In today’s world, innovation is the key to improving the quality of everyday life and to having a positive, sustainable impact on our planet. IoT is one of the tools that make this happen.
IoT stands for Internet of Things, which are devices that are all connected to each other by a wireless network, such as the web or Bluetooth, and share data with each other and with human beings. This data allows them to not only make us more informed but for the devices themselves to take action without needing any guidance from humans. They come in many forms such as cameras, lights, meters and sensors and often go undetected despite being quite significant to the functioning of many parts of our daily lives.
Here are five facts about IoT that you might not have heard before.
1. IoT is everywhere
From water metres and refrigerators inside the home to smart bands and smartwatches that track your steps and heart rate while you wear them on your wrist, IoT is all around us, and often, we are not even aware of it. We also encounter IoT devices in healthcare centres where the elderly and at-risk patients are monitored closely, at parking lots that use sensors and cameras to automatically open barriers for cars, digitalised factories and at tennis courts where you can find intelligent tennis rackets that use IoT sensors to monitor the player’s skills. It’s also essential in smart cities.
To learn more about the role of IoT in smart cities around the world, check out our blog post about smart cities.
2. IoT is flexible
One of the best things about IoT is the flexibility of these devices. Regardless of the data that is necessary to gather, IoT devices can be adjusted fully and scaled to fit the needs of human beings. Sensors, cameras, metres can all be integrated with as many devices as necessary and can be mixed under one single network. This adjustability gives us a lot of opportunities to use IoT in whatever way we need to in order to collect the data that we need and improve the world we live in as well as improve the quality of life in specific areas.
3. The first IoT device was a smart Coke machine in the 1980s
Although it can seem like IoT is a brand new concept, the first IoT device was actually created about 40 years ago! In the early 80s, a group of university students at Carnegie Mellon in Pennsylvania decided they were fed up with the problem of going a long way to the Coke machine and finding it empty. So they wrote a program that enabled anyone with access to the school’s Ethernet network to check the status of the machine and whether the Cokes inside were cold or not. As you can see, when challenges arise, innovation provides the necessary solutions.
4. IoT is used to predict the weather
The accuracy of weather forecasting is crucial not only because it allows us to prepare for rain or sunshine, but because it also saves people from getting caught in dangerous, unexpected weather that can result in them getting hurt. Thanks to the power of IoT sensors located in places like cars and smartphones, weather forecasting can be faster and more accurate and provide people with the information they need to plan their days, especially when it comes to the weather conditions they will encounter when they are behind the wheel. Warnings about upcoming natural disasters are also possible due to IoT devices.
5. IoT goes where humans can’t
In order to collect certain pieces of valuable data, there is a necessity to visit and study isolated locations where humans normally don’t go. These types of trips can be dangerous and expensive for humans to take, especially for periods of time that are long enough to gather sufficient data. These places include the bottom of the ocean, deep forests, volcanos, peaks of mountains and even space! That is where IoT devices come in. These devices come equipped with features that allow them to withstand tough conditions and collect and transmit data such as about endangered species that would be quite challenging and often impossible for human beings to obtain on their own.