The technology around us is getting smarter every year. Today, no one is surprised by a fridge or a TV with Internet access, although such technologies seem like a curiosity for the older generation. We explore the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet of Things and see how positive the trend towards widespread adoption is going to be.
About the technology
The Internet of Things or Internet of Things (IoT) is a networked device that is capable of handling data retrieved from external services. The world's first Internet of Things was John Romkey's toaster, connected to the Internet in 1990.
The Internet of Things refers to all devices that can be controlled remotely. The technology is widely used in industrial plants and in «smart homes». A striking example is a thermostat that analyzes the number of people in a room and the weather, setting an optimum temperature regime. Modern homes are also equipped with smoke and occupancy sensors to create a comfortable and safe indoor environment. IoT can be used to remotely adjust the level of lighting comfortably at different times of the day and to adjust the sound system.
Even ordinary windows can be part of the IoT. You can open a smart window before you come home from work or set it to close on its own when it rains or when the temperature drops drastically.
The advertising business, more than any other, is interested in popularizing the Internet of Things. It will be a powerful source of targeted advertising. For example, when the refrigerator runs out of food, a supermarket advertisement will be displayed.
In general, IoT is now being implemented in many areas, helping to monitor not only the home, but also the movement of traffic, energy consumption and body indicators.
The IoT will make people's lives easier and more convenient, increase productivity and minimize the impact of human error in the production process. The use of the technology will also be useful in the following areas:
- easier monitoring and control over the condition of facilities;
- the ability to quickly diagnose equipment malfunctions and increase productivity;
- efficiency self-monitoring implementation and the ability to regulate operation autonomously.
It is not safe to network so many devices. Home appliances are more difficult to protect against hacking than a computer or phone with a fully functional operating system. Even the most sophisticated anti-virus can easily miss a threat that comes from your home network and not the outside world.
Data privacy is a major problem with IoT technology. Thus, over 105 million attacks on IoT devices from 276,000 unique IP addresses were recorded during 2019-2020.
Another problem is the complexity of processing large amounts of information. Technology popularization will require increased performance of the servers that serve it, which need space and a large supply of energy.
To be or not to be?
"The Internet of Things needs a fundamentally new security model", argues Dan Kaufman, director of the Information Innovation Office at DARPA. If manufacturing companies work as hard to secure the IoT as they do to develop new directions, the privacy issue will quickly fade into the background. One of the solutions being used for security purposes today is supporting IoT with private cloud services.
Large companies are already finding solutions for optimal server colocation to reduce energy consumption, space rental and cooling costs. A striking example is the placement of a Microsoft data center at the bottom of the North Sea near Scotland.
Experts say that for IoT to become widespread, 5G networks must first be implemented. They will be able to provide a stable connection to a large number of devices at high speeds. To realize the potential of the IoT, hardware manufacturers, mobile operators, governments and users need to work together. With that kind of collaboration for a common goal, the IoT will become a reality very quickly.