12:42 10 June 2017
The Internet of Things refers to connected devices that have the ability to exchange information over a network. The “thing” can be a natural or man-made object such as a farm animal with a biochip transponder, a person with a heart monitor implant, or a car with a built-in sensor designed to alert the driver when the tire pressure is low.
The term Internet of Things was first mentioned in 1999 when it was described by Kevin Ashton, the cofounder and executive director of the Auto-ID Center at MIT. Here’s how he explained the potential of the Internet of Things: “Today computers -- and, therefore, the internet -- are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the internet were first captured and created by human beings by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code.
The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy -- all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things -- using data they gathered without any help from us -- we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best.”
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