The future of technology lies in data and its analysis. More objects and devices are now connected to the Internet, transmitting the information they gather back for analysis. The goal is to harness this data to learn about patterns and trends that can be used to make a positive impact on our health, transportation, energy conservation, and lifestyle. However, the data itself doesn’t produce these objectives, but rather it’s solutions that arise from analyzing it and finding the answers we need.
Two terms that have been discussed in relation to this future: big data and The Internet of Things (IoT); It’s hard to talk about one without the other, and although they are not the same thing, the two practices are closely intertwined.
Big data has existed long before the IoT burst out into the scene to perform analytics; information is defined as big data when it demonstrates the 4 V’s: volume, variety, velocity, and veracity. This equates to a massive quantity of data that can be both structured and unstructured, while velocity refers to the speed of data processing, and veracity determines its uncertainty.
The concept of IoT aims to take a wide range of “things” and turn them into smart objects — anything from watches to fridges, cars and train tracks. Products that normally wouldn’t be connected to the Internet and able to obtain and process data, are equipped with sensors and computer chips for data gathering. However, unlike chips used in PCs, smartphones, and mobile devices, these chips are used mostly for gathering data that indicates customer usage patterns and product performance.
The IoT is essentially the means that collects and sends data. Information from IoT devices resides in big data and is measured against it. And IoT will soon touch every aspect of our lives: transportation (cars, smart train tracks and traffic lights), manufacturing, Smart Homes (thermostats and voice activated appliances), and of course — consumer goods such as smartphones, wearables, and more.