Internet of things in its essence is a network of mutually connected different electronic devices which are able to monitor, collect and exchange data. Some projections state that by 2020, there will be as much as 50 billion internet of things devices worldwide. These devices range from small chips to medical care equipment and gigantic machines. Though mostly used in medical care and business and manufacturing (70% combined), they are also utilized in houses and apartment buildings for creating a smart home/building.
In case you are interested in fully bringing IoT into your life but don’t want to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars in new appliances, there is a cheaper solution.
Yes, you can do it yourself, as any home appliance in your home is suitable for modifications that will make it a part of the network. There are basically two ways to convert them into IoT-ready devices:
By adding small computers
These small computers are known as Raspberry Pis that are cheap and come with a variety of options (WiFi included). However, they demand of you to possess extensive technical knowledge (you need to know how to code). But, in return, you are rewarded with a one-of-a-kind experience. Besides being able to take control of every single aspect of the newly created device just the way you wanted to, there is that sense of personal satisfaction that you get when making something rather complicated all by yourself.
By using a smart power outlet
This ready-made, simple and convenient piece of electrical equipment will enable you to take control of any appliance that is powered from the grid. It is truly as simple as that, no wiring and no coding – just “plug and play”. These outlets are controlled with their central hubs or via a smartphone.
Smart power outlets can:
Control lights in your home, automatically turning them off and on per your instructions;
Control small appliances such as coffee machines and blenders;
Receive alerts and notifications about the behaviour of your devices;
Create a remote desktop station by enabling your computer to automatically power on as soon as it gets electrical power. This way you can control your computer and its peripheral devices. This outstanding feature allows busy professionals to easily transfer work to their home office, since with just one tap of the finger they will be able to have important documents printed, waiting for them to arrive. Nevertheless, there is just one drawback to remote printing – toner cartridges tend to deplete or break easily. Still, reputable brands such as HP, Ricoh, Cannon or Sharp toner cartridges are widely available and affordable, thus easily replaceable.
Even though IoT brings some astonishing things to the table, there is still a major concern regarding the security of the entire network. Because all of these devices are openly connected to the internet, they also provide easy access to third party intruders looking to compromise our privacy. In fact, it has been proven that the lack of security measures this phenomenon brings along can do more damage than good. Since major corporations are slowly gaining more and more involvement in IoT, this issue is to be addressed.