What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The value of vehicles stolen from Australian businesses in 2014 was more than $51 million. In 2019 there was an 8% increase in stolen registered vehicles than the previous year. A large truck insurer may use Internet of Things (IoT) to understand data and strategise potential lowering of clients’ insurance premiums. Vehicles can be tracked and alerts sent if they were not in expected areas (geofencing) or moved outside certain times. With greater safety and increased stolen vehicle recovery, the risk profile and premiums could simultaneously be lowered, thanks to IoT.

IoT is about the connectedness of devices and the use of the data generated. It is often called the fourth revolution in technology, after government owned computers in the early 20th century, the proliferation of PCs and laptops making computing accessible to the public and the invention of the internet. Our video opposite helps explain IoT more.

If you don’t understand what IoT is you are not alone. In a 2018 survey by Metova asking consumers about their knowledge of IoT, 80% admitted they did not understand what the term Internet of Things meant, despite nearly 70% of people owning an IoT device. Think of smart fridges that order food from the supermarket automatically when something runs out, or more basic uses such as streaming via a smart TV or using Amazon’s Alexa.

IoT is applicable to many different industries. For example, in the automotive industry it can monitor drivers’ performance, optimise routes and help with fleet vehicle maintenance (e.g. reducing downtime by using predictive maintenance). In public infrastructure IoT has helped with wind farm turbines’ connectivity to promote efficiency and smart city outcomes such as smart lights and smart parking meters. In industrial use, IoT has helped with reducing downtime for industrial equipment (e.g. predictive maintenance) and remote monitoring has made for more efficient use of energy and better health and safety.

Global spend on IoT was forecast by Zinnov to grow from USD 201 billion in 2018 to USD 500 billion by 2023. Its applicability, current and potential, to modern life is immense.

It is exciting to think of how IoT will continue to change the world, in ways we have not even thought of yet. Those who study a VIT Master of Information Technology & Systems degree will have many opportunities to learn about IoT and other technological advances.

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