Evolution of Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) is one of those innovative technologies that looked promising from the beginning and there was no doubt about its success. Today IoT is considered to be a major driver of business. The concept of IoT isn’t new; however, it took years of hard work to convert the idea to real-life applications. Here we are going to discuss how IoT evolved over the years.

The idea of machines communicating with each other appeared in the 1800s. During this time telegraph was invented and machines started communicating directly. There was a Coca Cola vending machine at Carnegie Melon University that was considered to be the first connected device operated by local programmers. This vending machine generated the idea of interconnected machines.

In the 1990s scientists of Cambridge University came up with a webcam to see the amount of coffee left in the coffee pot of their lab. The camera took pictures of the coffee pot thrice every minute; that way everyone could see how much coffee was left.

The most significant breakthrough in IoT came in 1999. Technologist Kevin Ashton was the first one to come up with the term ‘Internet of Things’. At that time the manufacturers of consumer goods used RFID tags to keep track of inventories. Ashton defined IoT as a technology that could connect multiple devices for supply chain management using RFID.

During the 2000s, media was focusing on IoT, and articles were written about it in Guardian, Forbes, and other top magazines. It was a topic of discussion in the technology conferences as well. LG electronics invented the refrigerator that was connected with the internet in 2000. Nabaztag, a robot, was created in 2005 that could inform the user about current weather, news, and stock market updates.

In 2011, the network layered protocol IPv6 was launched. That was the time when companies like Apple, GM, Samsung, and others started investing heavily in IoT products. The ideas of self-driving cars and smart glasses came during that time. The IoT revolution started taking place as it penetrated almost every industry including retail, healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, and even agriculture.

It is expected that by this year, the number of IoT devices will reach about 50 billion, which is more than the world population! IoT devices are moving us towards a smart city. Now your alarm will not only wake you up but will also instruct the coffee machine to prepare coffee or your watch can tell you at which time of the day you have been most productive. IoT will make works more efficient.

The researchers have been experimenting with IoT and trying to find out the best applications of it. Most industries today are considering incorporating IoT devices and sensors in their works. The future of IoT looks extremely promising and it seems that we are eventually moving towards building a smart city.

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