We are living in a highly digitized society – the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution has already started to disrupt the norms of traditional technology. Is there such a thing as traditional technology? No sooner have we stretched our mortal minds to understanding the world-wide-web and all of its complexities, then the technology evolves, once again.
So how did IoT coin its name and where did it start? The internet has been around from the mid 1900's so IoT has been around, for the most part, as long as the internet. However, the actual phrase IoT, is documented by IoT Analytics as first being coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999. He was involved in a technology known as RFID. Basically, IoT are tangible objects that have built-in sensors and actuators and unique identifiers that transfer data through wired and wireless networks. The phrase gained reputation around 2010 and by 2014 was already on everyone’s lips when a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held in Las Vegas and the theme was none other than “Internet of Things” IoT devices are already rolling out on the global market increasing the demand for faster 5g networks, lower energy wireless and reduced data costs. So what are IoT devices and where are they currently being used? In a nutshell, IoT’s are internet-connected devices used in smart homes, smart cities, smart factories and self-driving vehicles. Devices currently being sold around the world are smart alarms for home security, automated light switches that operate remotely, thermostats for temperature recording and control, fitness wristbands - the list of IoT devices are endless. There seems to be no end insight for these techno-savvy gadgets especially since it seems to be over taking the world population. According to April 2019 statistics, the world population is estimated to be at 7.7 billion - IoT internet connected devices is estimated to be around 7 billion currently operational in the world.
In order to transform a device into a smart device, the device must be able to connect to the internet and the device must have built-in software, sensors, actuators as well as having the capacity to support network connections. These device capabilities must be compatible with either Bluetooth, LTE, 5G or other wireless technologies.
A number of industries will benefit from the development and incorporation of IoT into their systems. Designs and devices combined with IoT technology include voice control, automation, energy efficient systems, remote monitoring and control, etc. Like most things, IoT will have its obstacles and snags, dangers and hazards – one of the most distressing threats are privacy and security. The rise of technology has brought in a wave of cyber- crimes, internet security breaches, threat to employment security with unemployment being so high in most countries and poverty increasing rapidly as well as the reliance on automated systems. Automated systems like most machinery breakdown, fail or collapse and cannot simply be fixed by mend and repair,strengthen and reinforce or conceal. How will the operating systems and firmware of these devices be updated? What if there is a malware problem to a medical device? What about the ever increasing threat of viruses?
The more complex the device, the more complex the fix.
Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works.
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