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Internet of Things (iot) – a Layman’s Guide

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By now, everybody would have come across the term Internet of Things, but many are clueless about what it truly is. In simple words, it is a network that you create with your everyday objects to the internet, giving you a smarter and more efficient experience.

Physical objects could be anything ranging from your home appliance, wearables or car, and the whole idea is to automate the functions and reduce human involvement.

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IoT devices

IoT is a technical innovation and nowadays, major companies like LG, Samsung, Google, Apple along with a greater number of start-ups and smaller firms are coming up with IoT technologies.

The objects could be embedded with sensors, software, etc and connected to wireless or with other devices, where they exchange data without batteries or controllers but purely through mobile apps. Additionally, there are motion sensors that are things themselves. With smart locks, you can give keyless access to anyone using your smartphone, keeping track of who enters and leaves your house.

Then we have Alexa and Echo, cloud-based voice services by Amazon, that functions around your voice. Although they resemble Apple’s voice assistant Siri, they are much more responsive and user friendly.

IoT combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Devices that use IoT technology in combination with AI have more than just the convenience of being controlled by smartphones. Tesla’s self-driven cars are unique in such a way that their whole fleet of cars learn if one car learns something. Roomba, automated vacuum cleaners developed by MIT Roboticist, have AI applications that can remember the layout, adapt to new items and dock itself to the power source when the battery is down.

Growth and potential of IoT

On a broader scale, major cities across the globe are gearing up for the “smart city” title by using this technology to find available parking spaces, synchronise traffic lights, manage waste, water and pollution.

Even though IoT has been around for a while, it had not been able to gain popularity among consumers until recently. Moreover, it has not yet tapped into our lives as much as it has in the West.

A non-technical person may find the whole concept of IoT alarming. It is indeed a fact that every innovation comes with its own share of pros and cons.

Potential Threats

There is a lot of debate around the topic when it comes to privacy of IoT devices. The vast exchange of information and transmission of data can be overwhelming in a way that the consumer starts suspecting the credibility of the IoT products.

Device Management

Easy for hackers

It is a fact that 70% of the data that is shared on IoT is not protected. There have been instances where hackers have collected sensitive data using Google glasses and wearables, hacked in-car Wi-Fi and connected devices

To sum it up, the lack of knowledge about AI will eventually prove to be more daunting than AI itself.

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