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Internet of Things (IoT) to empower millions in rural areas

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By Nishant Arora

New Delhi, March 24: Some call it the fourth industrial revolution or “industry 4.0”; for others, the time when machines can “talk” at “smart” factories and “connected” homes to make your life better is here. But for India, Internet of Things (IoT) can bring a real revolution: empowering millions in rural areas and connecting “humans” to the mainstream.

A well-connected nation is the first step towards a well-served nation and, hence, connecting rural India to the IoT will provide the much-needed bridge between urban and rural India.

“It is a surefire way of channelling the benefits of a digital economy to the largest part of the country. IoT will enable delivery of education, health, governance and financial services to otherwise underserved areas,” Oracle India managing director Shailender Kumar stressed.

For example, most patients in rural areas do not have access to specialists. Thus, several large hospitals in the metros are beginning to offer remote consulting services in rural villages using media-rich network capabilities.

“The doctors can see and interact with patients in remote telemedicine centres, with the case history and medical data automatically transmitted to the doctor for analysis. Similarly, the IoT technology can be leveraged to offer high-quality remote education in high schools across the country,” Shailendra Kumar told reporters.

The IoT connectivity also offers a host of development opportunities to untapped areas, including manufacturing and e-commerce to market local and traditional products.

“A host of ‘localisation’ technologies can help different regions to communicate; so language is not a barrier. Relevant information and updates can be provided in local languages and scripts,” the Oracle executive added.

According to K.S. Viswanathan, vice president (industrial initiative) at apex IT body Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), as IoT emerges as the next big thing to become a $300 billion global industry by 2020, India is all set to capture at least 20 percent market share in the next five years.

“The IoT is dramatically alerting manufacturing, energy, transportation, medical and other industrial sectors worldwide,” said Viswanathan while launching the “Nasscom IoT Centre of Excellence” in Coimbatore last week.

Andhra Pradesh has taken a lead when it comes to leveraging the IoT (Internet of Things) potential in the country. The state government has approved the first-of-its-kind IoT policy with an aim to turn the state into an IoT hub by 2020 and tap 10 percent market share in the country.

“We will develop state-of-the-art Internet of Things infrastructure that matches global standards to grab an Indian market share of $1.5 billion by 2020,” said state IT minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy as the Centre is currently drafting an ambitious policy to create an Indian IoT industry worth $15 billion by 2020.

On the global consumer front, Gartner has forecast that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020.

As you traverse through these mind-boggling IoT numbers, where does India stand?

“We see that India will have a significant growth in IoT connections in the next four-five years,” said Mats Lundquist, chief executive officer at Telenor Connexion, Sweden-based leading enabler of connected business solutions.

Industry numbers indicate that manufacturing will be one of the main IoT drivers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) market and will be the biggest sector in IoT spending.

According to a report from global market research firm Frost & Sullivan, manufacturing contributed 30 percent of the IoT spending in 2014 and it is expected to rise up to 32 percent of total spending in the APAC region by 2020 which equates nearly $79 billion.

“Being an emerging market, India has a big potential owing to several initiatives like “Digital India” and “Smart Cities”. The next big market (for connected devices) in the world is south Asia and India holds a good position,” Apalak Ghosh, principal consultant at market research and consulting firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), told reporters.

“Eventually, south Asia will contribute to about 30-40 percent of the total connected things,” Ghosh added.

So where will the real revenue come from – the consumer or the enterprise sector?

“The Digital India initiative has created a strategic roadmap to build and strengthen domain competency and place India on the global IoT map. We believe that the enterprise sector will bolster IoT revenues,” elaborated Deep Agarwal, regional sales director (India) of US-based Zebra Technologies that builds tracking technology and solutions.

“To begin with, the revenue will first come from the enterprise sector. As the technology booms, the revenue will start coming from the consumer sector,” Ghosh added.

Since IoT is a concept of devices talking to one another, there is a lot of data transfer happening which is vulnerable to cyber threats as well.

“The cloud can work as a catalyst to make IoT work and for that, there has to be a right kind of framework that can assist it. The GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) guidelines  can play an important part to make IoT work in a proper manner,” Ghosh said.

India is currently a small IoT market but with great potential. “We will definitely see a great development in the country on the IoT front in the coming years,” Lundquist pointed out.

For Oracle’s Shailendra Kumar, rural India is set to transform itself by taking the technology leap and adopting real-life solutions like IoT. (IANS)


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Learn Internet of Things: Create Your Own Smart Home

Let us see what makes the IoT possible:

Internshala Trainings Launches Innovatice Challenge.

How would you feel if after waking you up at 7 AM, your alarm clock also turned on the geyser and notified your coffee maker to prepare coffee for you just the way you want it? You know what makes this dreamy morning possible? Yes, Internet of Things! So, what is Internet of Things?

In simple words, it is a web-enabled system that works through internet connectivity and by collecting data from your devices. It follows a Machine to Machine (M2M) communication principle and is a highly complex and intelligent system. You know what else it is? It is the future! From Nest thermostats to hue lights and Fitbits to self-driving cars, it’s all the magic of IoT that keeps us enchanted in this human world and will continue to do so.

Let us see what makes the IoT possible:

How does IoT work:

  1. Embedded sensors: These are responsible for collecting data from the devices that you use as well as your environment. These sensors pick up information such a temperature, pressure, sound, and make your internet of things applications function accordingly.
  1. IPv6:  IPv6 is the communication protocol that enables the working of IoT as well as the creation of new and unique IP addresses. This protocol is secure and allows multiple devices to be connected at once.
  1. Cloud: This is a system of digital data storage that documents all the data transmitted from your cellphones, laptops, home appliances, etc. All the information from your device id, sensors, and processors gets stored in a cloud.
  1. Data processing: Once the data is stored in the cloud, it goes through processes of manipulation to make meaningful datasets. This is made possible through sophisticated algorithms that you can get familiar with through an IoT training.
  1. Connectivity: The IoT applications have the capability to establish both online as well as offline connection. IoT connectivity works on the Point to Point (P2P) principle through the modes of Wi-fi, Bluetooth, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), etc.
IoT plays a vital role in our lives.

Why should you care about IoT?

IoT has the potential to make healthcare and medical facilities better than ever. Just imagine how easy things would be when in cases of emergency, the hospital could extract the patient’s medical records from the cloud and operate accordingly without wasting even a single second. With things like Amazon Echo and Google Home,  IoT is already making its way in both outdoor and indoor spaces. Let’s say you forgot to switch off the AC in your room. A few hours later, while sitting in the classroom or watching a movie in the theatre, you suddenly realize that you didn’t switch it off. But you can’t do anything about it until you reach home and then you start worrying about the electricity bill! Guess what, with IoT, all such problems can be solved! Your AC, connected to the internet, will have a short conversation with your smartphone informing it about your carelessness. Your phone will then tell you about it and you can switch it off with just a tap!

With government programs like Digital India, Smart Cities, and Make in India, the nation is advancing towards deploying IoT solutions. According to a TechSci Research report, IoT market in India, currently in a nascent stage, is projected to grow at a CAGR more than 28% during 2015-2020, which would be about $15Bn. Having realized the potential of this trend, government, startups, and huge companies (including Google) are heading towards the IoT space. It blows your mind, doesn’t it? Lucky for you, the IoT industry is still a growing one and can make use of skilled professionals and enthusiastic individuals who have taken up IoT courses.

Here are some careers that you can explore by learning the IoT technology:

  1. Cloud engineers: Cloud engineers perform cloud computing which involves providing host services over the internet. Apart from this, the cloud engineers are also responsible for the planning, management, and support of the cloud’s network and system. Cloud engineers need to be familiar with languages such as Python, Java, and Ruby.
  1. Data scientists: All the connected devices generate huge volumes of data streams. Data scientists have the responsibility of making meaningful datasets out of the transmitted information from the sensors. They also perform memory management by computing the storage of the cloud and are usually required to be familiar with SQL and Java.

Also Read- Intern With A Startup This Summer

  1. Industrial engineers: Managing and programming the hardware is a crucial part of IoT. Industrial engineers are responsible for making M2M happen in IoT projects. This field generally requires a strong quantitative and mechanical aptitude.
  1. UI/UX engineers: The UI/UX engineers in IoT aren’t only responsible for the software design but also the hardware to enhance and optimize the user’s experience. Additionally, they are also responsible for creating appropriate interfaces. The skills needed in this field include Adobe, CSS, GUI development, etc.

Courtesy: Sarvesh Agrawal is the Founder and CEO of Internshala, an internships and trainings platform (