Your product could be a refrigerator, a lawn mower, a bike, your Apple Watch, a diesel generator, a commercial aircraft, or a perfume. All these products are connected to the Internet through IoT devices. These IoT devices are microprocessors that can collect all types of data from the products.So once they are connected to the IoT devices or microprocessors they start operating like a micro computer collecting the data and operating the products as instructed. It could be sensor data, location data, health data, energy usage data, measurement data, industrial data, environment data, vehicle data, communication data, consumer data, and security data.
For example, the sensors detecting the temperature, the smell and the colour of vegetables in your refrigerator could tell you about the health of vegetables. The length and the colour of grass in your lawn mower, the location data of your bike, the heart beat and blood pressure that your Apple Watch records, the engine data from of a diesel generator or a commercial aircraft or the odour of the room that causes auto release of fragrance in the room could be all IoT driven. Apart from working as a microprocessor, a sensor, a data collector and an operator, controller and monitor the IoT device must have its own IP address and at times it’s own energy source or battery pack. The IoT device has however limited storage and analytics capability but we are not getting into the hardware and firmware part as this is a book for users not for developers. We will simply say that to reduce cost and attain scalability it accesses the cloud storage and analytics infrastructure on the internet that can turn the microprocessor into a super computer in milliseconds.
Every ‘thing’ in your home, car or office can be accessed and operated remotely through IoT. Gadgets like mobile phones, computers, and televisions are already connected to the internet and function in a ‘smart’
way. Others, such as home lighting, air conditioners, deep freezers, toasters, dog collars, door locks, and so forth, can turn smart if they are fitted with an IoT device. The IoT device contains more a dozen firmware and hardware components including microprocessors, relays, keyboards, sensors etc, all camouflaged behind a sleek switch for the consumer. For example, you can stick Amazon Dash IoT buttons to your washing machine or dishwasher and order your detergents automatically.
IoT is one of the biggest success stories of this decade. It has been transformative for the technology user because it has networked all aspects of future living including the humans themselves into the worldwide web itself. In 2010 there were less than 1 billion IoT devices. By 2023 there are more than 15 billion IoT services ( some say 20 billion ) on the net of which a third is in China. No of devices are growing by over 16% annually globally and are completely changing the way we use technology. Tomorrow we may use
customised IoT devices on our refrigerator or car and for that we need to understand technology as a consumer.