Internet of Things — shaping our future today

Internet of Things (IoT) is a well known buzzword, many people might have heard about for a couple of decades. At same time it can be difficult to understanding what IoT actually covers and how far it is from our mass reality. IoT covers a paradigm of technologies, platforms, and industry solutions. The basic definition of IoT is connecting any- “thing” to each other and/or the Internet. This will potentially affect any object in our lives, since everything that makes sense to connect will be connected. From our leisure time to our professional setting, anything from cars, jet engines and door locks to your shoes will consist of input/output. It is already a reality.

EVERYTHING THAT MAKES SENSE TO CONNECT WILL BE CONNECTED.

Industry experts give competing estimates on the number of IoT devices in the future, from 20 to more than 150 billion devices in 2020. As with all other technology, the key interaction will be human, since IoT objects will not only be connected to things, but to people. Whether we use big data and artificial intelligence to make better decisions, remotely control a robot, perform heart surgery in a refugee camp, or customise our physical environment through mixed reality. While broadband Internet has become more widely available, smartphone penetration is sky-rocketing. The worldwide smartphone market will reach a total of

1.5 billion units shipped in 2016, up 5.7% from the 1.4 billion units shipped in 2015. From there, shipments will reach 1.92 billion units in 2020. And the cost of connecting people and objects is constantly decreasing, enabling the perfect storm for Internet in Things.

INTERNET OF THINGS WILL NOT ONLY CHANGE HOW TECHNOLOGY AFFECTS HUMANS, BUT ENFORCE A CHANGE IN MOST POWER STRUCTURES AS WE KNOW THEM, FROM DEMOCRACY TO AUTHORITY.

Through 4,5/5G and IPv6 we are entering a reality where the world will consist of a giant network of connected “things”, shaping the future of work, facilities, and megacities. In this era, we will not only see a change in our use of technology, but in most of the structures and organisations, we know today. We will need a systemic upgrade to support our exponentially intelligent future, from the power structures of politics, democracy, and geographical borders to how we educate and the future of organisations.

THE IOT STACK
IoT is not only technology, but a paradigm, from protocols, hardware to software. To understand IoT, one must understand the IoT Stack, and the maturity of the layers.

This Thing Stack consists of three layers: sensors, microcontrollers and internet connectivity, and service platforms.

  1. Sensors are embedded in objects or the physical environment to capture information and events for your company.
  2. Microcontrollers and internet connectivity share information captured by sensors within your IoT objects and act based on this information to change the environment.
  3. Through aggregation and analysis of data, service platforms cater to your customers. The platforms also control your IoT product’s end-to-end experience, enable your customers to define system rules and update firmware.

The defintion of IoT is the use of intelligently connected devices and systems that can leverage data gathered by embedded sensors and operators in machines and other physical objects. In other word things that can connect and process data connected with a network. As an example a pen with a RFID tag is not IoT, because it does not connect to anything and it does not process data — it can be used as an element in an IoT solution but more intelligence is needed to be captured under the IoT umbrella.

IOT WILL CHANGE OUR WORLD
The world as we know it today will change dramatically, and we all play an essential part in cultivating this future as business professionals whether we work with startups, corporations or in the public sector. I will publish a series on future scenarios of IoT, how leading innovators and companies are developing IoT solutions affecting us now as well as in the future, to inspire others who are working with emerging technologies and/or who also possess a curious mind.