Connecting any object to the Internet and thereby creating countless new applications has raised great expectations. And although it seems that it is a concept that has been with us for a long time, the reality is that it is quite recent.
The concept of the Internet of Things was proposed in 1999 by Kevin Ashton at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Auto-ID Center, where research was conducted in the field of Radio Frequency Identification Network (RFID) and sensor technologies.
If we want to fully understand the origin and scope of the IoT, it would be a mistake to focus solely on the activity of recent years. It is convenient to take a step back and take a look at the past, analyzing how different technological evolutions have inevitably brought us to this point.
It dates back to the 19th century, in what are considered the first telemetry experiments in history. The first recorded was made in 1874 by French scientists. They installed meteorological and snow depth information devices on top of Mont Blanc.
The idea of being able to connect objects and that they were intelligent was already reflected at that time in the thoughts and writings of such notable scientists as Nikola Tesla or Alan Turing. His words, read from a historical perspective, now make sense and show just how far ahead of their time.
However, the advancement of this network of networks was slow during the 70s and 80s for several reasons, the main one being the lack of fast and low-cost communications over medium and long distances, which facilitated the creation of heterogeneous networks, totally incompatible with each other. It was not until the mid-1990s that the commercial and universal Internet began its ultimate expansion. Silos were interconnected using a communications protocol, the famous TCP / IP, the foundation of the Internet, and non-standard implementations began their decline. In this way, the military and academic network that was once the ARPANET became the INTERNET and with it the origin of innumerable new social and business models.
And it was before the popularization of this incipient Internet that the idea of connecting objects through this network soon began to become popular. Already in 1990 John Romkey, at the Interop event in the United States, created the first object connected to the Internet: a toaster that could be turned on or off remotely. The connectivity was through the aforementioned TCP / IP protocol and the control was carried out through SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), a network management protocol, which was used to control the device turning on and off.
But the revolution came hand in hand with the popularization of wireless connectivity, whether cellular or WiFi, at the beginning of the 21st century. This finally allowed us to witness a first explosion in the growth of connected objects. And this growth has been seen especially in the last decade, where new concepts such as WSN (Wireless Sensor Networks) or M2M (Machine to Machine) have been produced, to finally give way to the IoT that we all know.
We are in full evolutionary effervescence within the IoT, we can say that we are still in a phase of coexistence and growth.