Understanding “The Internet of Things” (IoT) and the Future

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Wikipedia: “The Internet of things (IoT)
is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances
and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors,
actuators, and network connectivity which enables
these objects to connect and exchange data. Each
thing is …able to inter-operate within the existing
Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT
consists of about 30 billion objects in 2020.
It is also estimated that the global market value
of IoT will has reached $7.1 trillion in 2020.”

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Understanding “The Internet of Things”
(IoT) and the Future

The explosion of Internet-connected and interconnected
devices is changing the way the world operates

The Daily Walk with Love, August 18, 2020, by Paul Evans, Video is Investing in the Internet of Things, YouTube, 13:52, which focuses mainly on industrial applications of the IoT, as well as making a good explanation of basic concepts. Featured photograph showcases Google engineer Denise Harwood at work on banks of “server” computers (which put out websites to the networked satellites) and is courtesy of Daily Mail.

For the “non-tech-professional” people among us, I think, basically, I should explain in the first place, these guys have got tech really ramped up and the face of technology is constantly changing and innovating, driving forward and becoming more important. So that’s part of the picture. But really, I think computer geeks like to have and use a terminology only they understand, so they are more valuable and exclusive in the world. They could have said “Internet connected, inter-connected and inter-operable devices of many sorts,” but it just seems cooler to speak of an “Internet of Things,” (and to shorten this to “the IoT”), and for a long time, no one but the geeks knew what that meant! All this is job security for IT professionals in the business world, lol. But, like the Cloud, artificial intelligence and advances in robotics, this is real, this is happening in our “Brave New World,” and I think we had best adjust to it, because it’s the future.

The brilliant astro-physicist Stephen Hawking said that AI could be the best thing, or the worst thing, to ever have happened to mankind. A real test for those in power is to make absolutely certain that this tremendous growth in technology does not leave the common man so far that there is no place for us in the world. So far it is not looking good. Service sector jobs do not really provide a decent standard of living for us, and college is becoming more and more out of reach for all but the rich. All of us must work hard to put a caring, human face on this business savvy, high-tech world. Even for the tech-literate writer following on changes in this rapidly evolving tech world, just keeping up on the terminology can be quite a challenge.

I’m going to start out with a synopsis and “fair use” quotation of an article from Forbes titled A Simple Explanation Of ‘The Internet Of Things’, (Forbes, May 13, 2014, by Jason Morgan, Contributor). This was a remarkably prescient article for 2014:

The ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. But what exactly is the “Internet of things” and what impact is it going to have on you, if any? There are a lot of complexities around the “Internet of things” but I want to stick to the basics. Lots of technical and policy-related conversations are being had but many people are still just trying to grasp the foundation of what the heck these conversations are about.

…Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cellphones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of. This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. As I mentioned, if it has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT. The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices… That’s a lot of connections (some even estimate this number to be much higher, over 100 billion). The IoT is a giant network of connected “things” (which also includes people). The relationship will be between people-people, people-things, and things-things….

In further discussing a future built on the IoT, Wikipedia adds that:

The IoT allows objects to be sensed or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention. When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids, virtual power plants, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities.

Read the full Wikipedia article, which is quite current, here.

Forbes made a good discussion of what some researchers thought the IoT would look like in 2018. has a good article on what it thinks will happen with the IoT in 2018, noting that “Forrester Research predicts that the IoT will become the backbone of future customer value, the IoT infrastructure will shift to the edge and to specialized IoT platforms, developers will have a significant impact on platforms and initiatives, and security will remain a key concern.” With that, we will present our featured video on industrial application to the IoT:

You may also wish to read a somewhat scathing article from Wired, 7 Reasons Why the Internet of Things Is Doomed, Wired.com, 2016, by Jason Bloomberg.

What You Want to Know
About the Internet of Things

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