What is Internet-of-Things (IoT)?

Let’s take a simple example. Your phone. Before it was connected to the Internet it was dumb, like really dumb. It could only play the songs you have put in it. It could only call the people you have the contact number for.

Then something magical happened. We connected it to the internet

Now it can play any song. You are not limited to just a contact number for connecting to someone. You have access to information in your hand that won’t fit in TBs of data storage. That’s the power of connecting to the Internet.

Internet and smartphones, computers are really powerful tools, but the smartphone won’t water your plants, it won’t open your door. These devices have very limited physical abilities.

The Internet of Things is about extending the power of the internet beyond computers and smartphones to a whole range of other things, processes, and environments.

How do we do that? How do we extend the power to the internet?

By putting components in the world around you which interact and sense the physical world and connecting those to the internet. These components are combinations of sensors and actuators.

What is the sensor?

Simply put, the sensor measures a physical property. Like temperature sensor measures temperature.

What is an actuator?

You can understand actuators as the opposite of the sensor. Like sensors converts external changes to signal, actuators convert signature to action. Like opening a door lock.

Of course with these sensors and actuators you would need some additional hardware that controls these and if needed and transfers information.

IoT Changing the world

IoT enables you to monitor and act on connected devices more closely than ever. Be it industries managing their machines, farmers checking on their crops, governments managing the borders, administrations monitoring air or water quality, nothing needs to be checked once or twice a week manually.

Everything happens in real-time!

Think of smart refrigerators that remind you when you run out of stock of milk, or smart plants which remind you to water them when they run dry, the possibilities are only limited to your imagination.

We are already seeing such great changes with IoT

  • Self Driving Cars
  • Smart Home and Industrial Security
  • Home Automation
  • Fitness trackers, smartwatches and wearables
  • Autonomous and efficient Farming

It’s very important that you understand and imagine how a world with IoT would look like. Here are two really good Ted talks which will help you visualize a world of future with IoT

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