The Internet of Things (IoT) is a lot of things, but the simplest way to think about it is that it’s the technology behind connected devices. These aren’t just handheld gadgets like your phone or laptop; these are anything from home assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo to wearable fitness trackers like Fitbit to in-home systems like Nest thermostats and smoke alarms.
The Internet of Things also includes something as seemingly simple as a smart lightbulb, which can be controlled from your phone or synced to other devices in your house and even automatically turned on when you arrive home based on your location.
But what is IoT? How can it be used for your business? And how do you know if you should use it? Here’s how to get started with the Internet of Things and see if it’s right for you.
What is the Internet of Things?
You’ve probably heard of it, but do you know what it means exactly? We’re here to clear up any confusion you may have about this emerging technology.
The term IoT has been thrown around for a while, but since we’re living in the age of constant innovation, it’s no surprise that the term “Internet of Things” has started to pop up more often.
So, what is the Internet of Things?
To put it simply, IoT refers to all the devices and objects that are connected to the internet. Any object can be granted special powers so long as it can communicate with other devices over the internet. This includes all types of everyday items like smartwatches, fitness trackers, thermostats, lights and even our cars. How are they able to do this? By using sensors! These sensors collect data and then transmit that data via the internet to an app you use on your phone or tablet.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
We’ve all heard the massive number of IoT devices being added by the minute. It seems like every day there’s a new piece of research predicting the numbers of IoT devices in use by 2020 or 2025. But what does this mean for you? What can you do with this knowledge? It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to building an IoT strategy. The first step is understanding the different types of IoT devices out there and how they can be used to solve real business problems.
The first thing we think about when we hear “Internet of Things” are the sensors that monitor our homes, such as smart thermostats and security systems. These types of sensors are called consumer IoT devices, which often help us manage our daily lives. While consumer IoT has been growing rapidly over the last few years, businesses have also started adopting these sensors to track their assets and keep their employees safe.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a phrase that you may have heard a lot about recently. It’s not new and it’s not specific to one industry. The Internet of Things is about devices communicating with each other, either directly or via the internet, to provide new and better services for consumers and businesses.
In practice, the Internet of Things covers a huge variety of use cases from smart homes to connected cars, from healthcare to industry 4.0 (the industrial internet). In some ways it’s a catch-all term for a connected world, but there are three key areas that we’re particularly excited about that can be applied to almost any sector:
• Connected products
• Smart data
• Location intelligence
Having worked on many IoT projects over the last 10 years, we’ve seen first-hand how innovative businesses are using these technologies to solve real-world challenges and provide new value for their customers.
To do that, we need a shared understanding of what IoT is and what it isn’t.
So, what is the Internet of Things? At a very high level, IoT refers to the connection of physical objects to the internet. These physical objects are enabled by sensors and actuators and connected to the internet through a variety of wired and wireless technologies. Because we can capture data from these sensors and actuators, we can run analytics on that data to understand how the things we’re connecting work in real life. In short: IoT = sensors + analytics = insight = action.
This is different from other areas of emerging technology like artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML), because IoT technologies are focused on capturing data from our physical world, rather than from human interactions with devices or programs.
We are more connected than ever before. We can connect with someone on the other side of the world via a video call, track our heart rate, steps and sleep through wearable devices, and can even ask our digital assistants for help. However, these interactions are only between humans and technology. What if we could connect the physical world to the virtual world? And what if these objects could react to each other or to us? This is what the Internet of Things (IoT) enables.
In short, IoT is when “things,” like machines, devices or objects, are connected to the internet, allowing them to send and receive data. This connection means devices can be remotely monitored and controlled through an app, for example. The IoT is making it possible for us to do things like control our home heating while on the train home from work. It allows us to collect information about how we use different types of technology and then use that information to make improvements in other areas of our lives.
While this may feel like something out of a science fiction novel to some people, IoT is already here — it’s everywhere around us! From smart speakers that can perform tasks with simple voice commands such as turning on lights and playing music (Alexa), self-driving cars that
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