Internet of Things (IoT) – An Overview

The term “Internet of Things,” was first coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 although it took another decade for it to come to fruition. 

Internet of Things is a term that refers to billions of devices around the world being connected to the internet. From this point onward devices can interact with one another collecting and sharing data. Today we are surrounded by various wireless networks, and the price of processors has dropped as well, this is what allows all of these devices to connect with each other.

If a device is not expected to have an internet connection, it is considered an “IoT” device. Because of this, a smartphone or laptop is generally not considered to be an IoT device. On the other hand, a light bulb that can be switched on using a smartphone app is regarded as an IoT device. Moreover, any physical object can be considered an IoT device if there is a way to connect it to the internet and control it that way.    

Generally, the Internet of Things works to make many aspects of our lives more convenient. For example, on a cold winter day, one person would be able to interact with their Thermostat while they are away from home, and have it warm up the house before they get back. Additionally, if an individual was stuck in traffic on their way to work their car would be able to send a text to the other party notifying them that they would be late. All of this could be possible due to the idea of connectivity that the Internet of Things presents. 

Security is one of the biggest concerns the Internet of Things brings. With all of the devices connected to a wireless network in their homes, people tend to worry that the devices are collecting personal data that may have been heard in conversations. The  Internet of Things could also be vulnerable to hackers if the security measures are not efficient enough. Devices like refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers have been vulnerable to hackers when connected to Internet of Things.

Society is heavily dependent on the internet today, and it is only a matter of time before all devices become connected to the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is seen as mainly positive, but the concerns over both privacy and security are evident as well. 

Author: Jeremiah Daniels

Jeremiah Daniels is a graduate from Rowan University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. He is currently working for IEEE as a summer intern for Educational Activities.