Internet of Things (IoT) is a broad term encompassing the network of internet-connected devices embedded with sensors and software. It allows them to communicate with other connected devices over the internet or networked infrastructure and be configured autonomously to perform tasks.
Any physical device can be made as an IoT device if it can be connected to the internet to collect and transmit data about its usage and the environment.
For example, your thermostat, lighting and security camera can be controlled through a smartphone app. Smartwatches can now detect your heart rate and notify your doctor of irregularities. Larger objects, like autonomous cars, could be embedded with sensors to determine road conditions and prevent accidents with pedestrians or other vehicles. Even smart city projects are becoming increasingly popular. Many cities are now planning to utilise IoT technologies in various areas to help manage and distribute resources more efficiently. For instance, a city's traffic light system, transportation, and parking system can be synchronised through IoT to reduce congestion during rush hour.
However, IoT refers to devices that would not typically connect to the internet. For this reason, your laptop or smartphone would not be classified as an IoT device since both devices are internet-connected and can communicate with the network without human intervention.
We are currently surrounded by internet-enabled devices, constantly learning what we do, what we like, and our routines to live more convenient lives. There are currently more than four times as many IoT devices as human beings, with a predicted 75 billion devices online by 2025. Global spending on IoT will reach 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars by 2023.
We are currently surrounded by internet-enabled devices, constantly learning what we do, what we like, and our routines to live more convenient lives. While it makes our lives more convenient, a device's constant connection to the internet can also lead to vulnerabilities. A cybercriminal could suddenly take over your security camera at any given moment. An autonomous car could get hijacked during a drive. Big tech companies exploit our data to create even more pervasive devices.
The future with the Internet of Things is inevitable. As these technologies develop, they will continue to open up opportunities for new online threats. We must consider how much we are willing to sacrifice for convenience as a society.