Defining IoT

You can’t pick up any technical article today without a mention of the word IoT. What does this word mean? A very simple definition of this IOTterminology is “Network of physical objects accessed through Internet” Well you can’t just access physical objects unless you equip them with some sort of sensors so they can tell you something about their identity or status. So the more clear definition would be “Collection of smart,IoT sensor enabled physical objects and the networks, servers and services that interact with them”.

Another very low cost ubiquitous technology to give every object some sort of identification in use is RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency Identification. So another key definition of IoT is “Networks of RFID-equipped objects to ease identification and tracking”

So a more complete definition of IoT is:
“A network of physical objects that contain sensors and communication capability such as WiFi, Blue tooth, Cellular Internet: 2G/3G/4G/5G or RFID to communicate and sense or to interact with their internal states or the external environment and can talk to each other or talk to you through some smart communicating platform such as smart phone, smart watch or a tablet.”

Applications and How big IoT would be

In 2008, there were more things connected to the Internet than people. According to Cisco Systems, by 2020 things will reach 50 billion. Personally, I think this number is under called.

Applications of IoT are in Smart Home, Smart Car, Smart Grid, Smart Meters, Healthcare, Industrial Automation, and Transportation systems.

By 2018, majority of homes will have 200 devices hooked to Internet of Things.

Smart cars and self-driving cars are around the corner. New vehicle-to-vehicle communication will soon allow cars to send information about themselves like speed, direction, and location to other vehicles.

The next major applications are in Industrial Internet. GE has developed a software platform, Predix, which is used create apps for machines and connected devices that tap into information gathered from sensors. The company believes that Industrial Internet could add $10 trillion to $15 trillion to the global GDP over the next 2 decades.

Aside from home connectivity, transportation, and industrial automation, the Internet of Things is expected to bring big changes to other industries as well. In the medical field, you will be able to swallow a small pill with a sensor in it, that would be able to track your heart rate and blood sugar levels, and even dispense medication.

Gartner projects that the number of Internet of Things devices could hit 26 billion by 2020, excluding tablets and smart-phones. Six years from now, global revenue from the Internet of Things is estimated to reach $8.9 Trillion.

Fascinating things happening in IoT

  • With the latest Internet address standard (IPv6), there are enough Internet addresses for every atom on the earth.
  • Connected home devices will be a huge part of Internet of Things, with Google and Samsung ahead of the pack, with Google buying smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2B and Samsung buying connected home company SmartThings for $200M and has a massive effort in making all home appliances network and enabled with many embedded sensors.
  • A lot of U.S. consumers own a wearable tech device and by the end of the year this, number will be more than 7 fold with the introduction of Apple iWatch; look for more wearable smart medical devices.
  • Five years from now more than 20% of the U.S consumers will own smart refrigerators and smart watches
    Internet connected clothing is coming.
  • 60% of Americans are willing to share data from their car with vehicle’s manufacturer.
  • According to Gartner, one in five vehicles on the road will have wireless connectivity.
  • According to report released by GSMA, 27% of Global M2M connections are in China, while all of Europe has 29% and US has 19%.
  • Here come massive opportunities and challenges in ubiquitous data collection, data use and security.
  • Let us also not forget the hackers and the bad guys who are looking at how to attack the Internet connected devices and cause grief for the society.

What are the technology hurdles/Development needs?

Standards are the most important thing for freedom, openness, compatibility, interoperability and substitutability. Without standards there will be no Internet of Anything.

Security of information generated by my property aka refrigerator or my car and how it is aggregated or allowed it to pass on. Likewise, for Industrial IoT, the information security or Medical information collected by Doctors about their patients or Medical Equipment data and patient information being collected by the equipment manufacturer.

Author: Naresh Batra, President SFiveI

Naresh Batra is a Sr. Charter member of TiE Silicon Valley. He is President of SfiveI, a company engaged in Software product development, Services, Solutions, Systems, and Sensors for Internet of Things. Naresh’s career spans across Texas instruments, VP and GM, Brooktree, VP and GM Sierra Semiconductor, Global head Semiconductor Engineering Practice, TCS, Founder/CEO Xaqti (acquired by (Vitesse Semiconductor), Founder/CEO UptimeOne, Founder/CEO of Intelleflex Corp. He is holder of 14 US patents in the RFID and IoT space. He holds MSEE and MBA degrees. He is a registered professional engineer from the State of Illinois and Lifetime member of IEEE.