The Internet of Things

What is it?

The Internet of Things or IoT is a set of physical objects that use electronics, sensors, software and network connectivity to collect and exchange data. The idea behind IoT isn’t new it’s something which has been in discussion for decades and there was the first internet-connected toaster made in 1989.

Where you will have most probably come across a frequent use of IoT is smart meters provided to homeowners by energy companies. Smart meters provide you with information about how much energy you are using within the home which can help you to lower your utility bills but also helps towards the amount of energy we use as a nation. The use of IoT can be used on a much larger scale than within the home it can also be used throughout cities and industry.

How will IoT affect businesses?

McKinsey predicted that around 30 billion objects could be connected with IoT by 2020 in his recent report so how will this affect the working world? Depending on what industry your in IoT may have more significance and may even already be in place. Manufacturing and Farming seem to be ahead in this field and are utilising the benefits to increase efficiency within their sectors. It is predicted that it will most likely start to appear in most workplaces in the future and be adapted just as computing and software have been integrated into most businesses.

Problems with security

As with many things that are related to technology, there is a downside to this system of interconnectivity and analysis. As the objects gather information and data they provide a wealth of information about people’s everyday habits and usage. In the example of smart meters, companies have data about when you will most likely be home and even when you are likely to be putting the kettle on. As it stands there are criticisms over the security levels of IoT however, with the likely expansion of its usage it is expected that the security and privacy of these systems will be considered more carefully in the future.