You Ask We Answer 2. What can the IoT be used for?

The main idea behind the Internet of Things is to allow objects to observe the physical world and exchange the information they collect to support an action. As the technology evolved, responses to specific patterns became automated, with humans setting up the rules to trigger an action.

So, a short and simple answer would be “to gather data and use it to cause an appropriate response.” Some predict that, on average, the world will be home to 6.5 IoT systems per person around the globe. It’s clear that there’s a lot of data around us and getting the most out of it is a task for connected systems.

In any market segment, smart device technology is meant to increase efficiency and comfort, to reduce cost and effort through automation, to help identify bottlenecks, or monitor a situation and recognize an outcome.

For consumers, this means operations that we’ll soon be taken for granted, such as having the morning coffee ready when you wake up, a home already warm when you get back from work, or a refrigerator that lists recipes based on the ingredients you have.

Perimeter security, health monitoring and child safety are also covered by IoT by checking heart rate and blood pressure, telling you the location of your kid, or sending a break-in alert to your phone.

Production environments can use IoT to automate tasks and processes, monitor equipment, or manage inventory. City infrastructure relies on this technology to make operations more efficient, control the traffic flow, or check air pollution levels. All these applications reduce human intervention and lead to smoother operations.

The mechanism behind getting an effect out of collecting data is more complex, though. IoT is on the front line, observing the environment through dedicated sensors, generating a reaction based on the data they see, or delivering the details to other systems that crunch the numbers and compare the info to help reach a more complex decision.

Connected things are here to stay and make our lives better. It makes sense to also use smart technology to keep safe from hackers in a simple and unobtrusive way.

Image xredit: jeferrb

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