The IoT (Internet of Things): The Next Big Thing

For some people, online taxi or motorbike-taxi applications are a key to greater mobility. By a few clicks on their mobile phone, they can set a destination and enjoy a ride. The applications also make it easy to track a pick-up location. The GPS sensor in our Smartphone enables the navigation system in each application to pinpoint our exact current location. The GPS sends our location coordinate to the driver via the Internet.

Amazingly, location is not the only information we can share. Today, sensing and internet technologies enable us to also share information about the ambient temperature and humidity, and even our heartbeat rate. What these “smart things”–with all their embedded sensors and internet connectivities—provide is called the Internet of Things.

Big Opportunities

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that internetworks various electronic devices so that users can retrieve the information they generate at any time. IoT offers a lot of potential uses. The technology can be applied in many areas such as agriculture, health, and transport. It is no wonder that the Internet of Things is also dubbed as 21st century’s The Next Big Thing after the Smartphone and social media.

Forrester, a leading market research company, predicts that transport management, monitoring and security application, warehouse and retail management will be a huge market for IoT businesses. According to McKinsey, the IoT will potentially generate a USD3.7-billion market. Furthermore, Gartner forecasts that over 20.8 billion smart devices will be connected through the Internet, almost threefold the current global population.

The prospect of IoT has inspired the students and lecturers of the Mobile Technology (MT) Study Program at Harapan Bangsa Institute of Technology (ITHB) to conduct research and develop smart farming, smart transport, and automatic weather monitoring projects. These projects are funded by a government financing scheme through the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education. Once the technological products resulting from these research projects are ready, we will proudly launch them for the overall benefits of the Indonesian people and nation.

High Time for Innovation

As an agrarian country, Indonesia is endowed with vast agricultural areas and farming population. Weather, soil condition, and irrigation are important crop factors. The Smart Farming technology invented by ITHB’s Mobile Technology Study Program will help farmers monitor weather and soil condition and schedule planting and harvesting schedules. The technology will also enable farmers to schedule irrigation in order to optimize plant growth.

Demands for expertise in the Internet of Things are huge today and will certainly grow in the future. As an agrarian and maritime country, Indonesia will need IoT experts and practitioners. It is time for the children of the nation to be the future host of our own home country. To make this happen, a number of talented and intellectual young students are now working hard under close supervision of ITHB’s competent team of lecturers to create technological innovations and solutions for the advancement of the nation.

Dr. Herry Imanta Sitepu, M.T.

Head of the Mobile & Internet Technology Study Program at ITHB