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Daily Real-World Uses of IoT

The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been a topic of science fiction and technical study for over half a century, although, known by a different name. The older generation read about Dick Tracy’s two-way radio watch 1940s comic strips, and in 1989, toasters could be controlled through a TCP/IP network.

In this article, we will explore areas of modern living influenced by IoT and how it can modify our existence with its growing prevalence and sophistication.

IoT Education

To excel in the IoT industry, it’s crucial to get familiar with cloud technologies. As all IoT applications are built on the cloud by an IoT development company, it’s also essential to have a keen understanding of networking and security. The cloud vendor you should focus on is largely determined by your current organization’s needs. To start your cloud learning journey, consider CBT Nuggets. Our extensive collection of cloud training includes offerings from top vendors such as Microsoft Azure and AWS.

IoT: Early Beginnings

The first IoT device, a connected Coca-Cola dispenser, was developed by computer science students at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1980s. They created a processor board that monitored the purchase of Cokes and detected when the last bottle in a dispensing column was sold. Using the ARPANET – the predecessor to modern Internet – users could sense if the machine had sodas available and if they were cold enough. At the time, ARPANET was only connected to a few hundred computers, mostly located at universities and research facilities in the United States. The term “Internet of Things” was coined in 1999 and a year later, LG Electronics launched their Internet-connected smart fridge.

The widespread availability of microprocessor chips and operating systems like Linux and Android, along with the Internet, made the IoT possible. These devices combine to create “object intelligence” by collecting data from embedded sensors and transmitting it over the Internet for storage, processing, and delivery through end-user apps and dashboards for visualization. The cloud is capable of handling the vast amounts of data generated by these IoT applications.

IoT is present in many areas of our lives. It is commonplace to find Internet features built into personal, home, business, healthcare, automotive, agricultural, or industrial products. Accordingly, we now have Smart Retail, Smart Banking, Smart Agriculture, Smart Home, Smart City, and any other segment or entity with the word “Smart”. Analysts portend that there will be over 64 billion IoT gadgets worldwide by 2026. Businesses have embraced IoT to execute certain infrastructural tracking controls in inventory management, transportation, production line coordination, irrigation automation, door access, and livestock watch.

The use of IoT is also rapidly growing in the consumer sector, with IoT-enabled products like smart dishwashers, smart refrigerators, smart watches, smart TVs, smart cars, smart trucks, smart heating and cooling systems, and smart fitness machines becoming a part of the era of connected living.

Real World Applications of IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) has already permeated every aspect of our lives and every industry. These applications are often cloud-based, favoring for their deployment and operation on a global scale. To illustrate, let’s examine some common examples of IoT applications we may see around us.

In the home, smart IoT applications have become prevalent. You can use your mobile device to keep an eye on and control your household appliances, such as your kitchen gadgets, heating and lighting system, security setup, hot and cold water faucets, among others. Additionally, if your appliances are linkable with Apple Home or Amazon Home Connect, you can control them using voice commands via Alexa or Siri.

Smart Home Security

The IoT can play a major role in securing your home by utilizing a variety of devices such as window and door contacts, motion detectors, heat, smoke, and water detectors, security alarm pads, cameras, and smart doorbells. These devices work together to protect against break-ins, fires, and floods. The readings from the sensors are sent to an in-home controller, which then transfers the information to the cloud over the internet or by battery-powered mobile communicators.

You can receive alerts through a mobile app or computer if there is any suspicious activity in your home. You can also use the app to check the logs from the sensors and cameras, arm or disarm the security system, and create customized access codes for authorized users. Additionally, you can also be informed when someone enters or leaves your home.

If you forget to arm the security system, geofencing reminders will notify you when you proceed beyond a fixed distance from your home. You can then arm the system using the app. In the near future, traditional keypads and access codes may no longer be necessary as iris scanning, voice recognition, and facial recognition could become suave ways of accessing your front door.

Smart Home: Heating and Cooling

Programmable thermostats have been designed to detect and regulate temperature and humidity based on the user’s personal settings for a long time. However, with the advent of smart thermostats and sensors, a whole new world of possibilities has opened up.

With Wi-Fi connectivity to the cloud, smart thermostats can be remotely monitored and adjusted through a mobile app, allowing users to control the temperature from anywhere – be it on vacation, in their car, or from the comfort of their home. Furthermore, smart sensors in bathrooms and workout rooms can automatically adjust the temperature and humidity to suit individual needs, such as when showering or exercising.

For those living in older homes without central heating and air conditioning, smart room air conditioners provide a solution. With the ability to control the unit via a cell phone app or through voice commands with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, you can switch on the air conditioner ahead of time and come home to a comfortable space.

Additionally, the heating and cooling system can be configured to send alerts if any readings fall beyond of tolerable ranges. This can help prevent disasters such as frozen pipes or gas leaks, and also give you the ability to turn off the water or disarm your security system through the Smart Home app if necessary. The heating system may also include sensors for gas, smoke, or CO2, monitoring the air in your home to detect any potential hazards, and alerting you and your alarm service if necessary.

Smart Home: Kitchen

The first commercially available Internet of Things (IoT) device was the LG Electronics’ internet-connected Digital DIOS smart refrigerator, which was introduced in 2000. Although that internet-enabled particular model was a raucous success, it’s modest acheivement has since been supported by the development of a wide range of smart IoT products from numerous kitchen appliance manufacturers.

Today, with the help of an IoT development, you can find Wi-Fi-enabled appliances in your kitchen, including refrigerators, faucets, gas and electric lines, microwaves, coffeemakers, pizza ovens, wine coolers, dishwashers, and toasters. Your laundry room can also be equipped with Wi-Fi-controlled washers and dryers, and even your bathroom can have a smart toilet!

Smart refrigerators offer a range of features that can be controlled through a mobile phone app, such as cameras inside the fridge for monitoring contents, and a touchscreen for accessing recipes and creating shopping lists. Many smart appliances are also compatible with industry voice assistants, so you can use Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant to dispense ice, turn on your oven, or add items to your shopping list with just your voice.