The Internet of Things
Post By Saksham Garg on 24-September-2015
It has been more than 20 years since the invention of the Internet, or more specifically the World Wide Web. Since then the database has constantly expanded, so that at now we have about 4.77 billion pages on the Internet. Not only this, with the advent of cloud computing, there is roughly 4000 Exabytes of data freely available to us. Doesn’t seem so much? Well, 1 Exabyte = 1 Billion Gigabytes. You do the Maths.
But why stop at web pages? Why not connect everyday objects to the internet? Enter: the ‘Internet of Things’. IoT is the network of physical objects or ‘things’ that are embedded with electronics, sensors etc and can communicate via the internet.
But how do we make a real life object do all those things? Let’s take the example of your couch. To make any object into a ‘smart thing’, we need the following –
It must have a unique identification. Just like an IP address, each thing must be identifiable through a unique tag or label. It will then be able to communicate through the internet using this tag.
It must have the basic senses. Sure, giving senses to your couch sounds funny, but it’s very plausible. For example, to give your couch sight, a small camera can be fitted. To give your couch the sense of touch, motion detecting or pressure sensors can be built in. To give it the sense of hearing, we can add speakers. Let’s just drop the senses of taste and smell for now.
It must be able to communicate. Suppose you are out holidaying, and a burglar breaks into your house. In the midst of the robbery, he decides to take a small break and sits on the couch while drinking a cold beverage.Your couch immediately detects his presence and not only notifies you on your smart phone, but also sends a message to the nearest police station.The burglar would never be able to figure out what he did wrong.
Last but not the least, you must be able to communicate as well as control the ‘thing’. Suppose you were alerted of the intruder, so you immediately give the command for the camera to start recording the burglar through the internet, thereby saving evidence against the imposter.
This was a very small example. IoT has immense potential in every field known to humans. It can be added to your wrist watch which monitors your heartbeat. In case of a heart attack it can automatically contact the ambulance and doctor, hence saving crucial time as well as the need to act on it yourself. Modern structures will become more sound as these ‘smart things’ will be able to detect and notify faults more precisely and faster than any other method. Road travel would become safer as cars would be able to communicate amongst themselves, eliminating phenomena like jams and road accidents.
The Internet of Things is surely to become a bigger accomplishment than the Internet itself.