second worldwide.
Whether consuming pizza’s or buying phones, the internet plays an essential role in our lives today. It has revolutionized the way we live our lives. In 1999, the term Internet of Things (IoT) was coined by Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer who co-founded the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He described IoT as a system where the Internet is connected to the physical world via ubiquitous sensors.
The Internet of things is basically the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these things to connect, collect and exchange data.
Fast forward to 2018, from the light bulb to the refrigerator to the air conditioner, everything can be controlled with the simple tap of a button. According to Gartner, around 8.4 billion IoT devices were in use in 2017, an increase from 31 per cent in 2016, and this will likely reach 20.4 billion by 2020.
The Internet of Things is not only proving to be the smartest way in which people are connected, but it is also helping us to keep safe.
The integration of interconnected smart devices and IoT in vehicles is helping us monitor driving behaviour. Such cars are reducing carbon footprints and enabling pro-active driver awareness and education. Automated parking and ticketing save drivers a lot of time. Such intelligent traffic systems are improving the safety of drivers as well as passengers.
Commercial and Residential Property Safety
There is now a shift from simple security cameras recording endless streams of videos to smart security cameras. These cameras can monitor and recognize people and things that enter, move through, and exit buildings. Hence smart cameras can identify any suspicious activity without the dependency of a security guard watching them. Upon spotting any person/thing out of the usual, the camera intimates the respective authorities.
Air travel has become more affordable over the years leading to a recognizable increase in the percentage of travellers in airports. Airports are some of the busiest places in the world currently. In such a case, humans alone cannot manage the security of the number of people moving in and out at airports. With the aid of smart technology in scanning systems and smart cameras, the process of security checks become expedited.
Along with smart cameras checking speed regulations and number plate recognition, the microphones and sensors are also proving to be an aid in maintaining city safety. They help pick any odd sounds like a blast or fire in any neighbourhood. It also makes the city more accessible for the elderly with easy access to cultural activities, healthcare facilities, old friends and familiar neighbourhoods through frictionless public transport.
With the development of IoT, medical devices such as vitals-tracking wearables have helped individuals in tracking their health. Heart monitors can watch ailments like arrhythmia and alert doctors to adverse events in real time whereas smart glucometers can track blood sugar readings via a smartphone app. In fact, sensors which are embedded in orthopaedic implants can communicate post-surgery performance.
As much as it is said that IoT can be dangerous, it’s undeniable that it has its own benefits. It does not mean that there will be no more accidents or mishaps happening in the society, but IoT allows us to take certain precautions to ensure nothing goes wrong. This way IoT is helping us in many ways to make it easier for us to stay safe in this world.