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8 Myths about the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is here to stay. Like any new concept, IoT brings with itself an array of misconceptions and myths. These myths will decide our viewpoint and our stand with respect to all things connected. We’ve put together a list of common misconceptions and tried to debunk them the best way we can.

1. IoT is just another piece of hardware
If IoT were a piece of hardware, new products would be shoved down our throats every 6 months. Thankfully, it’s not. IoT is a complete infrastructure comprising the software, network, physical sensors and the cloud.
Generally, a connected device observes our actions using sensors, transforms it into data, and transmits it over the network to the cloud platform where the data is analyzed. The decision made on the basis of this analyzed data triggers an action from the device in the real world.

2. The Internet of Things is a thing of the future
It was LG in 2000 to first come up with plans for a refrigerator connected to the internet aka implementing the internet of things in real life. So, the first time IoT was implemented,

  •  Microsoft released Windows 2000
  •  The entire world was divided on the Bush v/s Gore vote
  • Book stores were packed with the release of the 4th Harry Potter book.
  •  Napster came under the scanner for the first time.
    So, it’s been around for a while. Internet of Things has always been a vision to increase M2M interaction, but it needed investment in terms of men, money and materials to develop. Now, that it has started getting attention, we’ll see strides in this field. So, IoT is a thing of the present than the future.

3. My life will become Big Brother with the gag reel!
Privacy (Yes, I finally have your attention) has been an issue of tremendous economic, technical and moral importance. IoT skeptics are painting the town red talking about the privacy issues of connected devices with messages like: “Stop Now. You’ll repent later”. Kind of reminds you of those believers who ran amok crying “2012: Repent while there’s still time”.
For market movers hoping to make an impact with their design of IoT, privacy is a major concern. Current privacy infrastructure standards like VPN, DNS extensions can be used over the cloud. There are efforts to conform upon a standard to keep user data private. Today, organizations trust vendors with their enterprise data over the cloud. Organizations are aware of people’s concerns and are making a conscious effort to address them in the best way possible. So, if privacy is what’s holding you back, welcome to Team IoT.

4. You had me at security!
You imagine a future where every tiny detail about you, your activities is being recorded, analyzed and acted upon by several sensors. In such a scenario, security is of utmost importance.
Companies who plan to enter the market of connected devices will make security of user data a priority. With Google announcing Brillo, Apple & Microsoft working on custom operating systems for their wearables and their protection, security should be the least of your worries.

5. Industrial IoT is the same as consumer IoT
Industrial IoT refers to the deployment of connected devices designed specifically to automate an industry or a particular process of the same. Industrial IoT differs from consumer IoT in all facets like the level of security, privacy, integration with legacy software, response to failure, etc.
Consumer IoT is probably the simplest form of IoT as the possibilities for it are endless. Industrial IoT on the other hand is a lot more complex and needs careful planning and implementation. If your smart fridge fails to deliver as expected, the issue can be resolved in the next update. But, if a component in an industry fails to perform, the implications could be disastrous.

6. Interoperability is simply impossible to achieve
One concept will put to rest all doubts about interoperability: Open Source. You wouldn’t want to purchase a smart thermostat only to find it incompatible with your smartphone. After all, ease of use is the bottom line for IoT.
Vendors like ARM plan to make their IoT standards public. Open Source designs and software will enable different vendors to make products interoperable. Several Open Source summits are being organized. Recently, giants like Apple, Microsoft joined Facebook’s Open Source project to provide designs for their data center.

7. The Data will be impossible to handle
The upcoming wave of IoT products plans to bring along an avalanche of data with it. Some argue that the process of data storage, management and analysis will be an uphill task, maybe even impossible.
But, experts say that not all data needs to be sent over to the device or cloud to be analyzed. A smart device like a thermostat will take an action to reduce or increase the temperature only when the present conditions change. Hence, the garbage data can be eliminated, sending only the data related to a state change. Implementation of such logic can reduce the cost of data management. (Source)

8. IoT is feasible only for the market giants and not startups
Many startups get disheartened by the costs of investing in the Internet of Things. But, in reality the cost of developing an IoT solution is lesser that you think.
The declining hardware costs and Open Source standards that implement interoperability are key drivers in reducing the cost of IoT development. So, in the world of IoT a startup and a Fortune 500 company are at even footing.

I hope I have been able to bust some myths about the Internet of Things through the article. If I have missed out any point or if you have any feedback, drop me a comment below.

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