What is IoT? And How Does It Work?
Updated: Aug 13
There's been a lot of chatter about IoT, or the Internet of Things, with many people giving their two cents and discussing how it could change everything. But what is the Internet of Things? And how does it work? Read along and get a sense of IoT and how it could genuinely change our daily lives.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is more of a concept than anything, at least now. The idea is anything with an on/off switch could be connected to the internet and many other devices. The IoT could become this vast, enormous network of things and people connected, sharing data and communicating with one another.
Whether it's an intelligent microwave, even a self-driving car, or a fitness device that measures your heart rate, it could all be a part of this massive ecosystem of devices. Some people even imagine that a soccer ball or basketball could have this technology, measuring how fast the ball was kicked or thrown and helping athletes perfect their craft.
And How Does It Work?
Now you might think that sounds cool, but how does it work? Well, IBM explains it this way, "devices and objects with built-in sensors are connected to an Internet of Things platform, which integrates data from the different devices and applies analytics to share the most valuable information with applications built to address specific needs."
Not to worry if you're left scratching your head and still feeling puzzled.
That means everyday products would have tiny computers and collect information from how we use them. Think of how cars now this auto-brake system has sensors, where the vehicle can detect someone walking in front of your car and stop before it would even be humanly possible, making things safer for everyone.
Imagine This: IoT at Home
Who has set their alarm for 6:30 am to get to work on time the following day? Most of us can agree, I think. Then imagine that the power goes out during the night for some reason. Then come the morning, your alarm doesn't go off. And to top it all off, there are massive delays on all major routes you use to get to work.
The difference with using an IoT-enabled alarm clock is that it could reset itself even after the power went out. So, your alarm would have still gone off, and you won't have to be flying out the door. But wait, there's more; it could also let you know what traffic was like and if there were any delays and even tell you if it was going to rain or not.
And Think About This: IoT and Your Car
Imagine you're driving to work, and the check engine light suddenly comes on. Right away, you're thinking, what could it be?? And is it urgent? Can I make it to work and even back home?
If your car's connected to IoT, the sensors used in the vehicle could let you know you need to check your engine and what exactly was wrong. You'd be able to know what part was required, how long it would take, and if it was highly urgent—giving you peace of mind. Long gone are the days of waiting for hours at your local garage.
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