What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Over the last decade, a concept has become widely popular and has been repeated by thousands of people: the Internet of Things (IoT). In a world where the number of connected devices is increasing, the trend is for this term to become even broader.

After all, what is the internet of things? To explain in detail what is behind this idea, it is necessary to understand the evolution that the world of technology has been going through, especially since the popularization of smartphones. They can be considered the first step on this journey that still has a long way to go.

 What is the internet of things?

The Internet of Things is a concept that applies to all physical objects that can somehow connect to the internet or transmit data over a network. Thanks to intelligent sensors and exclusive software, these items have become information producers.

The category includes everything from a bracelet, which can transmit data about your heartbeat to a smartphone, to a mug, which can send information to a central cloud, indicating your coffee’s temperature in the cup. In short: there are no limits to the possibilities that the internet of things offers.

The idea of ​​the “internet of things” was first proposed in 1999 by scientist Kevin Ashton at the MIT Auto-ID Laboratory in the United States. Initially, the term referred to research in the field of network radio frequency identification (RFID), but was later expanded.

According to consulting firm Gartner, by 2020, there will be approximately 26 billion internet-connected devices. It is also estimated that a human being who lives in a large city is surrounded by an average of 1,000 to 5,000 objects. It is no exaggeration to say that soon, more objects are connected to the internet, producing data than people.

 What is the internet of things for?

As we’ve already mentioned, the possibilities opened up by the internet of things are practically endless. Today, we have in-home appliances, for example, a promising field of experimentation in this regard. Refrigerators, microwave ovens, and stoves can connect to the network and send and receive information.

It is possible to remotely check whether or not an item is available in the refrigerator, either from an internal camera or from an inventory. Likewise, the appliance notifies you when it is time to be defrosted or if there is something missing that needs to be purchased on the next trip to the supermarket.

In the United States and China, some refrigerators even have the resources to place orders automatically in some supermarkets. The idea is that products and services like these can provide greater comfort and well-being for consumers.

 Promising Areas in the Internet of Things

Among the many areas in which the internet of things has growth opportunities, two of them have stood out most significantly: healthcare and automobiles. In the first example, we are talking about bracelets and watches capable of measuring heart rate, calculating calories burned, and collecting patient data that can help doctors make more accurate assessments.

In the automotive sector, cars that drive alone and have access to the internet to obtain traffic information are also a reality in first-world countries. Therefore, these are sectors that are already exploring the potential of the internet of things and should receive even more significant investments in the coming years.

In the business world, the possibilities are also huge. Much of today’s inventory and warehouse organization is through products with RFID tags. These tags “tell” the system the time of entry and exit of an item as well as its exact location in a warehouse, all automatically, without human intervention.

Despite the excesses and the number of superfluous features added to many products, it is worth remembering that the internet of things is going through a period of consolidation and, therefore, developers have taken advantage of this period for experimentation. However, there is much positive for us to take advantage of this concept, allowing you and your company to save time and increase productivity by focusing on actions that really matter.

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