Internet of Things for the Uninitiated

By NIIT Editorial

Published on 14/01/2021

5 minutes

The Internet of Things refers to the multitude of devices that are integrated with sensors, software, and other lateral technologies whose objective is to share data over the internet. The total number of devices connected to the internet continues to grow by the minute. It is estimated that there are somewhere close to 31 billion IoT devices in the world as of writing. 


What is the Significance of the Internet of Things (IoT)?


System and software interconnectedness has shown us the true potential of smart living. Be it everyday home appliances such as voice assistants, light control units, thermostats, or even cars, real-time data communication between sensor-enabled devices offers a convenient, hygienic, and resource-optimized life overall. 


Since data is the new oil, and cloud computing is getting low-cost, technologies such as data science, real-time analytics, mobile and artificial intelligence can interoperate to collect data without a human dependency. This data feed can be analysed and acted upon by businesses that can design bespoke products and services tailored to the exact needs of customers. In other words, it is a win-win for all.


What Technologies Make IoT Effective?


The following factors or technologies have rendered the ongoing IoT revolution effective: 


Affordable sensors - Manufacturers have a bevy of sensors to choose from that are both low cost and offer high performance. This mass availability of sensors made possible the entry of multiple competing forces into the market and as a result up the quality of services meted out to users.  


Connectivity - As with any other technology, networking has come of age. The sheer number of protocols available for connecting to a network has made bringing interconnected sensors under one roof. 


Cloud Computing - cloud platforms made scaling operations on the go feasible for enterprise IT teams in turn giving the user undeterred access to mobile solutions. This has contributed immensely to the growth of the IoT industry. 


Machine Learning - With cumulative progress in statistical sciences machine learning has given analytics and artificial intelligence a much-needed push towards autonomy and self-learning. The data collected through IoT can be used as a throughput for machine learning training sets that will learn and relearn customer preferences to send forth profitable product recommendations. 


Artificial Intelligence - The virtual assistants running the show at most smart homes are a product of neural network connections and natural language processing (NLP). without them, IoT may not have the same look and feel. 


How is IoT Changing the World?

IoT has made a transformative, progressive impact on the world. Home assistants like Amazon’s Echo Dot, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Alexa have made significant strides into millions of homes. Already, the global Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) marketplace is expected to account for about $17.72 billion by 2023. 


With the onset of 5G, connected cars could be the next sub-sector in waiting to power ahead. Speculation points to the informal formation of a transportation-as-a-service sector where autonomous car manufacturers would not sell cars but charge a royalty to the drivers. Agriculture, healthcare, and retail are yet other fields where IoT is proving its worth with revenue maximising possibilities.  

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