We thought it could only happen in dystopian novels or sci-fi films. The television greeting your name in the morning with a weather forecast for the day; or window blinds telling you to wake up as the slats rotate and open to let the sunshine in. Could be that your fridge calling your attention that it’s out of milk? Or that’s just the trash bin shouting it needs to be emptied? Welcome to the Internet of Things—the day when we realize that these once mute “dumb” things have a lot to say after all.
It’s not that much of a surprise now that people are already introduced to smartwatches that tell them of their number of steps or heartbeat while on the move. But like any other new and exciting things, it has its own drawbacks. All these appliances, gadgets, devices, and systems integrated, they all collect and store massive amounts of personal data about us. They’d know our whereabouts, when we’re home or leave the house and other information, and share this information with other devices. That begs the question, shouldn’t our next move be figuring out how to store, read and analyze all these loads and loads of data provided? Experts and the Fiber Optic Association Cebu estimated that it takes a thousand gigabyte-speed internet service for the Internet of Things to run. Can you imagine then how this will intensify for the billion other things to be connected? It seems that IoT will not only benefit from fiber optic broadband. It will need it.
Mobile operators will be anticipating an avalanche of new revenue that can be profited from connecting the expected billions of devices and “things” to the internet. The currency of IOT will be data, data, data. Many are optimistic that such troubles will pay off when these data eventually revolutionize business operations, social innovations; basically add more convenience to our everyday lives. However, this may go far beyond than just convenience.
IoT in Manufacturing
Manufacturing is probably a lot way ahead when it comes to the practical application of IoT. No other industry has been significantly affected by this technological revolution than manufacturing. Manufacturers in automotive, chemical, electronic, durable goods and many others have taken on IOT devices and they’re already at the receiving end of its benefits with the use of retrofitting sensors in the equipment. It has greatly improved the efficiency and productivity of their operations such as asset tracking, monitoring and maintenance, and autonomous robots.
Iot in Farming
Farmers have also adopted the connected sensors to monitor crops and cattle. The “smart cow” helps ranchers monitor pregnant cows that are about to give birth. The sensor detects motion associated with oncoming labor, and then sends an SMS notification to the herd manager. This reduces the number of livestock losses. IoT sensors also track weather conditions and monitor soil moisture and notify farmers if there’s a sudden critical change. It sets off an alarm when something goes wrong in temperature, humidity, acidity, and other conditions. Farmers can also track the movement and behavior of the herd. Iot sensors, therefore, boosts production and efficiency.
How did we come to this
The Internet of Things started off from a Coca Cola machine at the Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980s. Local programmers would connect by Internet to the refrigerated appliance, and check if there was a drink available and if it was cold before making the trip. It then evolved to using multiple technologies for wireless communication, control systems, and automation. It was simply any device with an on and off switch connected to the internet. This led to the question that if it has an on/off switch then—theoretically—it can be part of the system, yes? Well, we know the answer to that already. Today it may even be possible for a doorbell to tell you through your smartphone that someone is outside and allows you to see and speak whoever it is.
When the entire world is fully connected by fiber optics
In the field of medicine, fiber optic networks allow high-definition cameras for doctors at healthcare facilities to have video conferences with students showing videos and addressing their queries in real time. It doesn’t take a certified fiber optic technician to imagine the possibilities once IoT is applied in hotels, restaurants, and our homes—though it would help if you are. The possibilities are endless and it will eventually creep into other industries just like how computers with internet did. The same as electricity back in the old days and how it has now become part of our lives. And like any other new and exciting things, well, IoT will cease to be new and exciting. Eventually, one day, it will be hard to imagine that all things were once mute and that the benefits of IoT run by fiber optics hadn’t always been with us from the start.