January - 2017 - issue > CXO Insights

Internet of Things or King of Disruptions?

Asoke K. Laha, Founder & CEO, Interra Information Technologies, Inc.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Asoke K. Laha, Founder & CEO, Interra Information Technologies,  Inc.
Headquartered in the U.S., InterraIT is a diversified technology solutions & services company with world-class development facilities. The entity offers an unparalleled scope of services ranging from consulting in the strategic uses of information technology to systems design, development, integration, & outsourcing.

Internet of Things (IoT), is a new concept, but has traversed a huge distance in such a short span of time. A wide ranging IoT ecosystem is emerging to support the process of connecting real world objects like buildings, roads, household appliances and human bodies to the internet through microprocessor chips that record and transmit data such as sound waves, temperature movement and other variables. During 2008, the number of things connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on earth and it is estimated by 2020, the number of state-of-the-art technologies which can be categorized under IoT will surge to 50 billion.

One of the biggest drivers of IoT is the increasing number of low cost sensors available for different kinds of functionality. Some of the standard sensors include movement (through accelerometer), sound, light, electrical potential (potentiometer), temperature moisture, location (GPS), and the list goes on and on. These sensors are included in a variety of devices and solutions. Now the trend is moving towards multi sensor platforms that incorporate multiple sensing elements. Wearable electronics is an example. These products include smart watches, wearable sensor patches, wearable body metric textiles, environmental monitoring and home automation sensors and others.

There are several definitions for the IoT. One described by the National Intelligence Council of U.S. seems to be more acceptable and widely quoted. It says that IoT is the general idea of things especially every day objects that are readable, recognizable, locatable, addressable, and controllable through the internet. Thus defined, the scope of IoT is much broader. Internet is a powerful communication medium, which makes distance neutral. Items that are for common use and not even remotely connected to electronics are now becoming elements of IoT. This includes items such as food, clothing, household appliances, materials, parts and so on. IoT is not a single monolithic market, but is composed of tens and thousands of small market.

Having said that, we have to introspect on what IoT portends for a country like India. Could that be leveraged to unleash India's development potentials? Let me start with three critical areas that India has to prioritize in its development process viz. food, health and environment. It does not mean that the rest of the applications, such as data acquisition, information creation and visualization, application in automotive sector, smart cities, security and others are less important. The scope of this article is limited to these three areas that are critically important to India at this stage of development.

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