Recently on a trip to Boston, USA, my daughter and my son-in- law picked me up from Logan International Airport at Boston. Her home was a short thirty minute drive from the airport on I 90. While on the road, I noticed that the car did not have to slow or stop for any of the Tolls. On the way, we decided to grab a Pizza at the California Pizza Kitchen on Natick Mall before proceeding home. While nearing the home, the temperature was at 12 C. My daughter switched on from her iPhone, heating at home! Well, this was the first time I saw IoT in operation as a consumer experience, though auto toll payment has been existence for a few years now in USA and Europe.
What is IoT ? – According to Wiki, The internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items— embedded with electronics, software sensors and connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. In 2013, Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) defined the IoT as “the infrastructure of the information society”, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.
British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton can be called as the father of IoT since he coined the term Internet of Things (IoT) in 1999 while working at Auto-ID Labs (originally called Auto-ID centers, referring to a global network of objects connected to radio-frequency identification or RFID). Ashton was born in UK and was working as an assistant brand manager at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1997 when he became interested in using RFID to help manage P&G’s supply chain. This work led him to MIT, where he helped start an RFID research consortium called the Auto-ID Center with professors Sanjay Sarma and Sunny Siu and researcher David Brock. The center opened in 1999 as an industry sponsored research project with the goal of creating a global open standard system to put RFID everywhere.
Ashton then became a high-tech entrepreneur with start-ups. One of his start-ups was Belkin WeMo home automation system. WeMo is a series of products that enables users to control home electronics from anywhere from an iOS or an android smartphone running the WeMo App, via home WiFi or mobile phone network.
Legal scholars suggest looking at “Things” in IoT as an “inextricable mixture of hardware, software, data and service”. These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices. Current market examples include smart thermostat systems and washer/dryers that use Wi-Fi for remote monitoring. That is precisely what I saw in operation.
The Internet of Things is more than just a smart home electrical switching or a refrigerator reminding that you are out of milk! This disruptive technology is going to impact Workplace, Hospitals, Factories and warehouses, Dynamic applications & delivery to mention a few.
According to Ben Rossi in Information Age (October 15, 2015), recent IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona in September 2015, left no doubt that we are in the midst of a new revolution. Participants presented ingenuous cases of IoT implementation at their workplaces, while others dug deeper on the ROI of this disruptive technology; discovering how smart factories with machine-to-machine communication and collaboration could progressively reduce costs, increase productivity and boost profitability.