10 things you should know about IoT

IoT (Internet of things) is not a new concept. Few people know about it but the majority don't, so here are 10 things you should know about IoT.

Sunil Rajguru
New Update
10 things to know about IoT

The Internet of Things is all set for a revolution in the 2020s when we may have tens of billions of devices all across the globe continuously sending a huge amount of data which will have to be stored, crunched and analysed. After the advent of the desktop and the laptop and mobile, India has recently seen a revolution in smartphones, mobile broadband and e-commerce. IoT + AI + ML is the next logical step not just in the world but in India too.


So here are 10 things you should note about this emerging technology...

1. “Things” not “people”: While the full form of IoT is Internet of Things, it’s focus is on “things” rather than “people”. That means “things” on their own may transmit the relevant data on a continuous basis via the Internet on a central server. Sensors may be placed on any device. In a forest, any device may transmit data related to wildlife, weather etc. A wristband may also transmit information to a hospital on information related to temperature or sleep.

2. AI and ML are a great help: The amount of data that IoT devices can transmit is huge. That’s why going through it may be a mammoth task. Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is a great help in sifting through that data and making sense of it all.


3. There are more IoT devices than people: And this number will only keep growing. By many estimates, IoT devices will keep growing at an exponential rate. Smartphones, fitness trackers and internet-enabled home systems all qualify as IoT devices. We even have smart refrigerators and smart geysers along with smart bicycles and smart detectors.

4. IoT devices could warn us of calamities: Given enough IoT devices with smart sensors, they could alert us to tsunamis, wildfires and even earthquakes. These sensors could be programmed to directly give you a smartphone alert or Twitter alert or the like.

5. Fitness bands could decide your insurance premiums: If you are ready to wear fitness bands and transmit your health data to a central server, then this could be the basis of the premiums you pay. The IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) is already considering such a proposal. This theme has been explored in the science fiction TV series Continuum.


6. The first IoT device came in 1982: Carnegie Mellon University in the US Internet enabled a Coke vending machine to give information on the temperature of the colas after they were put in the machine. Simple but pioneering work.

7. There is something called IoWT too: The Internet of Wearable Things is also a concept. That’s when IoT devices can be embedded in the clothes that you wear. If the smartphone is already a part of the personal space (we rarely let it out of it), then with IoWT, it’s difficult not to feel like a cyborg.

8. There’s more alphabet soup: It’s not just IoWT. We have Enterprise Internet of Things, Internet of Medical Things, Industrial Internet of Things etc.

9. It could greatly help Indian agriculture: Right now Indian agriculture is very labour intensive and inefficient compared to the rest of the world, especially the West. If we had a network of IoTs all across the Indian agricultural system that gave real-time information related to weather, crops and status of individual machines (tractors, water pumps etc), then it could greatly increase yields.

10. Internet of things will use many wireless technologies: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID and ZigBee could work for shorter distances while VSAT could be used to transmit data to longer distances. We are still working on the standards. ICANN and NASSCOM have got together to set the IoT standards for India.