What is Internet of Things

The internet of things has brought together a lot of hype, expectations about what can be done, and heavy investment from companies. Against this backdrop, let’s understand what the Internet of Things is and what we can expect in the coming years.

What qualifies something as IoT (Internet of Things)? What are the risks of this new technology? How does it impact our lives?

What is the Internet of Things?

Although it is obvious from the name, it is still quite subjective to think about what it means that the things around us are connected to the internet. Put very simply, the Internet of Things is connecting devices to the Internet so that they talk to us, to applications, and to each other.

These smart devices can be anything from cell phones to refrigerators, washing machines, medical equipment, cars, and more. With the internet of things, objects use the web as unique identifiers or processors to become part of the internet.

But like everything in this world, the internet of things is not as simple as it seems, and is still evolving. And one of the difficulties is mainly in defining and understanding what can qualify an object as an IoT device.

What qualifies something as IoT?

According to analyst and researcher, the best way to recognize something as an IoT device is by analyzing the presence of four intrinsic capabilities: connection, intelligence, interactivity, and autonomy.

Thinking of it this way, Uber’s app can be classified as IoT. The cell phone sends information about location and availability through the application allowing an intelligent response. From this, the person’s information reaches the connected Uber, finding the best combination between the distances of the two people and allowing the race to be scheduled.

Internet connection for sending information, intelligence in the combination between uber and passenger, interactivity between the two devices and the people behind them and autonomy of actions until the end of the race.

One of the main examples used to explain what the internet of things is is the intelligent refrigerator: imagine if your refrigerator could tell you when the milk ran out? Or it could identify from internal cameras that your margarine is expired and warn you by text message? This is possible with the IoT.

What does the Internet of Things mean for the world?

The real business of the internet of things will be primarily leveraged by industry. IoT is already enabling greater operational efficiency and increasing revenue-generating opportunities.

Sensors connected to devices within the supply chain such as manufacturing, healthcare, energy, transportation, agriculture, and others are key to improving process efficiency. But if this is so important, why don’t we see as many solutions like this around the world yet?

The IoT challenge: who owns the data and how to ensure security?

This is an old discussion on the Internet, but it has gained in importance with the development of the IoT. Who owns the data? Who owns the device? Who developed the program? Or who created the sensor to collect it?

There is no universal answer to this, however, under digital rights law, many of its clauses can be applied within the IoT. In most cases, you may even own the device, but it is the software developer who owns the data and lends it to you under certain terms of service.

Now for the second problem: protecting this data. With an insatiable hunger of companies to exploit the use of IoT, the risk associated with data loss and theft is high. The internet of things can be used for the security of companies, for opening and closing doors and windows, for car suspension and power cuts.

Not only does it all need to be in the domain of the right hands, it also holds stock data and important information about real people, and this is the main concern in terms of security. The right ways need to be found so that the security of this data is guaranteed.

How far can the internet of things go?

Beyond smart homes, energy control, and smart cities, the IoT may become the global solution to even more relevant problems. In a few years, we may be able to see a world that is automated and working in sync to the extent that it reduces our impact on the environment, improves management functionality, saves energy, and saves lives.