The Internet of Things: Opportunities, Issues, and Challenges

The Internet of Things: Opportunities, Issues, and Challenges

Edward T. Chen (University of Massachusetts – Lowell, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2104-4.ch009
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The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to increase quality of life, heighten performance of systems and processes, and save valuable time for businesses and people. Common objects and devices are being linked with Internet connectivity and have capabilities for data analytics that affect day-to-day experiences of both individuals and businesses. The notions of Smart Health, Smart Cities, and Smart Living come into play as the Internet of Things plays a role in today's world. This chapter presents IoT devices and application examples as well as descriptions of the benefits and limitations alongside an assessment of each respective technology's potential for success in the future. Security and privacy are important factors that need to be addressed within the different domains. This chapter addresses these potentials, issues, and challenges for managers to be prepared for the new wave brought forth by the IoT.
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The phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT) was first introduced by Kevin Ashton in 1999 (Ashton, 2009). Ashton was a product manager at Oil of Olay where a popular lipstick was often out of stock. After investigating the reasons why, he found a problem within the supply chain that led him to drive the development of the RFID label. He used the term “Internet of Things” to describe how the RFID labels would connect an “object” to the Internet. At that time, there were more questions than answers to the IoT concept including how would everything be connected? What could be built into devices to enable it to communicate wireless? How would the infrastructure need to change in order to support the communication of billions of devices? What would power them? How would this be done cost effectively?

Today many of these problems have been addressed (Umar, 2005; Xu, He, & Li, 2014). Wireless technology has gotten smaller and less expensive. Wi-Fi and cellular wireless connectivity is being built into many devices (Li & Xiong, 2013; Jo, Paik, & Lee, 2014). Networks are offering broadband speeds and mobile data coverage is widespread. What exactly is the IoT? It is described as a network of “things” including people-people, people-things, and things-things connected to the Internet either through wireless or wired Internet connections (Dorsemaine, Gaulier, Wary, Kheir, & Urien, 2016).

The IoT is intended to do the following:

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