The Internet of Things: what it is and what are its advantages and disadvantages

What is the Internet of Things and what are its advantages or disadvantages. How Iot affects the architecture and way of living. Pros and cons, examples of cities and urbanism.

Internet of Things

Wishing it or not, the reality is that we are moving towards a way of understanding life that is totally connected to the web, and this will affect the way we understand cities and the way we live in them, architecture, interior design, advertising or design among many other aspects.

And here, is where the example of the Internet of Things (IoT) comes in... Do you think, an orchid will be able to tell its story? Do you think, it is possible to teach the building to speak or change color according to the weather outside? Do you think, a car can call an ambulance faster than a phone? Can you imagine that an ambulance gathers critical information from the patient before arriving at the hospital?

What is the Internet of Things

Mainly this concept comes from a work of advanced science and technology that was published in 1999, When Things Start Thinking, by researcher Neil Gershenfeld, from MIT. He wrote... "In addition to trying to get computers everywhere, we should try to get them out of the way.

The term IoT technology should be able to talk to each other, have an identity, have control over objects, detect their environment and make decisions according to specific needs to help us in our daily lives. This aspect is revolutionizing the different sectors of the Internet industry, including the way we live and understand buildings, homes, and transport.

The first home designed from the beginning to incorporate a digital layer that connects the house and its elements to the Internet. It represents the sum of many small applications of new technologies in the home, for which it is helped by devices such as Kinect, webcams, projectors with multiple sensors to measure from CO2 to electricity consumption.

How the Internet affects things in the construction

The works and the constructions begin to feel the technological pulse that contributes to new capacities of control, data in real-time and efficiency of resources on the projects.

How it affects housing

Obviously, the term IoT goes beyond the architecture or interior design of the houses, representing them in a word that we all know, the Smart Cities.

Those futuristic and intelligent cities that theoretically will provide us with a kinder life through different mega-connected systems, an improved habitat, more security, sustainability of the environment, where the energy efficiency of things will be enhanced at its maximum expression and, currently, are so fashionable.

How it affects cities

Already one can identify that the new capacity of the Internet on objects moves a lot of money. In the article in The Economist here "It will result in worldwide savings of 14.5 billion euros. European billions. Eleven of these correspond to the private sector and the rest to the public sector. Because it would translate into more efficient asset management (including energy management in smart buildings) and productivity improvements".

Although one can verify that it can undoubtedly bring benefits to society or on an individual basis, there is always a but, advantages and disadvantages of the Internet of Things we want to show. Without entering into the discussion of... Who is behind it? Looking at the big electronics companies and their many "hidden" interests.

Advantages of the Internet of Things

Increase of a new business model and opportunity. New services that better respond to the specific needs of citizens.

The technology of things, will allow the detection and capture of different events, providing detailed and real-time visibility of what happens in a building, of possible actions that can be taken according to climate changes, etc. Reduction of the expenses that can be produced by a building, electricity, community...etc. In short, greater adoption of the efficiency of the resources that a building has.

Time savings for the user, both individually and as a community.

Automatic and efficient management of urban infrastructures. Improved energy savings, energy efficiency improvements ...etc. Improvement in mobility and urban parking management, to improve traffic and reduce parking times, decrease queues and waiting times at municipal offices and health centers, etc.

Improvement of urban planning and environment. Detection of deficient infrastructures or those to be improved. More efficient green areas with less expenditure of resources. More controlled peripheral areas, etc.

Disadvantages of the Internet of Things

Financing by the government or the individual, since a significant investment in technology, is required.

Given the implementation of a high degree of technology, we depend on companies that offer these services. Both at public and private levels.

Reduction of privacy. "To be more efficient, we must observe what habits the consumer has in all its aspects and levels"

Real estate is getting more expensive. They are more complex to execute and build.

Greater technological gaps between cities and realities. Not all cities can assume such a cost so first and second class cities, buildings or neighborhoods will appear.

Because of the complexity that the Internet absorbs from things, they produce at the same time a considerable increase in waste.

Examples of Internet of things

Examples of IoT or the famous Internet of Things we can find many and more, if we go into the different gadgets and systems that everyday flood the technology market; from APPS for mobiles to measure anything or warn us, intelligent objects that talk and think, to the last vacuum cleaner that knows when our house is dirty... We leave several examples of the Internet of the objects:

The first one is some intelligent "stickers" that are added to the objects to offer data about them, we only have to program (they are already defined in an easy way) that they want to be communicated to us.

An example, is added to a pot and will tell us when is the last time we water it or, depending on the temperature where it is, if it needs more water or less.

An example of intelligent technology is a sensor for the garden. The device records data on temperature, sunlight, humidity or the level of fertilizer in the soil.