The internet, as it is currently construed, connects computers via a network & generally relies on a human interface to access the information stored on a remote server or to communicate with other users via a computer, phone or similar device.
The Internet of ‘things’ will allow machines, sensors, & other devices to communicate with each other via the Internet without human intervention.
Key to success is Machine to Machine (M2M) communication. As each device will require its own I.P address & as these are limited under the current IPv4 standard this will have to be replaced by IPv6 which will create the number of IP addresses required. Some estimates put the number of online connected devices at over 26 Billion by 2020.
Cyber security is another key concern as is Privacy & a lack of consistent Internet Protocols, these issues are being addressed by the IETF & ETSI.
Network stability is another worry. It is irritating enough to lose ones connection when browsing but if this happens in an unmanned warehouse or factory it could be extremely expensive & invonvenient.
When these issues are overcome it leads to all kinds of exciting opportunities & possibilities and it is estimated that by the end of the decade billions of devices will be communicating with each other performing tasks independent of human beings.
As the first ‘things’ appear on the Internet the number of technological and business opportunities will grow exponentially.
One of the applications of IOT is inventory management. Take an Auto assembly line as an example. Currently the system relies on an Operator pushing a button when the feed bin is empty. A remote signal is generated and a driver brings a new load. Utilising the IOT the empty bin would be detected & replenished automatically.
Energy management is a key opportunity. With increasingenergy prices & environmental concerns the requirement to monitor & control energy usage has never been greater.
Other key areas are shopping, inventory control, supply chain management, infrastructure monitoring, home automation, smart traffic, smart cities and more.
With several decades experience in Project Management & Engineering in the Electronics & Automotive industry Amberhill Associates is well placed to help with your projects & product development.