I Dream of IoT/Preface: IoT and Quality of Life

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I Dream of IoT: Connecting Virtual and Physical World

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IoT and quality of life

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Internet of Things (IoT) can improve our quality of life. Suppose somebody has broken into your house. The intelligent house's intruder sensors detect the presence of an unauthorized person, as opposed to a domestic cat, while you are away enjoying your holidays. It automatically alerts your housing area residential security guards and the nearest police with available on-duty personnel. It also activates dozens of extra surveillance security cameras inside/outside of the house and the residential area equipped with advanced iris/face and plate number recognition that are connected to the national criminal database. Soon afterwards it promptly sends you (the owner) a comprehensive report that includes the visual data together with the details of the incident. A customized version of the report is sent to your local police station and another version to your home insurance company responsible for your burglary policy. This imaginary intelligent home situational response system certainly helps provide peace of mind to the home owner, reducing the paperwork after the incident and ultimately enhancing the quality of life.

IoT definition

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The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a globally (or universally) interconnected collection of devices, systems and services that are being coordinated either manually or automatically to operate and orchestrate useful functions for the improvement of quality of life.[1]

Quality of life in the interconnected community of a smart city

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has stated that the goal for the SmartAmerica Challenge, hosted by the White House, is to "[a]ccelerate the emergence of interoperable, adaptable, configurable Internet of Things ('IoT') technologies and solutions in Smart Communities/Cities to improve efficiency and security, create new business opportunities, promote affordable and sustainable living environments, and enhance the quality of life."[2][3] The challenges includes home/building, climate/environment, disaster recovery, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, security and energy.[4]

IoT and the empowerment of society through synergistic information collaboration

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According to Juniper Research, currently more than 90 percent of “things” are not yet connected to the Internet.[5] This provides massive opportunity for global connectivity by utilizing Internet next generation IPv6 addressing. Globally connected "things" can help enable automation, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and data analysis at an unprecedented scale. The pervasive nature of the web services accessible through readily available browsers and web clients provides a simple interface that can be used to semi-autonomously control and interact with the connected "things." The apparent benefit is a collective intelligence that is beyond the capability of each non-connected "thing." This may be similar to the billions of neurons inside our brain that can achieve very little on their own, but once connected with each other, the human sensory/actuatory systems are able to perform everyday miracles that we often take for granted. The IoT will also be riding on the capability of cloud computing and big data for relevant information processing, analysis, and intelligence.


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The benefits to society of having properly functional IoT are immense. Scientists, engineers, technologists, sociologists, businessmen, policy makers, economists, artists, and society as a whole should play their parts, thus the IoT can help improve our quality of life but not the opposite. It is the hope that this brief guide can shed light on the opportunities opened up by IoT. It is our responsibility to ensure our dream of IoT doesn't become our worst nightmare by devising dependable security features as a safety net.


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  1. "Internet of Things". Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. "Global City Teams Challenge: SmartAmerica Round Two" (PDF). NIST. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. Voyle, R. (10 June 2014). "SmartAmerica Challenge: Harnessing the Power of the Internet of Things". White House Blog. U.S. Government. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. "Challenges". Smart America. GSA. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  5. Juniper Research (2 April 2014). "Big Business backs Internet of Things (again)". Juniper Research Ltd. Retrieved 11 May 2016.