Since its inception in the 1960, “the internet” has been connecting people across the globe at an exponentially mounting rate and in ways which we could not have imagined few decades ago. As a phenomenon the internet has had more profound impacts on our society than most others. Enabling the world with enhanced connectivity has not only impacted but also revolutionized the way we communicate, interact socially & professionally. Its far reaching arms have touched science, healthcare, education, technology, politics, industry and so many other aspects of our lives.
Typically we have been thinking about the internet as an infrastructure enabling fast connectivity with laptops, tablets, mobiles & terminals as interface medium to this infrastructure and humans as the prime information sources as well as real world reactors to received information. Although this has been apt from our worldview, it is only partially the story.
Enterprises for decades now have been collecting proprietary information on their local databases. Although some of it is manually fed, this information relating to enterprise assets, processes, products and outputs is being collected using SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) or standard industrial M2M (Machine to Machine) protocols. The dissemination of this information internal to the enterprise was an important part of information flow and facilitated decision making. Let me bring this into perspective with an example- A typical product factory would log information of flow-rate of raw material, count of defective produce , temperature, humidity values at various parts in the production process and all this using sensors. This data is stored in data loggers and is accessed & analyzed later to understand production, consumption, failure conditions and other business operation metrics so as to take appropriate action to improve productivity & streamline processes.
Over the last two decades, leaps in sensor technology, computing horsepower and reduction in footprint of memory devices along with standardization of Internet Protocol (IP) & others protocols have resulted in increased adoption of the internet. Moving from IPv4 to IPv6 standard gives us exponentially greater number of addresses which allow a large number of objects to have an identity and be a part of the internet. Embedded systems with sensors and actuators are now being given internet capability (wired or wireless) either directly or via an intermediate network. These not only help us understand our environment better but also with the power of computing and connectivity enable decision making and implementation. To share a few examples:
As you can see, you & I are not the only actors on the internet. A large number of device and “things” have become our companions as information sources & real time reactors. This is the phenomenon called “The Internet of Things” a.k.a IoT- a phrase that’s been doing the rounds lately.
The IOT has applications in all industries, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, education, security, energy consumption, day-to-day objects and other domains only limited by our imagination. In fact, wind turbines and solar plants are the perfect examples of the “Internet of Things” and Algo Engines is out to leverage exactly this feature of it. How & Why? Stay tuned to find out the answer…..
For a comprehensive literature on IoT & its areas of impact refer to the links below: