In a nutshell, the Internet of Things is the concept of connecting any device (so long as it has an on/off switch) to the Internet and to other connected devices.IBM Business Blog
If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably a part of what is known as The Internet of Things (IoT). As defined by IBM, any device with a power switch that connects to the internet directly or indirectly is apart of this vast network of IoT. To put this in perspective, IoT is made of up a vast range of devices from smartphones to CCTV cameras – and even your smart fridge is a part of the IoT network. Despite knowing about the Internet of Things, there’s a handful of questions that daily smart device users still ask every day.
Who made the Internet of Things?
To truly understand this, it may be important for a quick history lesson. The idea of smartification for simple devices dates back past the 1980s. Since back then technology was not as advance in the modern era, many inventers pondered on the idea of a vast network of devices that could communicate together and be cost efficient. It wasn’t until Kevin Ashton officially coined the term “Internet of Things” in 1999. As the years went on, making smart technology became cheaper and that meant smaller handheld devices were in. Today, engineers able to fit exceptionally powerful into processors into devices as small as a watch. And with each new form of smart technology, the IoT network continues to grow.
Pros and Cons of IoT
Like anything in life, the Internet of Things certainly has its pros and cons. For starters, unthinkable technical advances have become possible over the past years – such as how surgeons have been able to successfully complete critical operations remotely using bionic arms while sitting somewhere on the other side of the world. However, there have also been a handful of not so great advances – much like the large amounts of data that is now stored electronically and can become detrimental if in the wrong hands.
Here is a list of some of the major pros for IoT:
- Instant Data Access
- Increased Productivity
Here is a list of some of the major cons for IoT:
- Privacy & Security Risks
- Less Employment in certain fields
What does this mean for me?
As long as the pros outweigh the cons in your digital footprint, it’s safe to say that you’re probably not in any real danger with your smart devices. However, this does not mean that you’re entirely safe. Everything you do or interact with online plays a part in powering the idea of IoT. Just by turning on your Smart TV from a mobile device you have probably allowed at least 3 devices to communicate together (Smart phone, Router, Smart TV) – and should your network require additional devices to communicate, that number could become endless. So, should you give up all of your smart technology and revert back to the stone ages? The answer isn’t that simple – some people don’t like to be apart of the technological age, so they prefer to live off the grid which means no phone or internet usually. However, many others embrace the latest advances to step up their day-to-day lives with a little bit of technical interconnections. It really depends on what side of the spectrum you wish to be on, that will determine how involved your lifestyle is with IoT.
The Internet of Things doesn’t stop here, this is a network of interconnected devices that will continue to grow – and fast. With each and every day that goes by, millions of new devices are created only to then switch on and play an active part in the world we’ve come to know. With terms like the new normal being used regularly by large players in the tech industry – due to the COVID-19 pandemic and work from home orders – who knows what the future’s normal holds for the Internet of Things.