The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes a totally interconnected world. It’s a world where devices of every shape and size are manufactured with “smart” capabilities that allow them to communicate and interact with other devices, exchange data, make autonomous decisions and perform useful tasks based on preset conditions. It’s a world where technology will make life richer, easier, safer and more comfortable.
It sounds like science fiction but it’s the world we’re currently living in. However, there are still many challenges that face the IoT concept.
IoT will connect everything in your life (possibly)
Although the end goal of IoT is to connect all the things in your life and have them communicate M2M, it’s becoming more and more challenging in the face of IoT politics. You know how most every phone uses a certain charger type except the iPhone? Instead of joining up with the other smart phone manufactures so there was a universal standard, iPhone decided profits on charging cords should stay in their pocket. IoT faces the same dilemma on a much bigger scale. Multiple networking standards exist that don’t work together in harmony, resulting in a discombobulated version of IoT. Everyone wants a piece of the IoT pie.
IoT will make your life better
IoT is all about M2M communication/automation and although it certainly will make your life smarter and more-connected, ‘better’ is certainly subjective. In fact, with less need of human interaction, certain industries may see a decrease in traditional jobs with a rise in hybrid jobs. “Designers of medical robots, personified medical device consultants, grid modernization managers, intermodal transportation network engineers are the kind of professions that will likely be on the rise in the near future,” is what is predicted by the World Economic Forum.
IoT is focused only on consumer products
IoT is more than smart tvs, fridges and watches. Even though the having all of your items at the touch of your fingertips is great, IoT has unlimited potential in other applications. IoT can be used on agricultural equipment to ensure resources are being used wisely (especially during droughts), big construction equipment to ensure workplace safety, or even integrating heavy machinery with weather forecasts to ensure costly items are used safely.
In the IoT future, our data will be open to everyone
A common misconception about IoT is that your data will be floating around in space for anyone to use. This is simply not true. Unless sold to other agencies, only the collecting agency will have direct access. For example, Verizon recently released an IoT product called Hum. Hum plugs into your car and can give you data like exact GPS location or any mechanical issues with your car. This data isn’t just floating around in space – it’s stored in Verizon/Hum Servers.
IoT is the next wave of advertising
This is unfortunately partially true. Although IoT outside of the consumer space has lifesaving applications, many consumer IoT product are the new frontier of advertising or collect data to be sold. Even if they are not used initially to collect your data, chances are they will be in the future.
What do you think is the biggest hurdle facing IoT? Are you excited or apprehensive about IoT?
Featured image: LinkedIn