IoT is changing the way of living with every appliance and gadget connected to the internet, responding to our commands. IoT can be anything between a sensor embedded on an assembly line and a smart oven that is capable of communicating with various cloud computing services. According to an estimate by IT research firm Garter, more than 20 billion devices will be using IoT by 2020. Between 2016 and 2021, over $4.8 trillion will be invested in IoT, which will include app development and hardware production.(Must Watch) Other expenditures will include system integration, security, connectivity, and storage.
IoT is affecting every industry, including the mechanical industry. For mechanical engineers, it is an opportunity to pioneer new products, influence interconnected systems, and create new manufacturing advancements in the factories. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that there will be a 9% growth in positions in mechanical engineering from 2016 to 2026.
How will mechanical engineers make a difference in IoT
In order to understand how mechanical engineers will influence IoT, we will look at some of the present problems in IoT in terms of security measures against cyber attacks.
The KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attacks) exploit in Wi-Fi security that made the traffic of nominally secure wireless internet connection interceptable by hackers in 2017. While the KRACK was being fixed by the developers of Apple iOS and Windows, it was a slow process. The updates were taking a long time to improve IoT endpoints. Many predict the KRACK will take a long time to get fixed with the IoT devices receiving critical software updates.
This problem has revealed that we are still short in the overall design and engineering for IoT infrastructure even today. The IoT products that will be made from now on will be more future proof, and the mechanical engineers will have a major role to play in it.
The mechanical engineers will be responsible for developing the hardware that can work in several conditions, which include factory floors, mines, outdoor field, transports, etc. The software will also receive regular updates to prevent any breakdowns, but most importantly, the hardware will need to interact with the software as a central requirement in the IoT.