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What is IoT?; applications far beyond home automation
When we think about the Internet of Things, the first image that comes to our mind is the image of an independent fridge that buys things on its own, or the image of a vacuum cleaner which is linked to the windows in order to achieve the ventilation and cleaning of the ambassador’s reception.
And that’s very good. In home automation, IoT will be one of its daily applications, but it will only be one more application.
After all, the Internet of Things goes far beyond that. In this article we are going to learn very briefly what IoT is and why it will change our lives for the better.
What is IoT?
Basically, the Internet of Things is a very simple concept: it is about the interconnection through the network of all types of devices or gadgets.
So far, the main Internet users are human beings (always, with our computers or mobile phones acting as “intermediaries”). IoT will imply that, autonomously and without human intervention, millions of devices will be connected to the network to share all types of information, far exceeding the number of humans connected.
Then what will all these devices “talk about”? Will they tell each other about their day putting up with those annoying humans? Will they share “selfies” on the beach or on a cliff? Well, they may do that someday, but at the moment they will communicate with us to change our lives. Let’s see how they will do that.
This is why the IoT will be much more than just buying for us or lighting our house
It is not always easy to imagine the implications of a new technology. When looking to the future, our imagination often drives us to overlook this.
IoT may not be the most striking technology of the past few years. Let’s face it, it doesn’t sound as good as virtual reality, or as exciting and scary as robotics or artificial intelligence. However, its transformative potential is enormous, and it is right before our eyes.
It is usually a good idea to be specific. How about looking at some examples?
– Autonomous cars
Everyone is talking about this technology, which will require IoT in order to be fully operational.
An autonomous car is not the same as half a million autonomous cars. We all look forward to seeing this type of car on our streets once and for all, but we don’t always think about the underlying technology involved. It is not only a vehicle which is equipped with sensors and artificial intelligence, but also enjoys continuous communication between its systems and traffic control systems and those of other autonomous vehicles, in order to achieve the necessary safety standards. And in order to do this, IoT will be very necessary.
– Smart cities
Following our previous example, imagine a hyper-connected traffic management system, capable of identifying and communicating when it is necessary to change the colour of a traffic light, or to coordinate the movement of hundreds of interconnected vehicles. Or, imagine an intelligent pollution control system, capable of improving air quality thanks to thousands of sensors connected to the network. But what is IoT? Well, The possibilities of IoT applied to cities are endless and could greatly improve the quality of life of citizens, thus helping to solve problems that affect millions of people every day. Do you want to know more? We’ve already written an article about smart cities.
– Applications in the agricultural or industrial sector
There are loads of them. From the automated and hyper-connected control of crops or herds (for example, there are already collars which can control the health of cows), to much more intelligent and automated factories than the current ones.
IoT is one of the main drivers of the so-called Industry 4.0, and one of the first areas where it will be used (and, indeed, it is already being used). Production lines that modify their workload in real time according to demand, intelligent and automated warehouses that work in line with web page orders… The IoT promises to be one of the factors that will boost performance and efficiency in the production sectors, in so many different ways.
These will go far beyond displaying the time in style or controlling our heart rate while running. In a few years, wearable products will perform all kinds of tasks, and will benefit from their connection to the network.
From virtual assistants that will allow us to be connected at all times without us being aware of it, to sensors that will measure all kinds of variables that may affect our health and will maintain direct contact with healthcare centers, through all kinds of devices that will perform even more tasks than you can imagine.
– Commercial applications
Wearable, smart cities or smart retail, IoT will take over our lives and will build a tailor-made world.
Let’s take a little trip. Imagine, for example, that you need to buy a shirt, but you want to go to the store to try it on in person. When you talk to your virtual assistant, he or she will search the Internet for the shops where you can find whatever you are looking for (and the stocks available at that time) and will ask for an independent taxi to come and pick you up. As soon as you take it, he or she will welcome you with your favourite music (which they will know since your assistant will have told them). When you arrive at the store, all you have to do is say good morning. Thanks to the IoT, your shirt will be waiting for you in one of the changing rooms so that you can see how it suits you without waiting.
These are just a few examples regarding that question: what is IoT?. The communicating potential of the Internet of Things will mean a paradigm shift in many respects, both for personal life and for economic life.
And now that you know some more things about IoT, how about taking a moment to get to know Pandora FMS?
Pandora FMS is flexible monitoring software, which is able to monitor devices, infrastructures, applications, services and business processes. And it is also capable of monitoring IoT.
Do you want to know what IoT monitoring in Pandora FMS is all about?
The Pandora FMS team will be happy to help you!