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Hey before diving into this article let me ask you something. Do you use the internet? Oh, you will say what type of question is this? Everyone uses the internet. Okay, so how are you reading this article. I am sure you are not reading it in a newspaper or a magazine. The article might be on a mobile, desktop, or on tablet. Whatever gadget you are using, it must be linked to the internet.
What is the internet of things (IoT)?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that has the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human interaction.
Nowadays internet connection facilitates us with all kinds of advantages which in return makes the internet a fantastic thing. Now rewind your memory and go back to earlier days when cell phones were new. In those times, there were no smartphones. All we could do was: making a call and sending texts. But now we can do a lot many things with our mobile phones. We can watch any film, read several books, or we can enjoy listening to songs and music. These all can happen with the smartphone in our hands.
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The point is: when we join things with the internet, we can have a lot of advantages. The advantages are not only with our smartphones but with everything. And this is where the Internet of things (IoT) arrives.
The Internet of things definition goes like this: connecting all the things (devices) to the internet.
Why do we need the Internet of things technology?
Once a device is connected to the internet, then it means, the device can send and receive messages/information. This makes the device smart. We listen to so many songs through our smartphone. Even if the song is not stored in our device we still listen to it. How does it happen? This happens for the reason that all songs in the world are stored at someplace. And our device can send a request asking for that song and then receives permission for playing that song on our phone.
For being smart, a device need not require huge storage or a supercomputer inside it. Instead, the device needs to get connected to super storage, or to a supercomputer.
With the Internet of Things technology device can be categorized into three groups:
- Devices collecting information and sending it.
- Devices receiving information and acting on it.
- Devices doing both processes.
1. Collecting and Sending Information
The devices collecting and sending information can be termed as sensors. These can be motion sensors, temperature sensors, humidity sensors, atmosphere quality sensors, light sensors. We can collect information from our surroundings with the means of these sensors, provided, the sensors are connected to the internet.
If we take an example of the farm, automatic information, regarding the moisture of the soil can be generated. This will tell farmers accurately when the yields need to be irrigated. The farmer can get an idea of the amount of water needed by the crops, thereafter reducing the over-use of irrigation or watering too little. Sensors act as a sensing material for the outer world in the same way as our sense organs do for us.
2. Receive and Act on the Information
We know machine work only when they get instruction or say information. For example, our printer accepts a file and then it (printer) prints it. The door of our car opens when we instruct it with the help of keys. There are so many examples in the world.
The instruction fed to the computer can be as simple as transferring command of “on” or it can be as difficult as sending a 3D model command to a printer. Our machine does all sorts of work.
3. Doing Both
This is the real strength of the internet of things. Let us consider the example of farming once again. Information about the soil’s moisture can be sent to the farmer by which he can know what amount of water is needed by the crops.
This will allow the irrigation system to switch on automatically when needed. This will be based on the amount of moisture present in the soil. It can also go a step ahead. The irrigation system can receive information from the internet connection regarding the weather. Hence, it will know when it will rain and the irrigation system will come to a decision, for not watering the crops.
This was all about the IOT. The Internet of things companies is looking forward to applying it to our home. This will allow the doors and windows to get locked automatically when no human activity is present in the house for long. However, there is much more example of it.