The “Internet of Things” (IoT) or the “Internet of Everything” (IoE) or the “Internet of Devices (IoD)– are the new buzzwords, the next big thing that everyone in the tech sector is talking about. All these phrases are essentially variations of the same concept but to a non-IT person they are quite confusing. What does Internet of Everything really mean?
Ever since smartphones and tablets have become pervasive, and the growth in applications supported by these devices have exploded, the industry wants to make everything, every device smart and connected. This notion of connecting all devices to each other and to the Internet is called as the “Internet of Everything”.
No matter the industry, be it Healthcare, consumer goods, energy, automotive, there are applications that are connected to the internet to perform various functions. The devices just about include everything such as
- Home appliances (toasters, refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines)
- Traffic lights and Highways
- Eye Glasses
- Baby monitors
- Health/fitness monitors
- Pet microchips
- Automobiles (Bicycles, Cars,Trucks, Airplaces, helicopters, Trains)
- Energy and Utility (Power lines with smart meters, oil pipelines)
At a deeper level, the industry is talking about not only connecting the various devices to the internet but also making them “Smart”. Tesla is a great example of the “Internet of Things”. According to Wired, Tesla’s Over the Air Fix, the Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently published two car recall announcements. One from Tesla Motors and one from GM. Both were related to problems that could cause fires. Tesla was able to fix their problem “over the air” with a software update and did not require owners to bring their cars to the dealer. The technologies that support driverless cars while not yet a mass production reality is another great futuristic but tangible example of how IoT will influence the way consumers view and use various objects, devices, and goods and how the social expectations from such objects will change in the near future.
Another great example is that of Europe’s Smart Highway, the Cooperative ITS Corridor that will facilitate cars across three different countries providing un interrupted driving, providing warning to drivers of upcoming roadwork, traffic hazards and other obstacles.
While the “Internet of Everything” might seem like a buzzword, and a fashionable phrase at the moment, the above examples illustrate that IoT is surely changing the way business and consumers will interact with each other in the near future. Internet of Everything (IoE) refers to this inter-connectivity between people, devices and processes.
Regardless of the industry, we expect to see an unprecedented development and commercialization of the IoE technology, in the IoE devices, the IoE framework, in the evolution of “smart cities” that connect everywhere, and also perhaps most importantly in the vast investments in IT infrastructure and the vast volumes of data that will be generated and collected as a result of IoE.
The sheer scope of IoE, possibly 50 billion devices as predicted by Cisco, and the need to secure the vast volume of data generated by these devices, necessitates a new breed of advances in infrastructure security as well as in cyber security.