Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things

There’s a new buzz word which has been making its way around the Internet the last few years and has now started to become really popular in 2014, this is the Internet of Things or IoT.

What is this IoT?

IoT is a concept which has been based on all connected computing devices regardless of what their role is, this concept aims for a future where every day devices will be connected to the Internet and be able to identify themselves to other devices.

For instance a device can refer to a wide variety of devices that range anywhere from a fridge freezer to smart TV’s to heart monitoring implants to vehicle built-in sensors.  The list of devices is endless, especially with the growing reliance upon wireless technologies.

IoT is in some ways the next evolution of the Internet and the digital world, as time moves on you will be connected or have access to any of your devices of your choosing, be able to see exactly what is happening and what the status of the device you are watching is.

What can it do for me?

Some of the benefits that can come out of using IoT is being more in control of spending and visibility of what is happening around you on a day to day basis.  Utility smart meters in the home that are now being rolled out in the UK allow for the home user and the utility company to see exactly what is being used in real-time, allowing for more accurate billing.

Smart TVs are now the norm, allowing the home user to connect their TVs to the internet and stream content from Netflix and YouTube for example.

Potentially having biometric sensors inserted into the body (heart monitors) could aid in life saving rescues that alert the doctor or nearest hospital if the monitor detects irregular activity.

These are only some of the possible outcomes of using IoT, just look at all the apps that are available on your smart phone or tablet, the possibilities are endless.

Is it secure?

This is a hot topic, there has been a lot of discussion about the use of smart meters in the home, people saying that they can easily be hacked and leak personal information, others argue that they are secure as anything else.

Hopefully with all the focus upon cyber security, and the UK government’s Cyber Essentials security scheme, security is one of the first priorities that hardware vendors work on resolving to ensure every device that is build and released is as secure as possible.

Only time can tell whether everything will stay as secure as it should.  As hackers and technologists start investigating these IoT devices more information will become apparent, and fixes will be rolled out to secure which ever holes are found.

The future?

So what about the future, where will the IoT take us? Who knows, technology is becoming dependent upon an ever connecting world, everything now comes (or can be updated) with some sort of interface to go online.  As long as the security controls are in place this can only become a good solution, the only way to tell, is wait and see and see where it takes us.

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