Definition: Internet of Things

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017 00:00

Definition: Internet of Things

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internet of things : [inn-turr-net uhv things] noun.

The internet of things (IoT) is a term that describes the phenomenon of an increasing number of electronic devices gaining connectivity, which allows these devices to talk to each other, interface with PCs and smartphones, and/or connect to the internet. 

For example, for many years, light bulbs were simple devices that simply turned on and off. Now that they are part of the internet of things, many of them capable of connecting to Wi-Fi, which allows you to control them remotely using computer or smartphone apps.  


Internet of Things Examples

In recent years, many smart IoT devices have found a place in both the home and the office. Here are just a few of the many examples of the connectivity built into everyday objects.

  • IP cameras upload video footage to the cloud
  • Smart sensors can track motion, temperature, and when doors open and close (for example in a server room)
  • Connected thermostats let users adjust the temperature remotely 
  • Wearable devices like smartwatches record vital medical stats
  • Connected locks allow or deny entry remotely, even from half a world away
  • Smart refrigerators use cameras to show you what's in your fridge
  • Cars that track location using GPS, connect to the internet, and allow for remote control
  • Projectors and printers that allow users to connect via Wi-Fi


Internet of Things Concerns

While IoT devices can be useful and convenient, data security has become huge problem in our increasingly connected world. And each additional device that connects to the Internet, whether a PC, smartphone, or internet of things device, adds another potential weak point for hackers to exploit. 

Because many IoT devices record and store potentially sensitive data on their owners, privacy is a huge concern with these devices as well. Adding to IoT concerns, your average kitchen appliance manufacturer is probably not very knowledgeable about the finer points of network security. And for many IoT devices, there's no way to patch firmware to fix vulnerabilities. That means that once a hacker figures out to compromise them, certain connected devices might remain insecure forever. 


Internet of Things Fun

First world problem: Having to get off of your butt to check on an IoT device if the Wi-Fi goes down. The struggle is real...
These days, it feels like every company that manufacturer that makes anything wants to connect ALL THE THINGS!


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