The Internet of Things is a digital representation of parts of our world. In simple terms, it is one machine that gives information to another machine, using the internet. It can be the temperature right now in a specific spot or information telling us whether a parking lot is free or occupied. The representation is done by collecting values from connected sensors that sends this information, most often against a data storage in the cloud. The information can then be fetched by someone or something that wants to consume it, either in processed, aggregated or raw format.
In the aforementioned example with the parking lot, the information in the GPS navigator could be refined when getting closer to the end destination, so that it can show the way to an empty lot. The information about vacant lots is transferred from a sensor at the lot through the cloud and to the GPS navigator in real time. The parking service could also contain a feature that shows a list of available lots, which then can be selected, and the lot is shown as reserved for other vehicles.
Furthermore, the payment of the parking can be automated and based on the actual time that the lot has been used and charged to the one using it. Wouldn’t that make life a bit easier? Of course, there are a number of questions that need to be answered to make this work! For example, would this mean that all vehicles must be using this service, or would only certain parts of the parking space be used for it? How much of the service cost would be for the service and how much for the parking? Can this service be provided on a local level only, or could it work on a regional or global level as well?
This is merely an example, the possibilities are very many, almost infinite, in the area on which things that give or receive information and what kind of information it is. But there are also challenges in the Internet of Things area, and that will be addressed in the next article!