The Internet of Things

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THE INTERNET OF THINGS aka IoT

 

According to Wikipedia, the Internet of Things refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. The term Internet of Things was proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999.The concept of the Internet of Things first became popular through the Auto-ID Center at MIT and related market analysts publications. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is often seen as a prerequisite for the Internet of Things. If all objects and people in daily life were equipped with identifiers, they could be managed and inventoried by computers. Tagging of things may be achieved through such technologies as near field communication, barcodes, QR codes and digital watermarking. Equipping all objects in the world with minuscule identifying devices could be transformative of daily life. For instance, business may no longer run out of stock or generate waste products, as involved parties would know which products are required and consumed. One's ability to interact with objects could be altered remotely based on immediate or present needs, in accordance with existing end-user agreements. A director of the RFID Technology Auto-ID European Centre at the University of Cambridge Helen Duce created a bold vision of a new RFID-connected world: "We have a clear vision – to create a world where every object - from jumbo jets to sewing needles – is linked to the Internet. Compelling as this vision is, it is only achievable if this system is adopted by everyone everywhere. Success will be nothing less than global adoption." According to ABI Research more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things (Internet of Everything) by 2020. Ashton commented in June 2009: "Today computers—and, therefore, the Internet—are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by human beings—by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code. Conventional diagrams of the Internet ... leave out the most numerous and important routers of all - people. The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy—all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. And that's a big deal. We're physical, and so is our environment ... You can't eat bits, burn them to stay warm or put them in your gas tank. Ideas and information are important, but things matter much more. Yet today's information technology is so dependent on data originated by people that our computers know more about ideas than things. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things—using data they gathered without any help from us—we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best. The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did. Maybe even more so."The research into the IoT is still in its infancy. Therefore, there aren't any standard definitions for IoT. Several definitions formulated by different researchers are listed in a survey.

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