Let’s begin with the basics. Exactly what is the Internet of Things? The simplest definition is: The IoT is a network of Internet-linked devices, vehicles, and appliances that can collect and share data without need of human interaction.

You are in front of your flat door, you tap on the screen of your phone and hear the door unlock. When you enter into the house, your home is illuminated by yellow light. Your smart toaster automatically toasts you your perfect after work snack. relaxing and smoothing music through your smart TV. Walking down the hall, your floors warm to your feet. You stand in front of your smart mirror to check for any updates to your calendar as you listen to tomorrow’s weather forecast.

All of this is accomplished because of the Internet of Things. Truly, the will make your home a technological wonderland.

“IoT is transforming  physical objects that surround us into an ecosystem of information that will enrich our lives every day,” reads the esteemed PricewaterhouseCoopers report. “From washing machine to parking area to houses, the IoT is bringing more and more things digitalized every day, which will likely make the IoT a multi-trillion-dollar industry sector in the near future.”

The primary goal of IoT is to make us more efficient and more effective as individuals, groups, and communities. On the tech side, it is the idea of a uniformly connected world of devices that can access the internet and communicate at will.

Impact on Business, Economy, Job Skills and Society

The digitalization of connected devices will open up a lot of new opportunities for companies specially start-ups and can create an ecosystem around the IOT area. Once IOT gets introduced to the business, new products and services will emerge which will attract investments and eventually leads to the demand for new jobs in the IOT area. This will also increase imports or exports for such products and solutions, which in turn could push up economies. It could also lead to the emergence of ancillary or supporting industries such as manufacturing of smart and connected devices, measurement systems, analytics systems and security solutions to ensure safe use and address privacy concerns when it comes to usage of IOT. 

Skills such as knowledge of business analysis, creative design, math and statistics, big data, programming and architecting large scalable systems and knowledge of devices which is used in the IOT ecosystems will be in demand .This would definitely have a positive impact on the course and curriculum used in schools and colleges.

Challenges

IoT can be confusing and intimidating, especially as debates on its standardization. Currently, the biggest challenge in Iot field is the lack of consistent standards.

While some of the IoT technology stack has no standards, others have numerous competing standards. Without a “standard communication method”, devices will not be able to connect with other devices. For example – For example, the communication between companies that produces smart refrigerators with a company that develops smart home technology using different protocol will be minimal. That’s because these two devices are using different communications protocols, resulting in a lack of interoperability and an experience that’s far from seamless for customers. However, if the two companies used the same standard for connectivity, would be much more likely.

Security is another issue with the IoT. Extremely sensitive data are collected in many cases — what you say and do in your own home, for example. Keeping that secure is vital to customer trust, but so far the IoT’s security track record has been extremely poor. Too many IoT like encrypting data in transit and at rest are not secured enough. IOT devices are permanently at risk as flaws in software even old and well-used code can be tracked on a regular basis. Hackers are targeting IoT devices such as routers and webcams because their inherent lack of security makes them easy to compromise and roll up into giant botnets.

Next Phase of IoT

Iot has become more cost-effective as the price of sensors and communications are dropping continuously and eventually this helps to add more devices to the IoT. Deployments are at an early stage; most companies which are engaging with the IoT are at the trial stage right now, largely because the necessary technology – sensor technology, 5G and machine-learning powered analytics- are still themselves at an reasonably early stage of development. There are many competing platforms and many different providers from device makers to software companies to network operators want a slice of the pie. But without standards and with security an ongoing issue we are likely to see some more big IoT security mishaps in the next few years.

As the number of connected devices continues to rise, our living and working environments will become filled with smart products — assuming we are willing to accept the security and privacy trade-offs. Some will welcome the new era of smart things. Others will pine for the days when a mirror was simply a mirror.