It’s the new buzzword and has been a part of our tech vocabulary for quite some time now. The Internet of Things (IoT) has effectively and significantly changed everything around us. The meteoric development in IoT technology promises to affect our lifestyle. It hasn’t been long that IoT came into our lives, and suddenly, it is everywhere. We are surrounded by it. Things as small as your ring to an entire building can become a part of the Internet of Things.
What is the IoT?
The Internet of Things refers to a system of inter-related devices and people who can share information and resources over a network. What’s unique about this information is that it can take place without any necessary human to human or human to machine interaction. To put it in layman’s terms, it is the collection of billions of devices and objects around the globe connected to the internet and through it to each other and humans.
The variety of devices that can grow to be a part of this rapidly evolving technology is unimaginable. All the things of your everyday use, including toilets, transportation modes, traffic signals, living spaces, libraries, restaurants, and everything else, are either already a part of IoT or soon will be.
How does it work?
Devices and objects are connected and added with sensor chips that render them with a digital intelligence level. This means that they can then communicate with each other without (or with very little) human involvement. The devices and objects with built-in sensors are connected using an Internet of Things platform (a platform for every IoT deployment) comprising hardware, software, and connectivity components.
These powerful IoT platforms can detect which information is useful and which is not, making decisions and suggesting alternatives. These platforms even give recommendations, solve problems, and much more.
IoT and 5G
5G is here, it is no longer a technology of future. With 5G in picture now, new avenues will open up for the functioning of IoT frameworks and systems. Faster speeds, low latency, and better bandwidth means more capable networks. The excitement that this brings in for IoT is tremendous. This being said, there have been setbacks due to current health crisis.
While the year 2020 was supposed to be revolutionary for the commercialization of the 5G technology, the predictions from global tech giants took a toll. Experts projected the establishment of millions of new IoT network endpoints, supported by 5G, by the end of 2020. Interesting thing to note here is that these predictions might have seen a setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers are bound to grow in the post-pandemic. There is already an increased dependence on IoT capabilities, which will rapidly increase in the immediate future.
There is another aspect to this discourse. The blazing fast internet speeds and lower latency might promise large-scale deployment of IoT devices, but this cutting edge technology will come at its cost. 5G infrastructure will change global network spheres and user experience forever. The vast expansion in network endpoints under 5G support will attract more numbers of attack vectors. More access points will mean more opportunities for not just the users but hackers too. The global interconnections that we benefit from will then increase this network vulnerability. If innovations in cybersecurity couldn’t keep up with this cutting-edge technology’s rapid growth, we might see large scale security mishaps in the next few years.
IoT technology offers one of the most exciting and promising sets of technological prospects for end users. The possibilities are unimaginable; smart speakers, smart refrigerators, smart air-conditioners, smart cars, smart rings, smart earpiece, smart slippers, smart showers, smart light bulbs, and the list goes on. With 5G in the picture now, improved IoT capabilities will significantly enhance healthcare and education facilities. All of it has to be considered with a pinch of salt. With the lack of proper standards and the amount of personal information sharing that happens over the internet, we are likely to see major security mishaps in the next few years. Assuming that we are prepared for the security-privacy trade-off, some of us will embrace the smart age.