What's IoT? Let's Break It Down

By Alison Osborne

Did You Say… Internet of Things?

So first things first: What is the Internet of Things, most commonly referred to as IoT?

IoT is a system of interrelated computing devices, objects, and digital machines, that have the ability to transfer data to each other without the need for human interaction (Internet of Thing Agenda).

To put it into perspective, imagine that your smartwatch is able to talk to your water bottle. Every hour, your watch knows that you need to drink more water, so it tells your water bottle to light up. Or let’s say that you need to know the traffic forecast before leaving your office for the day. Your phone will connect to your GPS to tell you exactly what’s happening.

Long story short - the power of IoT is the ability of devices to communicate amongst one another.

Am I sounding like the apocalypse yet? Just wait.

Why You Should Give a Sh*t

Ah, the age-old question… why should I care?

Not only does IoT have the ability to impact the way we work, but it’s set to change the way we live.

With the rise of WiFi powered devices, the ability for everyday ‘things’ to communicate becomes even higher. As IoT continues its adoption, eventually billions of objects will be communicating to provide extreme ease to human existence.

What Your Day Will Look Like With IoT

You wake up in the morning, your phone alarm goes off. As you get out of bed, you  smell coffee brewing in your kitchen. Your phone sent a message to the coffee machine so it knew to brew your morning caffeine.

You walk into the kitchen and drink your coffee. At the same time, your water bottle reminds you to drink 2 glasses of water to hydrate for the day ahead. To add some coziness to your early morning, the room has been preset at a perfect temperature. How do all of your devices know to do that? They are communicating with one another.

That sound’s techy...

The beauty of IoT is that the morning I just described can be anyone’s average. All you need is WiFi.

Safety, Security, and Overall Privacy

Let’s address the elephant in the room - security. What do interconnected devices mean for your personal security? Is someone going to hack your coffee machine, then have access to your network of devices connected to it?

The discussion around security has been pretty popular among professionals for a while and many individuals are worried about the safety and security of their information. In a study done by HP, they found that 70% of IoT devices are actually at risk for attack (HP).

So, you’re not the only one afraid of getting your coffee machine hacked.

Privacy is another issue that general users are bringing up on the topic of IoT. Our devices will be tracking us 24/7, so if you don’t think that Google should see what tabs you have open, think about what they will know when your devices are connected to Google Home. This potential surveillance piece of IoT is evoking fear amongst the public, especially as smart devices have an increasing impact on our daily lives.

Okay, It’s Not So Bad

Overall, IoT is an incredible technology that we’ll definitely see more of in the future. Of course, there are issues that need to be fixed, but I think it has a bright future.

IoT has the potential to increase public safety, improve company efficiency, and make everyday life a little simpler.

What’s your take on IoT? Let us know!