The very concept of the interaction of a system of sensors and control elements without human involvement is rather old. It was first successfully implemented in the 1950-th on the basis of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But truly speaking, it was about automatic monitoring and replenishment of cola supplies, and students implemented the technology, but the idea had great potential.
But the computing power and information technology of that time did not allow full interaction yet. Everything has changed with the development of technology - a variety of sensors, wireless networks, RFID chips - all this allowed us to begin to implement a full-fledged Internet of things. However, it was necessary to develop a basic concept. And the "palm" here belongs to someone named Reza Raji, who in 1994 published an article on the use of automatic transmission of data packets in the automation of enterprises and private homes.
The implementation was not long in coming, and not by individuals, but by Microsoft and some others. Serious development results were announced in 2002, when the first smart devices appeared, connected both with each other and with a common monitoring system. However, it became possible to speak of a full-fledged “Internet of things” only in 2008, when the number of devices connected to the network exceeded the number of people.
How does the internet of things work?
The basis of this technology is the interworking between computing devices, objects equipped with a sensor network, private computers and smartphones, and some non-computing devices. An example is automatic thermostats in apartments, heart rate monitors that give signals when a dangerous heart rate is reached, home security systems, and much more. And most importantly - all these numerous devices can be controlled not only remotely - using personal computers and smartphones, but also in fully automatic mode.
Household and personal use
The simplest example is a fully automated home. The temperature in them can be regulated without human intervention, air conditioning and lighting is turned on automatically, and security systems monitor the integrity of windows and doors. All this sends data to a personal smart device or to a common smart hub, where other “smart gadgets”, such as televisions and refrigerators, are connected.
This brings the greatest benefit, of course, to older people and people with disabilities. Because of thanks to the “Internet of things” you can connect not only sensors that record weather changes, but also meters of some functions of the human body. A trivial smart watch with the function of a heart rate monitor and a cardiograph can send signals to doctors and relatives if the wearer has any kind of heart problem. More advanced technology - a full-fledged hospital smart bed, which got even more indicators. And if something is not right - makes entries in the database and calls the doctor.
Commerce and Industry
In commerce, the benefit is obvious - automatic tracking of how many units of a particular product is still left, and in case of lack - the creation of an appropriate request. Everything is quite simple with industry as well: monitoring temperature, humidity, noise level and air condition in workshops, checking the quality and availability of water and food for livestock on farms, controlling the consumption of electricity, water and other resources. In fact, everything that is somehow connected with dynamically changing parameters can be automated.
The Internet of things has some serious problems. The first is the dependence of devices on network availability. Both wired and wireless. But the more sensors and devices are connected to one source (and they really need a lot) - the worse the signal quality and the more wires you have to stretch somewhere. In addition, devices from different manufacturers are far from effective interacting with each other.
Large smart device manufacturers such as Apple and Lenovo are actively working to solve these problems. They already have applications that are compatible with most system requirements, which allow you to control devices with voice commands. Regarding the network and signal quality, this is solved by creating a centralized smart hub that provides interaction exclusively within such a local network. Examples are Amazon Echo and Samsung SmartThings Hub. Simply put, individual devices and sensors are connected only with a hub, which provides them with both an internal network and Internet access. It also carries out central monitoring, and in this case - automatically issue the appropriate commands.
Internet of Things Application or IOTA is a rather interesting project that uses the Internet of things instead of the classical methods of validation for cryptocurrencies. The protocol is open source, so anyone can join it. IOTA uses not the blockchain, but a completely new tangle technology based on interconnected transactions.
The tangled network allows users to make money transfers on their own, but only if they have made two other transactions in advance. The more nodes are in such a network, the more transactions it can process simultaneously.
The technology is experimental and not without flaws. Even at the initial stage, the developers encountered a number of problems that are quite difficult to fix. However, this project showed several extremely interesting aspects of the interaction of M2M (machine with machine), which can be further used to create a full-fledged IoT economy.
A refrigerator that independently monitors the amount of products and automatically purchases them through the M2M interaction is a matter of the future. But it’s not so far since each individual element of the problem has almost received a solution. And taking into account the fact that automation is increasingly being introduced into human life, and more and more companies are focusing on this particular field of activity, we do not have to wait so long.