IoT – Intelligent world thanks to Internet of Things
The Internet of Things will have a lasting impact on the world as we know it.
IoT, Internet of Things, has a big impact on topics like Industry 4.0, our homes, and even everyday things like T-shirts and shoes. But what is IoT and why do we hear it so often?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a big topic around the globe. It is slowly affecting all areas of our lives and all industries. From industry, to our own workplace, to our sportswear, everything is becoming intelligent and is supposed to help us make better decisions with data. But why do we hear it so often, why is it now being built in everywhere, and what does IoT even mean?
In general, the Internet is becoming more and more accessible and broadband is available almost everywhere in the world. As a result, many manufacturers are integrating WiFi chips to connect cell phones, televisions, printers, and more to the Internet to provide more functionality or to collect data to make decisions. This evolution of more available internet and better WiFi modules has led to the golden era of IoT.
What is IoT – Internet of Things?
IoT is actually relatively simple in itself to explain. It refers to the concept of connecting offline items such as coffee machines, refrigerators, lamps, watches and more to the Internet to make them smarter. The limits are almost impossible to fathom at the moment, as new chips, new sensors and also new wireless connections are coming onto the market every month and are constantly revealing new areas of possibility. Industry 4.0 in particular also wants to use intelligent machines that can control themselves, be maintained remotely, or even provide more information about the production process. For example, aircraft turbines can be monitored remotely or oil rigs can be controlled intelligently.
In one of its reports, Gartner mentioned that by 2020 there will be more than 26 billion devices connected to the Internet. Some other estimates even go up to over 100 billion. And everything should lead to the fact that we can connect people with people, people with machines and machines with machines.
Why does the IoT – Internet of Things affect me as an entrepreneur?
As a general principle, it was once said “Everything that can be connected will be connected.” So the question for many entrepreneurs will also be why everything needs to be connected in the first place.
Here are a few examples of why networking can make sense or add value:
- The car is linked to your calendar, the route is automatically set as soon as you get in the car and if you are late, the car would automatically send a message that you are late
- The alarm clock rings at 6 a.m., it automatically turns on the coffee maker, the lights are turned on and the blinds are left up.
- Wearing a device that measures your productivity and shows you when you are most productive, scheduling breaks accordingly, making sure you are reminded to move, etc.
- Printer, coffee machine, refrigerator, etc. would tell you when something is missing and even refill it yourself.
- The sports T-shirt and shoes have sensors, give feedback on better movements, control pulse and allow to track and share the training progress on the cell phone.
Of course, these are just a few examples of how you can use the networking of simple things to create added value or customer benefits. Various links with smartphones, smart wearables (fitness bands, smartwatches, etc.), the home, etc. can lead to completely new possibilities for the user. Also integration of voice control, gesture control and much more is possible to turn an unwanted activity into an automation or to give the user more possibilities.
Business models with IoT
Especially companies can create a market advantage in this area and build up new business areas. For example, it is possible as a machine builder to also take over the maintenance, if the machine can be monitored and controlled intelligently, this is easy to plan. An accounting can be created, where costs are only incurred when the machine is working. In the same way, expensive machines can be made accessible and billable to several people by allowing each person to use the machine only with personal access.
Many new business models are emerging through the networking of online and offline. Companies can also address new market segments, have the chance to discover new niches and offer customers completely new product and service experiences. Improved customer experience and new opportunities are just a few examples of what can be offered with intelligent machines, because the possibilities can be many, but the power of data also gives the problem of security.
Security risk IoT – Internet of Things
Recently, it has become increasingly known that various IoT devices were not secured at all or were secured far too weakly. For example, it was possible to hack some devices from leading manufacturers for smart home products, such as computer-controlled light switches, without much effort. If it can be annoying at home when the neighbor plays around with your lights or turns the music up/down, this security gap can be a big problem especially for the industry. In addition, not only the transmission of data is a problem, but also the storage. On the one hand, there are then gigantic amounts of data to be handled, and on the other hand, sensitive data can also be processed, leading to completely new data protection requirements.
For example, it is possible to find out sexual behavior, fitness level, movement patterns and much more via the much-used fitness wristbands. Theoretically, it would be possible to use such profiles to identify people or to draw conclusions for insurance companies etc.
Conclusion on IoT – Internet of Things in our environment
We will see a much higher proportion of smart machines in the coming years. In this context, the market for IoT devices and smart sensors will grow rapidly and offer new opportunities for companies to offer their services and products. SMEs in particular will be able to strongly differentiate themselves in niches by offering intelligent services and play out their advantages there. Despite the current dangers with still partly insecure connections and the big question of data protection, companies should now intensively deal with how they can intelligently network their offers and products in order to generate added value and offer customers a better experience.
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