Evolution of the internet: The internet of things

What is the Internet?

When we talk about the internet, we instantly think of the word connection ; and it would be difficult to find a more suitable feature to relate to the internet.

The origin of the word comes from the English term Interconnected Networks, which in Spanish means interconnected networks. In its most faithful meaning, we can describe it as a large network of computers that are connected worldwide.

But do you know the history of the Internet? Being connected is a reality that is possible today thanks to JCR Licklider in 1962; who conceived it as a “Galactic Network” that would connect a group of computers to share data regardless of physical location.

It took 3 years to achieve the successful connection of two computers between California and Massachusetts through a telephone line. And after a few more years, the ARPANET military project was created, which aimed to connect more and more connection networks.

While the internet (or network connection) was growing, the infrastructure must also grow to support and guarantee its operation. For this reason it was necessary to create the Domain Name System (DNS).

Already by the 90s the internet became massive; It went from being an exclusive research tool and came to homes to change our customs. Do you remember when you had to use the telephone line to connect to the internet?

From that moment the world quickly began a technological revolution; in which connectivity and access to information have marked the history of mankind forever. Smart devices, new ways of socializing and learning, nanotechnology, 3D printers, artificial intelligence and many other advances that will continue to mark future generations.

Evolution of the internet and how it is part of our life

Nowadays the internet ceased to be a means of communication to become an indispensable item for our lives. To give an example, we can think about the world of work; We need the internet to work, to exchange emails, videoconferences, bank transactions and even to print documents. In our daily routine, it is not enough to have Wi-Fi at home; there are connection networks in the streets, museums and restaurants. Areas such as health and education have developed thanks to the use of the internet.

The Internet has become so indispensable in our lives that it is sometimes difficult to understand how the world worked before its existence. It’s not a big deal; The internet was a luxury that quickly democratized access to information. It went from being a comfort to a need.

All the technological advances developed in recent years have been possible thanks to the invention of the internet. Connected smart objects or Internet of Things is the latest trend, which we’ll talk about next.

What is the Internet of Things

Internet of Things is a translation of the English expression Internet of Things (IoT),  which describes a scenario in which various things are connected and communicated. This technological innovation aims to connect the items we use daily to the Internet, with the aim of increasingly bringing the physical world closer to the digital world.

The term was born in 1999, when Kevin Ashton, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), wrote the article “The Internet of Things Things.” For him, people’s lack of time creates the need to connect on the Internet in new ways. These allow the creation of devices that execute tasks that we do not need to do. These devices talk through different protocols within the same network, accompany our activities, store information and, from there, help us on a day-to-day basis.

When we talk about “things,” we mean anything. really! We are already accustomed to using the internet with smartphones, computers, Smart TVs and video games, but in this context the idea is not to have one more means to connect to the internet itself, but to make the devices more efficient. In addition to contributing to optimize natural resources , for health and other numerous opportunities.

How does IoT work

The Internet of Things is simply about objects connected to each other through the network. They exchange information to facilitate or create various actions. For something like this to happen there are a set of three factors that need to be combined for an application to work within the concept of Internet of Things. These are: devices, the network and a control system.

  • The Devices:  They are all those that we already know, such as: refrigerators, cars, lamps, clocks, coffee makers, television and others. In these devices it is important that they be equipped with the correct items to provide communication with the other elements. These limits can be chips, internet connection, sensors, antennas among others.
  • The Network: It is the means of communication and we are already used to it. Well, they are technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile data (3G and 4G).
  • The control system: it is necessary for all the data captured from the devices through the network to be processed, so they are sent to a system that controls each aspect and makes new connections.

To simplify, imagine your home. Now think about all the things you have in your kitchen, like the refrigerator. In that scenario, the refrigerator could notify you when a food runs out, you can do research and find markets with the best prices to buy a certain product. I could also suggest different food recipes with the things that are available inside the refrigerator.

And now, thinking beyond, about connectivity; imagine your alarm ringing in the morning, and send a message for the coffee maker to start brewing coffee and notify the curtains to open slowly. Does it seem too futuristic?

Can you understand the concept we talked about earlier in action? Objects connected to each other (the alarm clock and the coffee maker), which exchange information (time to wake up and make coffee) to create an action (ready coffee without worries).

IoT applications

A major initiative that is emerging these days are the  Smart Cities . The latter are cities equipped with integrated networks to ensure the operation of a city in general. As an example of these cities we can talk about Tokyo and London; where, the concept of interconnection applies to traffic lights, surveillance cameras, public transport system, etc.

Smart home projects are just some of the applications that IoT can have. You can apply them wherever you want, because all this is possible through devices that communicate with each other over the Internet.

It may seem that this concept of Internet of Things is linked only to large companies and even public bodies. However, you can also see and take advantage of it as a business trend . Here are some examples:

Small business:

Internet of things can be applied to a store or warehouse, where you are instantly notified when an item is sold, and through a sensor, the stock of your merchandise is updated. Or a car park, where exactly the location of the car is known, and the time it has been parked.

Health:

In the health field, different systems are being developed to manage the administration of medications; in order to accompany the state of physical activity, heart beat, etc.

Farming:

Also in the agricultural sector we can use IoT. Currently there are systems with sensors that send notifications about crop status, weather conditions and pest control.

IoT is not a distant reality to the present day; We do not need to watch TV series to know that it is already part of our routine and our lifestyle. There are many uses and resources that we can optimize with this trend.

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