How IoT can change the way you live
The Internet of Things (IOT) is an emerging global Internet-based information architecture facilitating the exchange of goods and services. The IOT has the purpose of providing an IT-infrastructure facilitating the exchange of “things” in a secure and reliable manner, i.e. its function is to overcome the gap between objects in the physical world and their representation in information systems. The IOT will serve to increase transparency and enhance the efficiency of global supply chain networks. Haller/Karnouskos/Schroth defines the IOT as “a world where physical objects are seamlessly integrated into the information network, and where the physical objects can become active participants in business processes.
Services are available to interact with these ’smart objects’ over the Internet, query their state and any information associated with them, taking into account security and privacy issues.” Extending the initial application scope, the IOT might also serve as backbone for ubiquitous computing, enabling smart environments to recognize and identify objects, and retrieve information from the Internet to facilitate their adaptive functionality. Through the IOT, everyday objects (such as cars, refrigerators, umbrellas, etc. as well as more advanced, computer and information services) will be able to interact and communicate.
Things do not have to be products of higher technology – any one of the around 50,000 billion objects existing on earth can be introduced in the IOT. Many good examples have been provided. They include cars warning other cars of traffic jams, a cell phone reminding a person when it was last left next to the keys, a waste-bin inquiring its contents about their recicability, or a medicine cabinet checking the storage life of the medications in it.
The question has been raised why the IOT does not already exist, considering that the Internet, mobile devices and data carriers exist for quite some time. The answer thereto lies in the fact that persons do not communicate with the tools being already available to their possible extent. Barcodes, GPS, RFID etc. are closed loop systems that are not yet bound together, but that are systems standing alone.
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