IOT: INTERNET OF THINGS
The advent of technology has led to speedy environmental, social, economical and business changes globally with the internet. Space constraints in communication and interaction have been eliminated. It has initiated the integration of new models and paradigms to day to day living activities for both individuals and organizations.
With this, Big thinkers have been able to expand the use cases of the internet to help companies, organizations, firms and even individuals utilize the advantage of the internet to their daily operations. Hence, the concept of Internet of Things (IoT), a network of connected entities to internet was introduced and employed.
IoT is basically the integration of physical world activities into computer systems over the network for data exchange and transfer. It is an innovation to make domestic living and business operations easy by entrenching electronics devices, sensors and chips into appliances, devices, entities and items connecting them to the internet in order to exchange and transfer data.
Imagine, your coffee machine starts brewing coffee at a set time making you prepare faster for work. Fantastic, right?. Such is the way IoT will make things happen. Each of your personal appliances, device etc are programmed to perform daily tasks without your interference. Its usage has been extended to cell phones, TVs, groceries, machines etc.
To individuals, IoT will enable smart homes. Appliances like electronics, heating machines, lightning and kitchen equipment, domestic machines, smartphones etc will become smart, interacting with themselves and usage becomes programmed and easy to use and are remotely controlled and monitored. Also, remote wearable devices will make working experience easier. For instance, traffic areas are identified and made known prior to individual setting out to work, alternate faster routes are suggested.
To business, the application of IoT will enhance the speed and low cost of business activities. The business process will be effectively monitored pushing employees to produce maximized output and also better consumer experience since feedback is enabled which will help the company to make better and improved decisions.
In health sector, patient monitoring is facilitated. Proper and accurate patient data is gathered. IoT will also allow fresh innovative ideas at the betterment of global health be it in machine productions or pharmaceutical production.
To government, better government to masses relationship is facilitated. Policymaking are faster and easy based on citizen data gathered. Defaulters and erring citizens are easily tracked and apprehended. Government agencies will experience smooth operations. The use cases of IoT is global, its impact is felt both on human and business. More use cases remains such as insurance, supply chains, education etc.
So, the Internet of Things is of two sides, the first is the Internet which is its core foundation and the second side is the communication and data exchange between objects. However, there is no best innovations without it’s embedded clause. IoT usage involves releasing of user personal information digitally known as data. With this, privacy is never assured.
Also, the possibility of data being hacked is high. For instance, hacker access to just a device of the user is the same as having access to the user’s whole data. How?, what IoT uses is data exchange between objects, that is, there is a network connection between the objects, all a hacker needs is access to the littlest of the target’s device which can be a TV remote control. So, another issue is Security as IoT has contributed to so many cybercrimes. Current IoT platforms are having centralized control and this will soon pose a threat with issue of Data overload
The blockchain technology as known is a revolutionary concept that aims to digitally solve issues of security, trust, false data, efficient delivery, and storage system. The expansion of the blockchain trend is so rapid due to its efficiency so far with Ethereum Smart Contracts works by turning contract agreement into codes that are then divided and distributed among nodes already connected to the network. To add this contract to the block, miners engage in a computational race to solve the codes.
However, it’s application into various fields has led to the implementation of several major consensus protocols like PoW, PoS, DPoS etc. There seems to be no ultimate consensus protocol as each of them has specifically embedded advantages and disadvantages depending on its application area.
Blockchain to IoT
Privacy: Domestic use case for example, smart appliances practically live with users, these devices will have access to user’s personal details about lives and routines. As earlier explained, smart contracts will ensure that data information are in codes, blocking unauthorized person access to the user’s data. With smart contract, one won’t only have control over how IoT works, but also controls what is done with one’s released data and who has access to it.
Security and trust: blockchain ensures data trust between participants in a contract chain since human oversight is eliminated already, recordings and storage are done by machines and this will ensure reliable data fact. Blockchain integration to IoT means essentially placing an additional layer of security to IoTs if something goes wrong, the blockchain acts as backup and controls and remedies the situation. Smart contracts monitor that contracts are executed only when the pre-stated conditions are met. Relationships between users and their smart devices are controlled in a remote and transparent manner.
Data overload: currently, the paradigms of IoT is a system where these devices are connected to centralized services like cloud services, Google etc. Considering the everyday increasing installation figures of IoTs, as time goes on, these platforms will become overloaded with data, a network that can relieve the services the burden of data storage will be needed. The blockchain technology being a platform that has unrestricted number of blocks creation, generating a block even as fast as ten seconds is the only solution.
Several blockchain startups have been diverting focus and innovations towards blockchain and IoT. An example is the Waltonchain, which termed the integration of blockchain to IoT as Value Internet of Things. RFID chips is an electronic device known as Radiofrequency identification which are trackable are attached to items, entities, bodies and devices. This will help in controlling, monitoring and tracking the items and connects the tagged objects of the real world to the virtual network