“IoT” is one of those tech terms that gets thrown around a lot. Unfortunately, a lot of people who use the term do not sufficiently explain its meaning. So, what is IoT technology? For a start, we should mention that IoT is an acronym that stands for the “Internet Of Things.” Still, what does that even mean? As a general rule, it refers to smart devices that are able to access the internet and use it to perform services. As these devices continue to grow in popularity, it will be important for the average person to know how they work.
How Does The “Internet Of Things” Work?
IoT works through a combination of feedback mechanisms such as sensors and cameras. The data collected from these mechanisms is fed into the internet, and the device responds in certain ways. For instance, there are smart thermostats that are meant to maintain a particular temperature range. This one was a no-brainer because a thermostat is, in itself, a feedback device.
Some people are touting the benefits of futuristic “smart homes” in which all essential household systems are controlled automatically from a central hub. This would include everything from door locks to refrigerator controls. While it is unlikely that most people will ever go that far with the idea, IoT is definitely here to stay.
The Many Uses Of IoT
There are all sorts of ways in which IoT technology is being used. It has seen a wide deployment in a very wide range of industries. Let’s go over a few examples so that you can see just how fast this trend is growing.
IoT In Home Automation
These devices can be used to handle many common household tasks, freeing up time for the residents. For instance, you can use smart lighting rigs that will automatically dim or shut off your lights when no one is nearby. In like manner, it can be used to shut off any powered device that isn’t in use. Obviously, that will have a positive effect on your electric bill. If you choose to have multiple IoT devices, they can probably be controlled through a smartphone app or some other master control application.
IoT In The Medical Industry
Patients that require constant monitoring can greatly benefit from the use of IoT devices. For instance, a connected heart monitor can instantly alert the staff is someone’s heartbeat falls into an irregular pattern. Older patients that are vulnerable to slips, falls, and other mishaps can also benefit from an IoT-based alert system. Such things have been around for years, but IoT has definitely made them more efficient.
IoT In Transportation
If you’ve heard about those new self-driving cars, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that they are largely controlled by IoT technology. By combining a connected monitor with a well-taught AI, the system can collect feedback from its environment and respond in real time. Obviously, this technology isn’t perfect yet. which is why most people aren’t using self-driving vehicles. Still, we can easily see where IoT technology is capable of taking us in the future.
IoT In Manufacturing
Although the automation of manufacturing has made many good things possible, it does come with one natural problem: When you are mass-producing goods, and something goes wrong with the equipment, you might end up producing quite a few defective products before the problem is noticed and corrected. That’s how you end up with product recalls in which hundreds or even thousands of defective items make it into the open market. IoT allows for automatic quality control and quicker detection of defects, which has the potential to eliminate a lot of manufacturing issues.
Security Concerns With IoT Devices
Unfortunately, IoT devices may not be the most secure options in the world. There have already been numerous instances in which hackers have been able to take control of IoT devices and use them in malicious ways. In most cases, these incidents have amounted to little more than mean-spirited pranks, but that’s only because IoT is still not prevalent in many homes and industries.
As this technology continues to grow, there will be a need to improve its security. For instance, the use of encrypted tunneling (like that used by a VPN service) could be used to provide a secure and closed-off gateway between the IoT device and its control module.
One of the most insidious threats is the use of botnets. This is basically a network of programs that run autonomously (hence why they are called “bots”). They can be powered by an AI, but don’t necessarily require one. So basically, hackers take control of a device and add it to the botnet without the user’s knowledge. This allows them to utilize resources from that computer for a variety of illicit purposes. There is a certain type of botnet called Mirai which specifically targets IoT devices, and that will continue to be a major concern.
IoT devices offer a level of convenience that is unprecedented in the world. If you think about it, all of these IoT uses come down to one simple thing: Automated maintenance. These devices can automate the basic maintenance tasks that pretty much all machines need. That’s an exciting concept because it could save so much time and effort. There is a lot more to this subject, but we think this is enough to give you a proper idea. If you would like to know more, you can always call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.