Let’s get technical: what is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Rogersville

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I’ve seen more and more references to ‘IoT’, which stands for ‘Internet of Things’, so I dug a little deeper into its definition and want to share what I found with you.

And, unsurprisingly, what I found when you search “What is IoT?” is that most of the answers are unnecessarily technical. I hope I can explain it more simply.

Usually what you find is something along the lines of: “The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals, or people that are given unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data. over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Pretty technical.

If you’ve just read this and are still lost, you’re not alone. Most people don’t need to dive into IoT details. So here is a simple explanation of the Internet of Things and what it means for you.

“Internet of Things” and “IoT” can be used interchangeably. A quick tip if you find yourself in a situation where you need to sound knowledgeable, avoid saying “the IoT”. It is usually spoken of in its full form but written in its abbreviated form.

You probably have a desktop computer, a cell phone, maybe a tablet, but whatever device you’re using is most definitely connected to the internet.

It can be difficult to pin down the concept

An internet connection is a good thing, opening the door to all sorts of benefits that were simply not possible before. If you’re old enough, think about your cell phone before it became a smartphone. You could call and text, but now you can read any book, watch any movie, or listen to any song in the palm of your hand. And that’s just to name a few of the amazing things your phone or connected device can do.

Connecting things to the internet has many amazing benefits. We’ve all seen these benefits with our smartphones, laptops, and tablets, but that’s true for everything else too. And yes, I mean everything. The Internet of Things is actually a pretty simple concept, it means taking all the things in the world and connecting them to the internet. It can be hard to get the concept in your head when there are so many examples and possibilities in the IoT.

What is the benefit of connecting everything to the internet and why would we even want to? When something is connected to the Internet, it means that it can send information or receive information, or both. This ability to send and/or receive information makes things smart, and smart is good.

On your smartphone or tablet right now, you can listen to just about any song in the world, but that’s not because your phone has every song in the world stored on it. This is because every song in the world is stored elsewhere, but your device can send information (request that song) and then receive information (stream that song to your phone).

To be smart, a thing doesn’t need to have super storage or a super computer inside. Just connect to super storage or super computer. Being connected is great.

Sensors allow machines to make sense of the world

In the Internet of Things, all things that are connected to the Internet can collect information and then send it, receive information and act on it, or both. And all three have huge benefits that feed off of each other.

A simple example is that of sensors. The sensors can be temperature sensors, motion sensors, humidity sensors, air quality sensors, light sensors, etc. These sensors, together with a connection, allow us to automatically collect information from the environment which, in turn, allows us to make smarter decisions.

On the farm, automatically obtaining soil moisture information from a sensor can tell farmers exactly when their crops need to be watered. Instead of watering too much (which can be a costly overuse of irrigation systems) or watering too little (which can be a costly loss of crops), the farmer can ensure that the crops receive exactly the right amount of water. More money for farmers and more food for the world!

Just as our sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste allow us humans to make sense of the world, sensors allow machines to make sense of the world.

We are all very familiar with machines that get information and then act. Your printer receives a document and prints it. Your car receives a signal from your car keys and the doors open. The examples are countless.

Whether it’s a simple “turn on” command or something as complex as sending a 3D model to a 3D printer, we know we can tell machines what to do from afar.

Connected in more and more ways

So, the true power of the Internet of Things emerges when things can do both of the above. Things that collect information and send it, but also receive information and act on it.

Let’s go back to the example of agriculture. Sensors can collect soil moisture information to tell the farmer how much to water the crops, but you don’t actually need the farmer. Instead, the irrigation system can turn on automatically as needed, depending on the amount of moisture in the soil.

You can also go further. If the irrigation system receives weather information from its internet connection, it can also know when it is going to rain and decide not to water the crops today because they will be watered by the rain anyway.

And it does not stop there ! All of this information about soil moisture, the amount of crop watering by the irrigation system, and the actual crop growth can be collected and sent to supercomputers that run amazing algorithms that can make sense of all these information.

And that’s just one type of sensor. Add other sensors like light, air quality, and temperature, and these algorithms can learn so much more. With tens, hundreds, thousands of farms collecting all of this information, these algorithms can create incredible insights into how to grow crops best, helping to feed the world.

How to collect information, process it and send it back to act on what has been collected is limited only by our imagination. In the very near future, expect to be connected more and more to more and more things on the Internet from which you will be able to receive information and react to this information. It is, quite simply, IoT, or the Internet of Things.

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