The term Internet of Things (IoT) was first coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 in the context of supply chain management. However, over the years the definition has been more inclusive covering wide range of applications like healthcare, utilities, transport, etc. Although the definition of ‘Things’ has changed as technology evolved, the main goal of making a computer sense information without the aid of human intervention remains the same.
A radical evolution of the current Internet into a Network of interconnected objects that not only harvests information from the environment (sensing) and interacts with the physical world (actuation/command/control), but also uses existing Internet standards to provide services for information transfer, analytics, applications, and communications. Fuelled by the prevalence of devices enabled by open wireless technology such as Bluetooth, radio frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi, LPWAN such as SIGFOX and mobile phone data services as well as embedded sensor and actuator nodes, IoT has stepped out of its infancy and is on the verge of transforming the current static Internet into a fully integrated Future Proof Internet.
This new age internet revolution such as social networking led to the interconnection between people at an unprecedented scale and pace. The next internet revolution will be the interconnection between objects to create a smart environment. In 2011 the number of interconnected devices overtook the actual number of people on this planet. Currently there are 9 billion interconnected devices and it is expected to reach 24 billion devices by 2020. According to the GSMA, this amounts to $1.3 trillion business opportunities for mobile network operators alone spanning vertical segments such as health, automotive, utilities and consumer electronics.
The next wave sweeping the internet will be outside the realm of the smart phones. In the Internet of Things (IoT) age, many of the objects that surround us will be on the network in one form or another. Sensor network technologies will rise to meet this new challenge, in which information and communication systems are invisibly embedded in the environment where we live. This results in the generation of enormous amounts of data which have to be stored, processed and presented in a seamless, efficient, and easily interpretable form. This model will consist of services that are commodities and delivered in a manner similar to traditional commodities. Cloud computing provides the virtual infrastructure for such utility computing which integrates monitoring sensors, storage devices, analytics tools, visualisation engines and client delivery systems. The cost based model that Cloud computing offers will enable end-to-end service provisioning for businesses and users to access applications on demand from anywhere.