Internet of Things(IoT) is an ecosystem of connected physical objects with the internet. In easy terms, IoT is when the internet and networks expand to manufacturing floors, energy grids, healthcare facilities, transportation, wearables - anything you can see around you.
The hype surrounding the Internet of Things is immense. Clearly, the scope for innovation and development is massive. IoT holds the potential of making our lives much more comfortable and systematic. Imagine if your alarm clock wakes you up, sends a message to your coffee maker to prepare coffee and tells the water geyser to set an appropriate temperature for you to have a bath; how insanely convenient would that be!
But like any budding technology, notable obstacles have appeared that may end up hindering the rapid spread of the Internet of Things. Some of the hurdles that IoT can face are listed below:
- Privacy and Security:
Since everything will be connected, breaching inside the network would be easy by the hackers. When everything from a toaster to a shirt is connected to the web, what does that mean for personal privacy and sensitive data? Companies will need to show they can protect customer information if consumers are to trust wearing shoes that keep track of where they go and how many steps they take.
At present, there is no international standard for device compatibility. If we are hoping for an exchange of data between devices, they're going to have to be compatible. But device compatibility will need a lot of work. For example, Apple devices don't accept connectivity with any other device. Therefore, it becomes essential to institute some kind of standard.
- Internet Availability:
This is, by far, the most common and obvious problem. Many people still don't have internet access, and connecting devices via the internet will not be possible without an internet connection (pretty obvious). Worldwide internet connections have to happen for the IoT to become a fully functioning reality.
- Data Surge:
With an increase in internet-connected items will come a new surge of the data being generated. Companies will have to adopt new technologies like in-house storage options or cloud storage. Also, development in data mining areas will be crucial to manage and analyse the data in real time. Once the companies adopt these technologies, the spread of IoT is more likely to increase.
With everything managed by technology, the need for manpower will decrease substantially. In today's world, the computers need to be managed by someone. But after IoT is put into motion, most of the management work will be done by the machines itself, thus bringing in unemployment.
- Being dependent entirely:
Imagine devices that check whether your oven is off, turn off the TV the moment you walk away, cool the room before you enter it - as if we are not couch potatoes enough! Just like every new technology, people will have to embrace IoT without getting addicted to it.
- Significant Expenses:
Fitting tiny sensors in new products is one thing, but incorporating them into structures that are already widely spread across the world is a big challenge in terms of capital. For example, IoT aims to create intelligent transportation system by placing sensors on cars as well as roads, traffic lights, utility grids, which will need a lot of investment. Progress has been made concerning the expenses of the IoT, particularly in the creation of cheaper sensors, but more progress is needed before organisations truly embrace using them in everything. Until then, the full implementation of the Internet of Things will likely be delayed.
These are some of the hurdles that represent some significant challenges businesses will have to contend with over the next few years. But many view it as a challenge worth facing. The number of developers specifically devoted to the Internet of Things is expected to increase to 4.5 million by 2020. Hence, with more attention being paid to the IoT, solutions will likely come, and with them new innovations and creative applications. Consumers can expect a much more connected life as a greater understanding of the IoT is put into practice.