What is the Internet of Things?
Internet of Things (or IoT as it is regularly called) is a system of interrelated computing devices, objects, mechanical machines, digital machines, people or animals that have a unique identifier connected to them. These interconnected devices & objects have the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human to computer or human to human interactions.
A simple way to put it is a 'thing,' can be a farm animal with a bio chip that sends location & health information, or a person with a wireless heart monitor, or an automobile with a built in sensor to alert to mechanical issues or traffic issues. Any natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and be able to transfer data over a network would be considered a 'thing' on the IoT.
The concept of the Internet of Things was named in 1999, but has been around for decades. In fact, the first example of internet appliance was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980's. The programmers connected to the machine over the internet and could check the status of the machine and see if a cold drink would be ready for them before they took the trip to the machine.
Practical applications of IoT technology can be used in many industries today including: energy, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, building and supply management, and so much more. Here are 5 ways you can use IoT practically.
5 Ways to Utilize Internet of Things:
- Connect with Things:
By connecting with "Things", your business can instantly understand and capture shared data on an item, person, or place. For instance, if your company sells an item that can be tracked with IoT technology, you can gather valuable information about how customers are utilizing that item, and how you might be able to improve sales in the future.
- Monitor Things:
When monitoring "Things", your business will gather significant data on any item or person that you have a shared connection with. For instance, if you are a health care provider, you can monitor the health status of a patient that you are observing 24/7 with a wireless device or even a smart phone app.
- Search for Things:
By utilizing shared data gathered by IoT connected "Things", you can give your business access to a real time search engine that can help you gather information or answer time sensitive questions. For example, you can do a quick search for a specific shipment of frozen goods you are shipping and see where it is located, what time it will arrive with traffic, and monitor the temperature of the freezer all from a search bar on your computer or tablet.
- Manage Things:
Managing the gathered data from shared IoT "Things" can allow your business to predict customer issues, effectively reduce wasted downtime, or be more efficient with time and money. Your company, for example, could combine data from employee clock-in devices and the local power grid to manage your building's energy efficiency and save on utility costs.
- Control Things:
By controlling gathered data from IoT technology, your company can oversee every aspect of when/where/how often that data is used. For example, based on customer interactions and gathered data from past purchases, you can control the perfect timing of new product launches.
How do I use IoT with my IBM i:
Our newest tool, Profound.js, is a framework that supports modern Node.js and can help you convert RPG applications to Node.js on the IBM i, all without losing compatibility. This allows you to take advantage of the resources that are available on the Open-Source Ecosystem... including Internet of Things.
Create a seamless interaction between your applications and the Internet of Things system to help you connect, monitor, search, manage, and control any and all 'Things' within your companies ecosystem. Check out our introduction to Profound.js video series to learn more! or visit Profoundjs.com.