What comes to your mind when you hear the words, ‘Internet of Things’? Is it some kind of internet? What does it connect and to what? What are the ‘things’ that we speak of here?

The answer is simple: Internet of things is the ‘internet’ of ‘things’. To simplify it further, IoT allows you to connect any ‘thing, object or body’ to another by the means of small electronic chips in order to make something useful.

The Purpose

The purpose of IoT is the same as that of any technology- To make life easier. Technically speaking, IoT allows you to capture, save, transfer and use data with the least human intervention. So, in a way, IoT actually puts the ‘smart’ in smart technology. For instance, once you insert the IoT chipset in everyday objects, which can be anything from your watch to car or refrigerator, these objects get unique identification tags with in-built sensors that are machine readable and internet enabled. These sensors then collect data from the tagged objects and their surroundings and then reports to the concerned authority in case any unusual activity occurs. Prismtech dds explain this better.

Benefits

Technology has come a long way today and thanks to the internet of things, you can easily automatize anything. However, that is not the end of it, IoT has much more to offer than anybody could imagine ten years ago. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that a well-executed Internet of Things strategy can provide us with.

  • Efficiency and Competence

Automating processes does help you save a lot of time and carry your everyday tasks with much efficiency. For instance, online shopping- you can look through thousands of products offered by several different brands right from your home. No need to go to the store or wait in the queue to pay your bill.

  • Comfort

With IoT, all data can be automated and controlled remotely, which means everything and anything, from communication to management can be optimized with no or little human interference. For instance, suppose you have tagged your refrigerator with the IoT technology, it will automatically update you if you are running low on a particular product, say orange juice or take thermostat for example; it allows you to regulate temperature in your home with pre-determined schedules and temperature preferences.

  • Smarter Decisions
  • Another advantage of IoT is that it does not leave any space for assumptions in the process, thus allowing you to make smarter and better decisions. You can test and analyze larger data in lesser time, which can help you recognize industry trends and consumer behavior with much ease, ultimately allowing you to make larger profits.

    • Time Saving

    Imagine emails were never discovered and office mail room guys had to take of delivering mail to the concerned persons in time. While it wouldn’t be impossible, it would definitely take much more manpower, time and energy. However, with the help of the internet and emailing system, these monotonous tasks have been automated and your mail can be delivered in much less time, thereby allowing you to be more productive.

    • Better Revenues

    Since IoT reduces the time and cost required to complete a given task at hand, it is only logical to say that businesses can profit a great deal by applying the IoT strategy to their processes. Furthermore, recognizing current trends even from large data is much easier and faster with IoT methodology, so you clearly get an edge over your competitors.

    Potential Risks

    • Privacy and Security

    The first risk that IoT poses is that of privacy concerns. Even if you set up strong passwords and codes to retrieve data, forgetting to encrypt your data thus means putting all your data at risk for common knowledge. Who would want to their colleagues to know their medical or financial history? Moreover, hacking is a common problem with everything related to the internet, it puts your information at risk of being misused.

    • Compatibility

    Since there is no international standard for recognizing the compatibility of tagging and monitoring equipment with the sensors, it is not really feasible to use IoT to its full potential. However, a concept like USB or Bluetooth must be able to solve this problem as well.

    • Complexity

    While IoT does make your daily life easier, it’s complex nature poses the risk of putting an unnecessary financial burden on you. For instance, suppose you connect the printer with both yours and your spouse’s mobile, so you both will get the message if the printer runs out of the ink and you both will end up buying the cartridge. Moreover, a bug may cause the system to send false reminders.

    Although, even with some risks involved, IoT is far more beneficial in the long run. It is only a matter of time that IoT becomes a common instrument in the years to come.

    Tobi Bamidele is a marketing consultant who has been published on some of the world’s biggest blogs, including Under30CEO, Tech.co and Social Media Today.