“The IoT is big news because it ups the ante: ‘Reach out and touch somebody’ is becoming ‘reach out and touch everything’.”

- Parker Trewin


Chirag Jain



Technology

The Story

 

The A,B,Cs to IOT 

Instead of delving into useless definitions and complicated terms that make no sense to a beginner, let's assume a scenario. Suppose there is a regular refrigerator that works just fine, cools things up, and freezes them as needed. What if we could tweak this old school refrigerator by adding in some sensors that detect the temperature outside and adjusts itself accordingly saving a significant amount of electricity during winters? Similarly, modifying AC’s that could optimize themselves according to the environment without any human intervention. This would not only improve user experience but would also prevent burning holes in one's pockets. Keeping in mind the same smart refrigerator, if we were to add in more sensors that could detect if the user is running out of bread, milk or eggs and alert the user through a notification on their device through the internet and could even restock groceries through the internet, wouldn’t this make life a whole lot easier? Plus, you'd never have shop for groceries again because this same refrigerator could also plan your diet and make food arrangements. 

These installations or additional changes to a device that keep the original working of the device similar but making it more user-friendly and improving computer-computer and computer-human interaction are called Embedded Systems and these, once connected to the internet can transfer data and share it with authorized users makes it an IoT device. 

We can now move onto building a definition on various technical terms which might have previously been a jargon for you. 

What is it? 

IoT stands for 'Internet of things'. It is a system or a network of devices that collects information using sensors and embedded systems, which are transferred over the internet to another computer to store, analyze, and make use of it for various purposes. 

Why do we need it? 

You might be wondering what IoT offers. How is it different from other technologies out there? How can it be beneficial for you as a high school or College Student? 

With every passing day, we witness innovations like Smart Homes, Driverless Cars, or even assistants like Siri and Alexa. IoT plays a major role in developing things that would have been unimaginable 20 years ago. In this tech savvy era where everyone is coming up with new business ideas and concepts, aiming at growing through innovation, IoT is one such concept with promising technology that can aid many other thriving technologies to reach their full potential like the smart refrigerator. 

What makes it unique is that unlike other technologies like programming, web development, etc which involves more interaction to software and less of hardware, IoT gives you hands-on experience with hardware such as Development Boards like Arduinos and Raspberry Pi. This not only makes IoT more intriguing but also provides you with a surreal experience working with electronics. 

If you are a worshipper of technology or are doing engineering, a basic understanding of IoT and associated Hardware and Software are a must know. This could help you in various gripping projects for Academics and other co-curricular purposes. If you're luckyyou may even end up with a job orna start-up in this sector. 

IoT in the real world 

IoT comes with a wide range of applications involving an array of sectors that find it useful be it Health, Business Analytics, Robotics, and Technologically advanced like Artificial Intelligence. 

Here are a few applications of IoT, explained. 

1) IoT for a common user 

Since we are well aware of the concept of Smart Homes, let's assume a situation here. You work in an office and you expect that upon reaching home, your doors are unlocked automatically without any key just through Face Detection or fingerprint sensing. Before you reach home, the AC already starts working and cools the required rooms for you. Groceries are ordered from a nearby vendor through the internet and delivered through Home delivery services . 

All just by using IoT. 

2) IoT for Commercial Purposes 

IoT can be used to monitor attendance of employees by fingerprint sensing and uploading the data to a Central Database that stores and analyzes it. This same IoT platform may also send Absence or Late attendance emails to the concerned employees and the manager thus reducing a lot of Manual labor required for the same work. 

3) IoT for Business Analytics 

Car manufacturing company produce thousands of cars each day through various manufacturing units across the country. If these cars were installed with various sensors and IoT devices that could help detect flaws in a particular part of the car, they would not only inform the user of which part is expected to worn out or go off soon but also inform the nearest Service center of the car which could arrange specific parts for the car before it arrives ,saving a lot of time.This system would also ensure the user gets the things repaired within warranty period or at a maximum discount through timely emails, relevant coupons and offers. At the same time, the company would have access to data from thousands of such cars and could use this information to design more efficient systems, thus improving business by enhancing user experience. 

4) IoT for Healthcare 

There are many situations when people are at risk medically, due to a history of problems . This could include a person with a history of Minor Cardiac arrests or a person in Coma. In such cases the person may use a wearable device such as a fitness band embedded with IoT that sends updates on the health status of the user to the hospital and other members of the family who can monitor the person without being close to them around the clock. In such cases, if a person's health deteriorates, this wearable could even call for an ambulance and in turn, save lives. 

Beginning with IoT 

As a beginner, it is important to have an idea about the topic before moving towards it. You can now get into the technical aspects of IoT, the best way of doing so is to watch some YouTube videos on Free Courses on IoT. Don’t directly buy a paid course from any website as you might end up learning nothing and losing money. After watching these videos you can go on for paid Certificate courses on websites like Udemy and Coursera. Look for reviews and ratings of the course and if it is relevant to what you want to learn in IoT. Initially, you may require to purchase some hardware like Raspberry pi or Arduinos. Purchase it from trusted sites like Amazon but in case you want them at lower prices, it is better to find a local store that sells them. Dive into the technolgical world of IoT and explore what's in stock for you! Have you ever wondered how mundane appliances like - AC, lights, or even electric fans can be operated miles away from the actual device? Or how an ambulance reaches a certain location in response to a medical emergency with the help of just a wearable fitness band? This is where IoT and many other life and money-saving applications come into play. 

 

Edited By :

Suzana John




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