The term “Internet of Things”
(IoT) is one of the most discussed topics today. It is
basically a computing concept that has an ability to impact the way we live and
work. To better understand what IoT is and how it impacts our lives, let us
We all know what Internet is, but some may wonder what
‘Things’ in the Internet of Things actually mean. The Things are nothing more
than the so-called “smart” devices we see around us. Cellphones, laptops,
tablets, smart watches, fitness bands, consumer durables, automobiles, etc. and
any of such gadgets connected to the internet are the best-explained examples
of the ‘Things’ in Internet of Things. Simply put, any object with an assigned
IP address and an ability to gather information and then transferring that data
over a web-based network without any human intervention is part of Internet of
Things, or the IoT.
IoT is not just limited to the consumer world — it
also covers the industrial side, mostly in healthcare, factories and
businesses. Smart devices used in these major industries collect crucial data
that helps in tracking inventory, managing machines, increasing efficiency,
saving costs, and more importantly, saving human lives.
Gartner forecasts that there will be over 26 billion
connected devices by 2020. Surprisingly, there are others estimating the number
to go over 100 billion! 
Importance of IoT
IoT provides endless benefits.
As mentioned before, IoT connects devices embedded in
many systems to the internet. These devices can represent themselves digitally
and controlled from any endpoint, allowing capturing more data from more
places. This helps increase efficiency, performance, and improves safety and
IoT can largely benefit the utility sector,
infrastructure, manufacturing, oil and gas, and many other industries; it will
help them make informed decisions to make their processes better. Other
benefits include cost reduction, improved process efficiency, asset utilisation
and productivity. Moreover, the enhanced tracking of devices via sensors allows
companies to achieve real-time insights and analytics that help them make
smarter decisions, thereby creating more opportunities for people, businesses
IoT used in industries is known as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Accenture estimates that the IIoT might add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. 
Life in an IoT world
Thanks to IoT, the term Smart City has become a part
of our everyday vocabulary these days. This is because the world is getting
smarter – smarter as in going digital. Managing utility bills, online
education, online healthcare, smart parking, citizen engagement, etc., are the
some of the very few core elements of a Smart City. Of course, when the word
Smart is prefixed to a word, if definitely means producing uncountable amount
of data and sharing it with the authorised authorities.
Even governments in developing countries are now
putting efforts to transform their respective urban areas into Smart Cities.
After all IoT is all about unifying the physical and
virtual realms to create a better, smart ecosystem.
IoT is still at an evolving stage and will keep
growing into a complex network.
The digital world is as it is intricate in nature and
addition of more and more devices to the IoT infrastructure is going to make it
more of a dense intertwined mesh in itself, which will bring in new challenges
for developers. However, while these challenges will be addressed by experts,
consumers as well as industries can get the most out of the IoT at large.
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