INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT) – Merging the Real and the Virtual


With IoT, the internet moves out of PCs and phones – into everything around us.

– Sandeep Sibal, VP, Qualcomm

Imagine a day when you are grocery shopping and your home computers contact you to let you know that you are about to run out of sugar. This is not science fiction. This is just one example of the many possibilities of the ‘Internet of Things’.


The term Internet of Things was first coined by British technologist and visionary Kevin Ashton in 1999 through the auto ID center at MIT, USA. It is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. A world not just limited to smart phones but expanding towards a smart home, smart health, smart shopping, smart transport and smart city to name a few.

Blurb- The ‘internet of things’ has the potential to change the world, just as the internet did. Maybe even more so. – Kevin Ashton

So, how does this work?

IoT is an underlying technology, various wireless radios allow these devices to connect to the internet and to each other. These include more familiar standards like Wi-Fi, low-energy Bluetooth, NFC and RFID.

Developments – IoT

So far, the Internet of Things has been most closely associated with machine-to-machine (M2M) communication in manufacturing and power, oil and gas utilities. “By 2017, all our devices will be IoT ready”, says Tarun Malik, Samsung.

Today there are roughly 1.5 billion internet enabled users and 1 billion internet enabled cell phones. The present Internet of PCs (M2M- Machine to Machine) will move forward towards ‘Internet of Things’ where 50-100 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020.

A group of tech companies (led by Intel and including Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, Samsung and Wind River) are collaborating as the Open Interconnect Consortium to create an open-source standard for wirelessly connecting devices to each other and the internet.

Applications of IOT

Environmental Monitoring

Infrastructure Management

Manufacturing, Media

Energy Management

Medical and Healthcare Systems

Building and Home Automation


Why use IOT?

Information – With more knowledge, decision making becomes easy

Efficient Monitoring

Effective Communication

Provides safety

Saves time

Saves money


Loss of privacy

Loss of security

Over dependency on technology

Lesser Employment Prospects

The critically acclaimed romantic Sci- Fi comedy drama, ‘Her’ raises many questions on the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things. It depicts a lonely writer who develops a romantic relationship with his newly purchased operating system which is designed to meet his every need. Ray Kurzweil, the director of engineering at Google and inventor says ‘Her’ will soon be reality.

According to the America based research firm, Gartner, India will boost of at least five IoT startups with billion dollar valuations by the year 2018.

Where do you think the IoT is headed next?  Share your opinion in the comments section.

Want to know more? Dr. John Barrett at TEDxCIT breaks the Internet of Things down for you.


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