In this modern era, it is overwhelming to see how technology has advanced over the decades & still rapidly growing. From the invention of the wheel that made it possible to travel or deliver things from one destination to another, the light bulbs that illuminated homes in darkness, and the computers by which one store, share & represent data in very astonishing ways. All these advances result in massive changes in how people act & interact.
Now, with the internet connecting one device to another, helping in sharing data from one part of the world to another, it has revolutionized the ways of interaction of one being to another by making it more convenient and less time-consuming.
From linked home hubs, smart lighting systems in houses, thermostats, remote door locks, app-controlled appliances & much more. All of them have sensors or software in them that make it possible to operate them from another device or share their stats(data) to another via Bluetooth or over the internet.
All this is made possible due to the Internet of things (IoT), which means connecting a device or group of devices with another over a communicating network.
Think about a scenario, you wake at 5 A.M. with your alarm clock going on with some pop song/any devotional melody which you set with your smartphone or your smart band/watch vibrating to wake you up. You can even check your sleeping schedule on your band/watch that how much time it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up in night and even you can monitor your pulse rate while you were sleeping. Then you check your smartphone which shows emails and other information like weather.
You can even control your house heating/cooling system, lights, and other appliances while you are at work with such ease. Suppose you visit some store & bought some packed food you can gather all its information regarding its nutritional content, manufacturing/expiry date by scanning its QR code with a suitable scanner app.
IoT has impacted our lives in a positive as well as negative manner. Let’s see some of its impacts-
Ease of access, convenient and comfortable
Its greatest significance is that when devices or objects connect with others to perform tasks that you want and disconnect/switch off when you want them by simply giving commands or pressing a button, it brings convenience to the table. You don’t have to travel more from one room to another just to switch on/off an appliance. With smart lighting systems, you turn lights on/off, check whether their status whether you forgot to turn them off without even going near the lights. You can control your smart doors and even get alarmed in case of any intrusion detected while you are not in your town.
A thermostat can adapt itself to your ways of usage by simply calculating from your usage stats, how many degrees of temperature you are favorable to and what time you like it, on these bases it can adjust your required temperature while you are on your way to home from work.
Smart glasses are another example that automatically adjusts to the amount of light entering your eyes on a timely basis. Making you comfortable to look around during day time as well as night.
With IoT running, we need to rely less on humans to do everything as it is automated hence, saving a lot of time and effort. App developers all over the globe are giving significant efforts on automation using IOT due to this you can keep check of automation of certain items on your device which gives you freedom and more control over things.
Numerous mobile app developers over the world are working on ways to improve the IoT as the potential for this technology is limitless. This tech not only will add quality to human lives but, also increase the chances of success of businesses.
Money and resource management
IoT is saving a lot of money for people and their firms. If you simply left your appliances/lights on and gates open, the sensors will then automatically send the data to the system judging by your presence that is not around & close all of them. Hence, saving money and resources.
Similarly, if you leave your car without locking it the sensors in it after some time will send a signal to the system and will lock the doors.
It reduces the cost of labor in order to count stock stored in malls/shops as nowadays every lot is fitted with some chip that automatically updates about the quantity of stock every time when change is made to it.
IoT in the healthcare department
In this era, we have devices available to check for diabetes. With smart app automation, people can even monitor their pulse rate while running or doing any physical work. They can track their calorie intake & sleeping patterns. They can check their BMI index in their smartphone to check whether they are under/overweight.
They can even share this report with a doctor or any family member when they need to. Similarly, a doctor can send someone their reports via the internet and prescribed medicines, which can also be ordered from apps nowadays.
Way of interaction with others altered
More we are using IoT, the lesser we need to rely on others and hence, people are not interacting with others as much as they use to do. Society is absorbed in their digital life and has forgotten even to interact with nature. Some people don’t like the climate outside their home like when it rains heavily, snowfall, as they cannot control it like their heating/cooling systems.
Security and privacy issues
Even though the IoT is rapidly advancing but, it’s also much easier to hack these devices which is really a matter of concern. Social media lets anyone know about others’ personal life simply by observing what that someone is posting, in which school/college they study, which place they visit hangout & with whom. Age-restricted content is easily accessible. If you don’t have a security surveillance system someone might hack into that and track your activities. If you don’t pay attention someone can gather information about you through your devices.
Too much comfort and automation
With the comfort of IoT, you can access anything from one place of your house whether it’s appliances, doors, cars or you can order something. Too much sitting idle and not doing some physical work can cause health problems.
Having devices that could automate your work really helps in reducing workload and cost but, due to it, many people lose their livelihood.
As IoT is helping in improving our lives by automating transportation, healthcare, education, information gathering, communication, and so on. We have to take serious security measures over it as the way it helps us in a similar manner can harm us. We shouldn’t rely too much on technology and sit idle as that would give it more control over our lives. To make the best use of it, we should first educate ourselves about it in order to prevent any security/privacy-related problem & to make the best use of it.