The Internet of Things (IoT). It is according to experts the next “Big Thing” in the IT world. It is expected that in 2020 no less than 26 billion IoT devices will be installed. But what exactly is this new development, what can you do with it and why is it a hit?
Internet of Things, wat is dat?
In today’s society, the Internet can no longer be ignored. It has even become a basic need in the Netherlands. The concept of “Internet of Things” originated in 1999 when the Massachusetts Instute of Technology (MIT) investigated the possibilities of RFID. This technology makes it possible to transfer information remotely. Think of contactless payment (with the debit card or recently with the telephone) and the RFID tags that you send, after scanning, to websites or provide the desired information. The concept in its basic form:
“The internet of things refers to the situation that people-operated computers (desktops, tablets, smartphones) will be in the minority on the internet. The majority of internet users in this vision will consist of semi-intelligent devices, so-called embedded systems. This makes everyday objects an entity on the internet that can communicate with people and with other objects, and who can make autonomous decisions on the basis of this. “
De koelkast en de thermostaat
The simplest example of the internet of things is Amazon’s smart refrigerator. This refrigerator can scan products and thus give a signal to the user that a product may be overdue. It is even possible to set the refrigerator that, when the product is missing in the refrigerator, the product is automatically placed on the order list and can be ordered by the user at the touch of a button.
In addition to Amazon’s refrigerator, there are numerous devices that fulfill such a function. However, there is one IoT device that almost everyone knows. That is the smart thermostat that has been installed for a long time in Dutch households. With this thermostat it is possible to remotely control the temperature in the house, to keep track of consumption and to compare this consumption against the estimated annual consumption. The thermostat of Google is even arranged so that he learns from his environment and can program himself to save energy.
Development platform for IoT
Since 2015, Google has developed an IoT software platform called Project Brillo. With this platform, Google focuses primarily on the market for home automation solutions (such as the Amazon fridge). This platform is a simplified and energy-efficient version of the operating system of Google, Android. Thanks to the accessibility of this platform, many developers can already make applications for existing devices, which considerably shortens the development time.
Because these devices do not have to transmit large commands, a Wi-Fi connection is often “overkill”. In the Netherlands, several (large) parties offer networks to connect IoT devices. LoRaWAN is such a network.
This network allows devices to talk to the internet without having to use a mobile connection or Wi-Fi. The battery consumption is therefore a lot lower, the range is large and the bandwidth is very limited. The network also simplifies the communication with wireless sensors so that new applications can be created such as locating your car, keys or bag. The range of this network can go up to fifteen kilometers per mast. The internet speed of the network is between 0.3 and 50 kbit / s.
Security of IoT devices
Not only denial-of-sleep attacks (malicious code aimed at draining the battery) are a threat to IoT devices, according to Gartner. Gartner says the following about the security of these devices:
“The Internet of Things introduces a wide range of new security risks and challenges for the IoT devices themselves, their platforms and operating systems, their communications, and even the systems with which they are connected. Security technologies will be needed to protect IoT devices and platforms from both information attacks and physical manipulation. But also to encrypt communication of these devices and to address new challenges such as ‘things’ or the denial-of-sleep attacks that drain the batteries. IoT security will be complicated by the fact that many ‘things’ use simple processors and operating systems that can not support advanced security systems. “
IoT in the future
The market for IoT devices is endless. As mentioned earlier, it is expected that in 2020 no less than 26 billion IoT devices will be installed worldwide. However, good software and hardware are required for these devices. Especially when it comes to the security of these devices. The security solutions that are now offered are too fragmented and consist of different suppliers. Blockchain technology, a development that is also very up-to-date, can provide a solution for the security of these devices. For many techies, engineers and software developers who are looking for a challenge, this is a development to keep an eye on!
The future of IoT will not only be interesting for developers. This development will also become valuable for today’s consumer. More and more devices will be developed with a view to convenience for the consumer. Good examples are the aforementioned smart refrigerator and the smart thermostat. The devices will therefore serve the consumer more which should make life easier.
Internet of Things at WIBA IT
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