The Internet of Things (IoT) is a round-off phrase that explains how devices and the internet work as one.
When everyday objects or products have the power to connect to the Internet, they are called IoT-enabled devices or items. These devices can exchange data through the Internet, and users can control it with various means.
In short, IoT allows the Internet and its capabilities to be accessible by different physical objects. These devices may not necessarily have a screen or keyboard but still have the power to utilize the Internet in valuable ways.
What are IoT components?
According to Cisco, there are mainly three components of IoT, namely:
To consider a device as IoT-enabled, it needs to have the capacity to communicate with the Internet and collect information. An example would be a smart fridge notifying the owner of any errors.
- Cost Saving
Many types of IoT-enabled devices help users to save extra costs on one thing or the other. For example, some intelligent sensors could help estimate energy or fuel consumption, which would allow users to understand and reduce unwanted wastage.
An IoT device should have some form of control for the user to perform specific tasks or analyze data. An example would be using Alexa as an assistant for various tasks using voice commands.
What are IoT devices?
Any device that has the power to connect to the Internet and share data, etc., comes under the description of IoTs. But they can be listed into a few common categories like:
- Trackers like smartwatches, Fitbit, calorie counters, etc., that you can wear or carry around.
- Systems or consoles like VR headsets, Oculus Rift, Playstation 5, etc.
- STBs(set top box) or smart televisions.
- Stereos or smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Sonos, etc.
- Kitchen appliances that have intelligent features.
- Home objects like smart bulbs, Nest, etc.
- Cars or vehicles that have intelligent programming. (like Tesla, Honda Odyssey, etc.)
Although its hard to tell the exact amount of IoT products globally, some researchers estimate that there are more than 50 billion devices worldwide. With more innovations every year, the amount of IoT devices only seem to increase.
Is the Internet of Things safe?
One of the greatest fear and flaw of the IoT would be the risk of security.
Although the devices themselves may not be harmful, most do not have the best protection against malicious attacks by hackers.
Since these devices store and collect data, hackers could easily steal this information and use it for unwanted purposes.
Another problem is that many companies do not focus on enhancing the security of these devices, which leads to further vulnerability.