With technology in a constant state of advancement and acceleration, you wouldn’t imagine that the only devices that can connect to the internet are our computers or cell phones, would you?
What does IoT mean?
Well, in a world as interconnected as ours, this technological advancement gave way to the Internet of Things or its acronym “IoT”.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to understand how IoT is present in your day-to-day life, and maybe you didn’t realize it.
In addition, we will review the pros and cons of this technology, and why there are many detractors of the tremendous progress that could be observed in it in the daily lives of users and their security and privacy.
The Internet of Things refers to objects that have the ability to transfer data over a network, without the need for human intervention.
But how does it work?
Well, the process mentioned above can happen in two ways: First, those devices that work with “long-range” technology. For example, our cell phone has a 5G connection. And secondly, those that offer a short-range connection technology, such as smartwatches, or any device that works through Bluetooth.
The origin of IoT
According to records, one of the first traces of this mode of connection between object and network was recorded in 1980, when David Nicholls was in his office at Cambridge Mellon University, in the United States. According to the known story, David wanted a soda, and due to the long distance between the place where he was, and the soda vending machine, he started thinking “What if I could know the stock that the machine has before making the whole trip there?”.
As a result, Nicholls and his friends managed, through sensors and an ARPANET connection, to get the vending machine to send them information about its contents and temperature. We could say then, that the small desire not to walk even meters to the machine, triggered enormous technological progress. It’s a funny thing, isn’t it?
What happened since then?
As a result of these advances, more tests and experiments began to be developed.
A great example is John Roonkey’s toaster in 1990. What was so special about it?
Roonkey managed to get the toaster to turn on and off via the Internet.
But it was not until 1999 that one of the most important events for IoT occurred. In that year, Kevin Ashton, co-founder of the Auto-ID Center, coined the term IoT while giving a presentation for Procter & Gamble.
It turns out that Ashton was trying to make the idea of using the RFID remote storage system easier to understand. This system would allow the supply chain to be monitored by transmitting the identity of an object via radio waves. Brilliant, isn’t it?
How is the Internet of Things used today?
Today, the advancement is such, that we can see IoT used in various industries such as:
- Logistics: For example, to know the location of transport trucks, and what cargo is inside. We can also see this technology used in cargo containers.
In this way, transportation and service costs can be lowered, routes can be optimized, and even added security can be improved.
- Smart Homes: Progress in this area is already well known. But, it turns out that with IoT, you can even control lighting, room temperature, control your appliances (refrigerator, washing machine, TV, etc.).
It is even common to use vacuum cleaners programmed with the distribution of your home, so that it performs the assigned cleaning route, and once finished, it returns to the base to recharge.
- Clothing: Currently, there are systems, such as smart shoes, which count your steps, and distance in meters/kilometers, and monitor your exercise routine to provide you with real-time statistics on your performance based on your goals.
Actually, a few years ago, Nike even launched a special edition in homage to “Back to the Future”, the movie directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael J. Fox.
The leading footwear brand replicated the sneakers that Marty McFly (character played by Fox), uses in one of the movies of the successful saga.
The technology was not as impressive as the one simulated in the film, but it still created a lot of expectations and continues to improve.
Anyway. Many other industries have adopted these technologies, and continue to increase their use.
Other use cases:
- Fuel and Energy Savings: Heavy equipment manufacturers add sensors to their vehicles to make maintenance and fuel monitoring less of a hassle for operators. In addition, when climate control is controlled by IoT-enabled devices, they synchronize with outside temperature and weather conditions, leading to the more appropriate use of available resources.
- Medicine: Ambulatory care systems allow medical professionals to monitor respiration, heart rate, ECG, body temperature, and other parameters while their patients are away from the hospital or clinic.
- Connectivity and networking: One of the main advantages of IoT is the ability to connect to the Internet and, consequently, have access to all that this entails. For example, when television is connected to the network so we can have access to thousands of content almost instantaneously.
It all sounds great, so where’s the downside?
The Internet of Things technology allows us to have easy and real-time access to information. But, the fact of having all these objects connected to the internet, also means that all our personal data is stored in a cloud, where our data is more exposed…
Number of IoT devices
This is where the problem lies, and in many articles of this Blog we have talked about the dangers of data centralization.
The indiscriminate use of data without permission, and how seductive this type of single server targets with thousands of data in it and low levels of protection can be for a computer security attack or hacking.
This is why many companies are currently investing in cybersecurity to prevent these information and server hacking attacks.
According to the specialized website Tech Jury, the number of IoT devices in 2021 will reach a staggering 46 billion. By way of comparison, this is a 200% increase compared to 2016. Read the full article here: How many IoT devices are there in 2022 [Everything you need to know].
Another alternative: Decentralized Technologies
As we said, these IoT devices open up private spaces to the public, so serious problems can arise in this regard. For example, through the installation of security systems such as surveillance cameras that are not used correctly.
Another major disadvantage of IoT technology is the lack of compatibility between devices. IoT systems are not standardized, so it could be the case that certain devices cannot work together even though they are designed for the same function.
It is important to note that as these types of technologies have advanced, so have decentralized technologies. We work in Extrimian offering solutions focused on Self-Sovereign Identity and Decentralized Technologies.
In short, this gives control of the data back to the users and stands out as the data is on the Blockchain, which makes it not so easy to access it, as it is not deposited on a single server.
In other articles we will address how IoT is merging with Blockchain to create smart and decentralized technologies.
Technologies around Decentralized Identity, offer the public sector (governments and public institutions) and the private sector (companies and management), the possibility of providing their users with a tool for validation of information that brings greater security, and a more certain way to avoid fraud.
To read more about these solutions, follow us on social networks and read the contents of our blog.
If you want to know how to implement decentralized technologies in your company or service, contact us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org