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Brief Introduction to Internet of Things: Functionality, Importance & Applications

The recent era of digitization and the internet have offered us many tools to empower our lives with technology. From introducing Virtual Reality in e-commerce for a better shopping experience to AI assistants helping us in our daily chores – improving technological advancements are leading humans to add more value to their lives with everyday objects. Continuous innovation has led us to a time when it is impossible to stay away from the internet at all times, and IoT plays a crucial role in making it possible!

IoT or the internet of things is a phenomenon slowly taking over our lives in the shape of devices we use for everyday work. For example, washing machines, air conditioners, traffic lights or even doorbells work following IoT technology, a webbed communication of tech-driven devices. These devices constantly share information through web connectivity for better usage towards smooth user experience, turning the previously ‘dumb’ devices into ‘smart’.

Among numerous tech advancements, IoT is the most talked about topic. Various industries aim to leverage their power to improve customer satisfaction, but what is IoT? The expansion of IoT in our lives has led us to this question, so let’s find out more about this fascinating technology and how it empowers our everyday lives!

Introduction to IoT

As its name refers, IoT or the internet of things is related to physical items and how the internet uses them. It is a network of physical devices connected through the web. The smart internet-enabled everyday devices such as smartwatches, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners and fans, all are working under the IoT principles to accomplish smart work.

These devices collect user data through sensors, input data or user behaviour to use the same data for better application. The supplied data is analyzed and transferred among various devices for the user’s convenience. 

IoT measures aspects such as motion and temperature through multiple embedded systems to collect user data and share it with other devices via the cloud. Like a printer receives information and prints it out, IoT-driven devices follow the same path and work on the received data.

IoT is an excellent choice for businesses to offer better customer services by creating devices perceptible to user requirements. The concept of an intelligent home is accomplished with all such devices working together on the IoT principles to achieve greater accuracy, efficiency and convenience. 

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How does IoT work?

An IoT is a system of multiple technologies combined to create a well-rounded user experience with everyday devices. A combination of new-age advancements had to come along to make this possible, contributing their best abilities.

Connectivity is the first aspect of IoT. Connectivity creates a web of networks to allow devices to participate and share information on these networks. Hosting networks and cloud platforms enable devices to share information in diverse forms. Here comes the usage of cloud technology. 

Cloud computing platforms allow businesses and individuals to scale up infrastructure and grant remote access to intelligent devices through this web-based platform. Furthermore, cost-effective sensors can efficiently retrieve information from everyday usage and user behaviour, making the vision of IoT possible for brands and consumers.

Retrieving data through gadgets is only helpful until this data generates valuable insights. Analytics and Machine Learning make it possible. Analytics sieves through the enormous amount of data to find the most relevant one and collaborate with Machine Learning to make devices identify patterns within collected input from multiple devices. These identified patterns share data amid devices to predict future behaviour. 

IoT leverages Natural Language Processing to create attractive everyday devices into their more improved and efficient versions. Thanks to NLP, conversational AI plugged devices are the trending topic and a household name!

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What makes IoT important for modern life?

The integration of everyday items into sophisticated tech gadgets has made them enormously convenient and capable of carrying out actions that seemed impossible a few years back. To take control of our lives and their various affecting aspects, IoT plays an essential role in our daily lives. Let’s find out what makes IoT a significant addition to our routines.

  • A greater flow of data helps make informed decisions. Data retrieved through sensors around a device helps both the consumer and seller to keep track of things such as quality, life-cycle and lacking aspects to get things changed or improved. For instance, a consumer knowing refrigerator power consumption levels will make conscious efforts to cut down the usage or track disruptions. These trends in products might help companies to exclude or incorporate innovations.
  • Smart devices require no human intervention to run. Hence, workforce efforts are drastically reduced. IoT’s application in households and industry significantly reduces the cost and time to accomplish hefty tasks. The enormous amount of data is another pro, helping monitor each step to maintain quality checks. At the same time, a time-saving, cost-effective innovation with consistent performance is undoubtedly preferred over delayed work.
  • The efficiency of an IoT driven device is its most remarkable trait. Direct machine to machine communication removes any disruptions, working only on the received information that is most likely accurate through received inputs. No consistent checks are required as the relevant information is easily accessible to know when the product needs repairs or any concerned help. This efficiency can lead to steady improvements to your entire lifestyle.

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Applications of IoT

Let’s find out a few popular applications of IoT technology in the real world

  • Health

The inclusion of IoT technology in the health sector is quite prominent. Every other person can be seen sporting a wearable device to track health stats such as heartbeat, blood pressure, sleep cycle, etc. Health institutions use smart wearables too. 

  • Traffic Management

Managing traffic in urban cities is no more troubling as GPS-enabled devices easily monitor the location and suggest the fastest route to reach the destination, saving both time and fuel.

  • Smart Home

From essential home convenience to security gadgets, IoT captures every aspect of a household to make it smart. Moreover, each of these devices is accessible on smartphones to get timely updates, allowing consumers to monitor and efficiently use each. 

  • Retail Services

Retail stores now are running on cashless payment methods, all thanks to IoT-enabled services. Payment counters are equipped with sensors for digital transactions. Recent technology is even prepared to add items to your cart online when fetching products in real-time, so one can quickly pay through online wallets.

Conclusion

IoT has stepped into the Indian market as well with its untapped potential. As long as brands effectively use retrieved data to provide better services across devices, regardless of their brand, there is potential for IoT to grow more prominent in the Indian market! 

IoT’s growth and bright future also extend a bright future for learners looking into this specific discipline to find career advancement. Fortunately, we have just the right place for you to find guidance!

upGrad’s Advanced Certification in Machine Learning and Cloud offered by the prestigious IIT-Madras is an exceptional course to fuel your dreams of stepping into this dynamic field. Designed for senior working professionals to learn the intricacies of Machine Learning and Cloud Computing, this course equips every learner with best-in-class content curated by industry experts. Professionals aiming to make career advancements in the relevant field are welcome to join the program. 

Q1: Why is it called the Internet of Things?

Answer: The term Internet of Things directly refers to the internet related to everyday things, which is also the principal objective of this technology. IoT technology connects physical items through the power of the internet. Thus, as defined by creator Kevin Ashton, the term somehow made sense, and the technology was named after it.

Q2: How does the Internet of Things affect our lives?

Answer: Everyday devices working on IoT principles draw a profound effect on lives, allowing us insights and information valuable to improve routine. For example, smartwatches can track sleep patterns that help you keep track of the exact hours you enjoyed deep sleep and make changes to your routine for better health and time management.

Q3: Is IoT the future?

Answer: With unprecedented tech growth and a data-driven world, IoT’s potential is unstoppable. One of the fastest-growing technologies also sees a bright future as estimations show the year 2025 to have about 25 billion IoT devices! Combined with the power of AI and Big data, IoT will further expand across more industry domains.

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