The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, has been a hot topic for the last few years. Since its emergence, it has transformed how we live and how things operate. This technological phenomenon will impact not only how we work but how we live.

A key enabler is broadband Internet because it’s now much cheaper and widely available. As a result, more devices are now built with Wi-Fi capabilities. Furthermore, sensors have also been built into these devices beyond smartphones and tablets.

So, what exactly is IoT?

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The Internet of Things Defined

According to Gartner, the Internet of Things is a network of physical objects built with technology that can sense, interact, and communicate with their external environment and internal states.

These can be your smartphones, thermostats, coffee makers, lamps, refrigerators, wearables, and basically anything that you can think of. There is also a lot of hype surrounding IoT, so there have been many predictions over the years about how many smart connected objects will exist.

At the moment, Gartner predicts 20.8 billion connected devices; some others have made much higher estimates.  

So, What Does This All Mean?

Since anything that can be connected to the Internet will be connected to the Internet, it can potentially add real value to our lives. We are also already experiencing its value as we have connected cars that can predict the best route to avoid traffic or communicate with your home thermostat that you’re on your way.

Further, in an industrial setting, embedded sensors can potentially add value to processes by reducing energy consumption and enhancing productivity. However, all these devices communicating with each other and monitoring activity will generate more data than ever before.

So, businesses will have to find innovative ways to store, analyze, and track the vast amount of data that is continuously generated in real-time.

Security will also continue to be a massive concern as billions of objects connected together on a network can be open to multiple vulnerabilities. So, companies will continue to strive to keep their devices secure (but it will be an ongoing process).

There will also be regulatory issues as there is concern regarding data sharing and privacy. As a result, the Internet of Things will create new opportunities but also a growing number of new challenges.

The Bottom Line

Whether you like it or not, this technology is the fastest-growing segment that will impact every aspect of our lives. So, whether it’s at home, in the car, or at work, we must properly understand how it works and speculate about its potential impact on us personally and society as a whole.

How is IoT impacting your business? How about your life at home? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.

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