IoT – The Internet of Things – A primer

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From the familiar shores of the world wide web, we witness a new dawn – the dawn of the Internet of Things or IoT, in short. The concept, however simple, stems off the idea that hooks everyday objects into a synaptic grid, giving science fiction writers a run for their money. This distributed network of devices allows control of the physical world through the Internet and opens up a world of possibilities.

From coffee makers to lawn mowers, the choice of devices that can be connected to the IoT grid is endless. Though the concept of ‘Ubiquitous Computing’ is not new, the advent of rapid prototyping devices like Arduino and standards like Zigbee and Z-Wave have paved way for novel and radically new applications. We now have affordable thermostats that receive local weather data off the Internet to schedule temperature control plans and hue lighting systems that can be controlled over micro-blogging sites.

Apart from standalone devices, sensors and parts of a device can be part of the IoT ecosystem. Sensors connected to the Internet can come especially handy in complex frameworks aeronautics, farming, city planning and transportation. Though IoT is still in its infancy, we can well see the digital equivalent of Darwinian evolution at play.

Rightly so, IoT critics lament over security. With devices being an integral part of human society and controlling the physical world, breaches in security can leave us in dire straits. With issues well within our reach to be fixed, the future where we find car keys and seeing what’s left in the refrigerator through a browser is not all that far.

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