Venturing into the present-day world, one may find an increased role of smart gadgets in our everyday lives. Whether it be a smartphone or a smart speaker, these appliances seem to rule our lives to a certain degree, and the IoT has become an integral part of almost everything. But what is the IoT? And, how does that make the appliances into what they are today, Smart? Well, let’s find out in today’s article.
IoT: The Concept
Ever since the internet first got introduced, people have been exploring it and experimenting with it, in attempts to unravel a rather concealed aspect. The practice was most prevalent back in the ’70s when the concept of the internet was fairly young and fresh.
It was then when people began proposing ideas of pervasive computing. They imagined everything in the world connected by one another. And the possibility of looking after your residence while enjoying a vacation in another country.
Along the same lines, Kevin Ashton proposed the term IoT back in 1999 to impress the higher authorities. However, it wasn’t until 2010, when the world began taking the idea seriously. And in 2014, we witnessed the commercial availability of the technology.
How Does it Work?
IoT, a short for Internet of Things, refers to a technology that enables appliances to connect and share data, without requiring any human interaction. For forming a part of the network, each smart appliance must have sensors or software which enables it to collect data. The device must also be capable of connecting to the internet, so that data gets processed and delivered to the user.
For example, if the temperature controller senses an unacceptable drop in temperature, it will observe, and deliver the information to the person-in-charge. Wherever the person is, he will get updated and alerted via email, text, etc.
Other than IoT also enables users and appliances themselves to take action as well. For example, if a user receives alert about the temperature drop when he or she is not nearby to address the situation physically. Then, the user can adjust the temperature using an application on his or her smart device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.).
Or, if programmed to take action, the system could adjust the temperature by itself. Also, IoT systems and applications can alert the relevant authorities in case of intrusion or unusual activity.
Making Appliances Smarter
So far, you might have learned about what is IoT? But, did you know that it functions a bit differently in each Smart appliance? Indeed, the general function that is Internet connectivity will be present in all devices. However, the specifications linked to the Internet would be different in all. Let us evaluate a few Smart appliances to understand the IoT!
Smart Air Conditioners
Unlike the conventional air conditioners, the Smart ones have the intelligent features of being able to sense atmospheric changes and adjust the temperature. You do not need to constantly change temperatures when your air conditioner can sense the human body temperatures and respond accordingly.
Apart from futuristic construction with touchscreen panels, the Smart air conditioners may enable the user to connect with other smart home gadgets. Hence, you can use your air conditioner to control other devices at home.
In this case, the Smart air conditioner uses the IoT to carry out intelligent features, such as the temperature alterations and Smart connectivity. The Smart air conditioner remains connected to the IoT hardware using Wi-Fi to carry out these functions.
Then, the IoT hardware utilizes the infra-red waves as a remote control to transfer data to the air conditioner and make it function intelligently. Hence, when you use a mobile app to command your air conditioner, the IoT hardware transfers the data from the mobile app to the Smart appliance and makes it function accordingly.
IoT has even upgraded the traditional, annoying Ding-Dongs to convenient noiseless notifications. If you have a visitor, the smart doorbells send a notification to your smartphone using the internet. (Hidden Benefit: you can now order pizza all for yourself that too at midnight. No one will ever know! Smart, isn’t it?)
Some of the more advanced smart doorbells even connect you with the visitor standing outside via a video or voice call. Some only deliver the picture of the one standing outside, thus ensuring increased safety.
The Smart refrigerator has gained much popularity these days. Despite the ever-growing prices, almost every other household remains equipped with this marvelous technology. Smart refrigerators come with an ultra-wide touchscreen panel that enables one to leave notes for the family, make a menu, browse the web, find recipes, and even play music.
It also comes with an integrated camera that allows on to view the interior of the fridge without even opening it. You can also use the inner camera view to check on your groceries when shopping. Even more, the Smart refrigerator can adjust the temperature in different compartments according to the food items.
A Smart refrigerator can carry out the mentioned features due to the presence of IoT hardware. Similar to the air conditioner, the IoT hardware transmits the data to and from the Smart refrigerator. The IoT is a means of communication between the machinery and the user. Hence, without the IoT hardware, the Smart refrigerator would function only as an ordinary one.