Internet of Things

Coined by Kevin Ashton, the Internet of Things (I.O.T) is a system of connecting computer devices, mechanical and digital machines, animal or human identifiers, and information to or from a network without required human to human or human to machine/computer interaction. It is the physical or virtual connection of a device to a larger network, allowing said device to be accessed anywhere within the network. The I.O.T also relates to the ability for devices to become independent on themselves without the dependence of human or machine intervention. In essence, the Internet of Things allows objects to have independent productivity.

An early predecessor to the concept of IOT was the 1950 SCADA, a self monitoring and transmission system that was independent of human or machine interaction. Also known as supervisory control and data acquisition, SCADA's purpose was to keep track of time stamps within the electric utility industry for data analysis . Operating fully independently, it used a complex array of sensors and transmitters to sample its environment and transfer the data, where it would be collected and analyzed for future references [1].

An additional example, and also the first instance of a the internet being used to relate to the I.O.T, was an event that occurred in 1980 at the Carnegie Melon University. A programmer had modified a coke dispenser with sensors that were able to test the temperatures of the beverages within the machine. The programmer could check the status of the machine and see if there were any cold drinks awaiting.[2] This modification to the machine gave it the ability to independently check the interior temperature of its unit, and store that data to the network the programmer was connected to.


References and Further Reading

Video of a Ted Talk discussing the Internet of Things

  1. [1]
  2. [2]