Disruptive technology explained – IoT

Disruptive technology explained – IoT

From the AiM Next Generation Technologies team.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

What is the internet? At its simplest, it’s a network of computers that communicate via a standardised protocol. Essentially a room full of people who all communicate using a single language.

The internet of things (IoT) extends this network to include any device connected to the internet, so not just a computer, but a phone, internet ready fridge or lighting system. More recently, the description includes any device that can communicate with other devices, for example temperature sensors in a house. The IoT allows devices to share data, which can improve their efficiency, or the efficiency of a process, saving time and money.

There are drawbacks to the IoT; for instance, currently it is not always simple to get devices to communicate with one another, which is similar to a room full of people all speaking different languages. Also, the IoT can also be misused, for example many devices do not posses adequate security and are liable to hacking, or a host of connected devices can be used for surveillance (the observation of people via their phones, or selling you promoted food brands because your fridge knows you don’t have a certain product).

Probably the most pressing objectives in relation to the IoT are the need to set standards, so different devices can communicate, regardless of type, and also, to define the rules that the devices will follow, so that they cannot be used for illegal purposes.


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