The Internet of Things (IoT) is a breakthrough in the technological space which is set to revolutionize our lives. The technology not only connects things such as furniture, home appliances, fitness devices, cars, etc. but also people, animals, trees, services, infrastructure, and other areas of our physical world and society. It is bound to have a huge impact on our lives in the present and future as it reduces human intervention and increases the efficiency of services, thereby saving time and cost. The IoT technology is rapidly gaining pace in recent years due to the advancements in sensor networks, mobile devices, networking, and cloud technologies. Moreover, the rise in demand for artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) is also likely to propel the industry. According to Progressive Markets’ report on the internet of things market, the industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 32.7% from 2017 to 2025.
Here’s a look at some of IoT’s advantages
The IoT can be used in industries to automate manufacturing and optimize production processes. The IoT can be used in factories to monitor the emission of poisonous gases. It allows sensing of soil moisture and reducing water wastage in agricultural fields. The IoT enables us to remotely control and program home appliances such as the TV, dishwasher, thermostat, AC, refrigerator, music system, and others. The IoT assists in detecting environmental pollutants. It can help us keep track of the release of toxic wastes in rivers and the sea, thereby controlling water pollution.
The technology can gauge the quality of drinking water being supplied to places. Regarding natural calamities, the IoT can be used to send warning signals related to earthquakes and tsunamis by sensing tremors. It can also detect forest fires and monitor the water level in rivers and dams to prevent floods. The IoT can be used to identify several types of health issues. It can help monitor the heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, the various organ systems, and more to check for anomalies. This system is very useful for the elderly and disabled people who live independently. The vibrations of buildings, bridges, and other structures due to an issue in the building material can be monitored using IoT. Management of traffic, street lights, and noise pollution are also possible with IoT.
Just as everything has its advantages and disadvantages, so is the case with IoT. The technology faces some major challenges and here are they:
IoT is known to have caused a number of security issues. The massive influx of IoT devices in the system which is deployed in a complex and hostile environment make the devices vulnerable to cyber-attack. It provides invaders a greater platform to attack the system. Security methods related to encryption are not helpful for these devices. This is because they are built with constrained computational resources and are unable to perform encryption and decryption fast enough to be able to transmit data.
As the IoT network has interconnected devices from various manufacturers, the problem of compatibility in tagging and monitoring arises. Even though the manufacturers create devices following a common standard, technical issues will persist.
The interconnection of billions of devices will be one of the biggest challenges of the future of IoT. It is likely to resist the present structure of communication models and the technologies they are built with. Currently, a centralized, server/client model is used to authenticate and connect various nodes in a network. This model is sufficient for today’s IoT systems. However, when networks start increasing with hundreds of billions of devices in it, centralized systems become a concern. Such growing networks will need huge investments to maintain cloud servers that can handle such large amounts of information.
The diverse and complex nature of the IoT network results in various types of complexities. Any failure in the software or hardware of the devices is bound to have dire consequences in the network.
Even if the Internet of Things has its pros and cons, we must be well-equipped to make use of its power while not allowing the technology to control us.