Toy Story – for real?
Do you remember Disney’s animated Toy Story? The movie where the lifeless toys of the boy named Andy came to life and interacted with each other when Andy wasn’t around? Or the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast where the utensils, the clock, and other appliances had a sense of their own and were as good as living creatures? Or Bob the Builder where Bob had to do nothing much because his machines could operate on their own?
Now, what if such scenarios begin to exist not only on the reel but in real life too? If the non – living ‘things’ are given a sense of their own and can interact with each other. That is exactly what the ‘internet of things’ is all about!
The Internet of Things
Till yet, we had seen the internet help connect people. Be it through e-mails, social networks, videos, or a platform for the display of works. This, to understand, was the ‘internet of people’.
But now, we are moving towards a time wherein devices and objects are being connected and interacted with each other, thus forming a network of things.
A typical example of the internet of things shall be a house where the alarm clock, the water taps, and the coffee-brewing machine relate to each other. When the alarm clock goes off, it sends a message to the coffee-brewing machine to start preparing the coffee and the taps to start filling water for bathing. This prepares the house for the person waking up in it, without him having to do much!
Giving sense to the lifeless?
The Internet of Things is seen as giving sense to the non-living things present in the world. By connecting them to a network, they’re being enabled to interact with each other and the information that they have can be transferred to wherever required.
Data analytics is applied to the data gathered by such objects and then, the data can be used to obtain important observations.
For example, suppose the parts of your car are connected to the IoT. Now, if there occurs a problem in the car, this information is sent to the network and the nearest car repair shop is informed. You’re also informed about it and suggested the name of the nearest car repair shop. It doesn’t end here, through data analytics it is found in other cars are facing similar problems and then the root cause is figured out.
Is the ‘Internet of Things’ the savior that we need?
The Internet of Things is not only making lives easier but also helping in saving the earth.
- The IoT is protecting endangered fauna in some parts of Africa, by finding and intercepting poachers. In other areas like Scotland, the location of animals is tracked instead.
- IoT helps to reduce carbon emissions in many ways like since an object can know when to switch on and off (through information from the network), it only when needed.
- It can help gather a lot of information.
- It can help save lives. If a patient wears a watch that keeps a check on his blood pressure and is connected to the IoT, then a sudden dip in blood pressure can be informed about in the nearby hospital and an ambulance sent off to fetch the patient. Thus, he can be saved from a life-threatening attack.
- It helps make life simpler and faster.
Pitfalls of the IoT
However, the IoT too has its own shortcomings that are yet to be solved. Some scientists call it ‘too young’ for the world to start using it.
- Privacy is a major concern of the IoT. The objects gather information from the user and are themselves present on the network. This makes them vulnerable to data theft and crimes.
- The IoT seems to make life easy but takes time and efforts to set up. This can be complicated and tedious for users.
- People generally resist change and it’ll take a lot of time before everyone starts to understand the benefits of IoT and use it.
Thus, although the IoT seems to be the coolest thing of the coming times, it sure needs to be developed out of its shortcomings before it starts to fix its feet in everyone’s home.
Anjali Singh is a twenty-year young student of the Delhi Technological University. Spending her growing years in Delhi, she feels that this city has nurtured in her a love for theatre, traveling, and writing. She writes plays for theatre and travels to places performing them. Anjali dreams of changing the world through the power of ink whilst voyage the mountains of Leh on a Bullet.