What is the Internet of things and will it hit the market? Questions like these fill the Google traffic and discussions on the topic are decades long. We understand that IoT can be the future, yet we cannot understand how it will affect our lives. Will it become as common and unnoticeable as smartphones, or can it be the Orwell’s Big Brother, tracking our actions and informing the authorities of our every step?
Jacob Morgan, a contributor to Forbes.com, states in his article that
“simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) means all devices that can be connected, will be connected”.
What does it mean? Even a toaster, a dishwasher, a vacuum cleaner or an alarm clock will have Wi-Fi connection, sensors and transmitters. All devices and appliances around will form a network, accepting and transmitting signals and data.
According to predictions of some experts, Gartner Analyst company in particular, there will be more than 26 billion of interconnected devices forming the IoT. Some experts double this quantity, while some IoT prophets predict a whopping 100 billion devices forming the IoT in the next decade.
Your smart watches will measure your heart beat rate and blood pressure and will inform you of the first signs of a heart attack, so you are able to take the medicine or request immediate help through a specialized app – Dr. Watson. iWatch is already a thing and other brands are sure to follow the idea and improve the functionality.
Possible Usage of the IoT Today and Tomorrow
IBM is pushing many implementations of the IoT into both production and personal use. Farmers already implant biochips into their cattle to be able to control its location and monitor their crops using smart sensors. Many production processes can be optimized by having a detailed picture of tools and equipment state and whereabouts.
What about personal use then? Your fridge will text you reminders to buy some milk, as the section is nearly empty and the last bottle passed its end use date. Your car will connect to the traffic lights or specialized apps to determine the best route to the office and will send messages to your partners if you are late for a meeting.
There are multiple crashes and destructions of buildings and infrastructure objects like bridges or railroads. Rebuilding these structures using sensors allows forming a network, analyzing the condition of concrete and metal, its tensions and pressures, like Wired.com suggests in
“The Internet of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes”.
Due to this, repairs can be done immediately after the first dangerous signals are received, not after huge damage to property occurs and human lives are lost.
In general, the IoT can be used to better track the condition of people, machines and structures, save energy, time and prevent money loss and health damage. However, billions of devices will generate trillions of signals, which leads to the reverse side of the medal which is troubles with the Big Data.
Can the Big Data and the IoT Be Dangerous?
Such humongous amount of data must be received, processed and stored in order to be efficiently used. This implies the need for huge data storages, incredibly wide and fast broadband channels, as well as reliable algorithms of a Big Data storage, processing and security. Security concerns are one of the main here, as breaching your toaster can eventually result in breaching your banking account.
Cloud storage is the only one suited for storing and processing such data, yet cloud storages can be hacked even nowadays – as Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence and many other celebrities can confirm. Developing and implementing new cloud data protection systems and security protocols are the task many companies (including ddi-dev.com) are keen to accomplish.
Another risk lies in the fact that hackers (or government authorities) may analyze your habits, know your whereabouts or predict your movements basing on your habitual patterns. Reminds of the Big Brother, isn’t it? What can be done to avoid such possibility or the society of the future is doomed to lose the right for privacy?
First, new security algorithms are being developed and implemented on a regular basis. SSL v3.0 protocol is heavily patched as of now and provides substantial protection, being considered the golden standard across the Web. Its descendant, the TLS protocol is already used on the most popular sites like Facebook and YouTube and serves as a base for the newest security apps and libraries.
Every question forces us to find a solution. The Internet of Things seems to be inevitable, as new and new devices come online every day, and new usage fields are revealed often. Will smart fridges become a gimmick for the geeks or become as common as smartphones? Future will tell. We cannot answer this question as of today, so we look into new opportunities with anticipation.
What are your thoughts on this? What do you expect of the IoT? Please share your thoughts on the topic, we’re always open for discussion!