First documented by a British visionary Kevin Ashton in 1999, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to exchange data with other connected devices and their users. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.
Machine-to-machine communications (M2M) is a key element in IoT, especially for devices which connect wirelessly and depend on technologies such as LTE, Bluetooth and WiFi. Typically devices which have traditionally been operating in isolation can from now on be considered as interconnected devices. Every-day examples include smart thermostat systems, white goods and home entertainment systems that utilize Wi-Fi for remote monitoring and control. More complex, and arguably more beneficial, examples include electromedical patient monitoring equipment, SmartGrid controllers and automotive systems.
The evolution of the IoT brings new risks; How do we make sure it all works properly? How can we make it open to all whilst keeping data secure? What additional measures should be in place to ensure that devices that were once free-standing are compatible with a connected environment?
This migration to machinery that is functionally devoid of human interaction means that the needs of UL’s clients are changing and therefore the services we provide also evolve quickly in order for UL to remain relevant to our clients.
The key questions are:
- How quickly is the IoT going to deploy and grow?
- Which technologies are going to be dominant?
- Who are the “movers and shakers”?
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