Discussion post II: IoT today, Are we ready?

IoT (Internet of Things) is everywhere today. Before the term IoT was used, connected devices were already there. Now, devices are not only connected but they are also doing some activities for us! The question is: Are we ready for this huge impact?

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IoT has become popular in all fields from education, health, military to home appliances. The term Internet of Things is 22 years old today (2021-1999). It was in 1999 when Kevin Ashton coined the term Internet of Things during his work at Procter & Gambler. However, the idea of connecting devices has been there before [1].

The growth of IoT has been discussed in the last few years and there is no doubt that it is everywhere. It is moving from good to best, but there are still roadblocks. IoT has been given different definitions including these from HPE-Aruba_IoT_Research_Report :

  • Adding internet connectivity to everyday objects
  • A network that connects multiple objects, devices and sensors’
  • A platform to connect industrial components
  • Automating building services
  • Using wearable technology

In his book “Making sense of IoT,” Kevin Ashton defines IoT as: sensors connected to the Internet and behaving in an Internet-like way by making open, ad hoc connections, sharing data freely and allowing unexpected applications, so computers can understand the world around them and become humanity’s nervous system [2].”

Even though definitions are many, it is certain that the impacts of IoT are huge. When Kevin Ashton was asked in an interview if people understood the IoT at first place, he said that the problem is not with the concept but how it is used. While some companies don’t mention IoT very often but instead focus on the benefits it brings to their customers, Kevin Ashton said that it is what Internet of Things should be. IoT is very important in healthcare where it is now easy to keep track of patients’ health conditions, tracking maintenance in IoT printers, building smart cities, smart houses, …

The statistics from STATISTA shows that total data volume of connected IoT devices worldwide will reach 79.4 zettabytes by 2025. 

Data volume of IoT connected devices in 2019 and 2025

IoT related concepts

These concepts were used to describe IoT but they don’t mean quite the same:

  • M2M
  • IoE (Internet of Everything)
  • Internet
  • Web of Things
  • Industrial Internet
  • Industry 4.0

The number of connected devices is increasing day by day. Are all fields (Healthcare, Engineering, …) using IoT already? Will they be left behind if they don't? Let's share in the COMMENTS SECTION below!


- [1] K. Lasse, "Why Internet of Things is called Internet of Things: Definition, history, disambiguation,"[online], December 2019, available: Why Internet of Things is called Internet of Things

- [2] Hewlett, "The Internet of Things: Today and tomorrow,"[online], December 2016, available: HPE-Aruba_IoT_Research_Report 

Inkindi Mutoni Sabine

STEM Subject Lead, University of Rwanda

I am an engineering student at the University of Rwanda. I am studying Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering. My project is about bringing a system that could help in minimizing the number of high-school and primary students who bring cell phones at school, since it's one of major sources of distraction. I am very interested in IoT (Internet of Things) related fields. I enjoy challenging myself because it always helps me to step out of my comfort zone.