I vaguely remember reading about classification as living and non-living things in my childhood days, but now with IOT, we can visualize redefining them, and comfortably say, I can have a chair that communicates, shoes that connect to a network, door lock
that can sense me walking close by. This technology enables the things around you to sense, communicate, network and produce new information, thereby adding life to things. It marks a crucial turning point for future in the same way as invention of computers
and Internet did a few years ago.
IOT is still yet to get the limelight it deserves. Reasons could be many, and this raises the inquisitiveness to delve deeper into what goes into creating these thinking and talking things. There are number of questions like how can things talk, how do they
connect to network, how are they controlled and how secure are they? IOT as I understand, extends connectivity to everyday objects. Going a little deeper, it also helps in monitoring, analyzing and controlling these devices.
IOT Ecosystem: Smart device in Smart space
- The first element in the IOT Ecosystem is the smart device. Everything in this space has some information to give. The otherwise traditional device turns into smart device with the help of sensors. Sensors detect, measure and respond to physical parameters
and convert them into electronic signals. Best example is biometric sensors.
- The second element is the Microcontrollers – which give brain to the device. We can call them tiny computers with small memory, processor and programmable input/output pins. These can have programs to store data generated by a sensor. It can do math on
the data collected and control the device.
- Gateway: a piece of networking hardware that has a node which can network with other network devices using GPRS, Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
- Cloud: The whole lot of data collected and processed is stored on the cloud for further processing and analysing. (Ex: google drive)
To summarize the flow – the sensors generate data, controller collects the data, sends to the cloud through Gateway. The data is analyzed over cloud; the analyzed output is sent back to another controller which further triggers the device to perform an action.
What makes this process intelligent is that these smart devices can now take part in your business processes and they use intelligent interfaces to connect with the rest of the world.
IOT Security: An extra eye and an extra ear right in your home
With almost everything on the Internet, the risk of personal information getting leaked is high. The threat may not be only to invade public spaces but can also influence decision making. While the policy makers, encryptions and firewalls would do their
part to secure IOT, we also need to own this piece. There needs to be a limit on whether we really need everything on the Internet or just a few things.
IOT and Banking
Banking is just entering into the space of IOT. Currently there are use cases like tracking ATM usage, tracking crop yield, tracking vehicles sold on loan and this gives a lot of data to the banks. Once banks convert the IOT data into useful information,
they can engage with their customers better and increase their market share. The core component in banking is money which is already being used digitally on mobile, online and other channels. However, we are currently using indirect applications of IOT. It
can be of more significance if used in branches where the customers’ inflow and outflow can be tracked. IOT can also prove to be a major differentiator to improve branch staff and field staff services where sensors can be used to track the nature, extent,
and quality of services provided.
Exciting times ahead
It might take a while before the presence of IOT is felt in our daily lives but thanks to the underlying technologies like advanced wireless networking, cloud computing, standardized communication protocols, smaller size silicon chips and finally falling
prices of computing resources, it won’t be long before we start seeing various corporate IOT applications deployed in our surroundings.