What is Internet of Things?

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You’ve heard the words ‘Internet of Things’ but aren’t really sure about what it is.  Internet of things or ‘IoT’ is the connection of physical devices and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity,  to the internet. This list goes far beyond smart phones, tablets or computers and can include anything from kitchen appliances to automobiles or even heart-monitors!

IoT connects everything from traditional devices like desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and tablets to a diverse range of devices and everyday things that utilize embedded technology to communicate and interact with the external environment, all via the Internet.

For Example, Businesses can leverage ‘IoT’ applications to automate safety tasks (for example, notify authorities when a fire extinguisher in the building is blocked) to performing real-world A/B testing using networked cameras and sensors to detect how customers engage with products.

 

IoT

Applications of Internet of Things

1.Smart Home

It is the most widespread application of ‘IoT’. The total amount of funding for Smart Home startups currently exceeds $2.5bn. This list includes prominent startup names such as Nest or AlertMe as well as a number of multinational corporations like Philips, Haier, Belkin, Amazon and Google.

2.Wearables

Wearables have found a way in to every home and every heart. Smart watches, fitness trackers make wearables a hot topic among tech and fitness lovers alike. From Apple’s Smart Watch to Sony Smart B Trainer, every wearable gives a great experience of Internet of Things. Of all the ‘IoT’ startups, wearables maker Jawbone is probably the one with the biggest funding to date. It stands at more than half a billion dollars!

3.Smart City

If you think Internet of things is limited to just Home you are wrong! From Traffic Light Management to waste management, From Water Distribution to Urban Security are all happening using ‘IoT’! And that’s what makes it 3rd best application of Internet of Things. Water utility companies are utilizing connected appliances and controls to track water levels, pressure, volume, flow and other metrics without needing to physically be present at tank and storage sites. Electric utility companies are now able to read subscribers’ meters without needing to physically visit each home. Imagine the effort and money saved by this application!

4.Industrial internet

The industrial internet is yet another Internet of Things application. While many market researches such as Gartner or Cisco see the industrial internet as the ‘IoT’ concept with the highest overall potential, its popularity currently doesn’t reach the masses like smart home or wearables do. The industrial internet however has a lot going for it. The industrial internet gets the biggest push of people on Twitter (~1,700 tweets per month) compared to other non-consumer-oriented ‘IoT’ concepts.

Some Terms and Basic Definitions

Below, we’ve provided a glossary defining the Internet of Things:

  • Internet of Things: A network of internet-connected objects able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors.
  • Internet of Things device: Any stand-alone internet-connected device that can be monitored and/or controlled from a remote location.
  • Internet of Things ecosystem: All the components that enable businesses, governments, and consumers to connect to their ‘IoT’ devices, including remotes, dashboards, networks, gateways, analytics, data storage, and security.
  • Entity: Includes businesses, governments, and consumers.
  • Physical layer: The hardware that makes an ‘IoT’ device, including sensors and networking gear.
  • Network layer: Responsible for transmitting the data collected by the physical layer to different devices.
  • Application layer: This includes the protocols and interfaces that devices use to identify and communicate with each other.
  • Remotes: Enable entities that utilize ‘IoT’ devices to connect with and control them using a dashboard, such as a mobile application. They include smartphones, tablets, PCs, smartwatches, connected TVs, and non-traditional remotes.
  • Dashboard: Displays information about the ‘IoT’ ecosystem to users and enables them to control their ‘IoT’ ecosystem. It is generally housed on a remote.
  • Analytics: Software systems that analyse the data generated by ‘IoT’ devices. The analysis can be used for a variety of scenarios, such as predictive maintenance.
  • Data storage: Where data from ‘IoT’ devices is stored.
  • Networks: The internet communication layer that enables the entity to communicate with their device, and sometimes enables devices to communicate with each other.

The future of Internet of Things

Business Insider compiled an exhaustive and detailed report on the Internet of Things in 2015 which gives a thorough outlook on the future of the Internet of Things, including the following big picture insights:

  • ‘IoT’ devices connected to the Internet will more than triple by 2020, from 10 billion to 34 billion. ‘IoT’ devices will account for 24 billion, while traditional computing devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) will comprise 10 billion.
  • Nearly $6 trillion will be spent on ‘IoT’ solutions over the next five years.
  • Businesses will be the top adopter of ‘IoT’ solutions because they will use ‘IoT’ to 1) lower operating costs; 2) increase productivity; and 3) expand to new markets or develop new product offerings.
  • Governments will be the second-largest adopters, while consumers will be the group least transformed by the ‘IoT’.

In 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (‘IoT’-GSI) defined the ‘IoT’ as “the infrastructure of the information society.”

‘IoT’ has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and micro services and the internet. ‘IoT’ is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications

An enthusiastic teenager who loves and follows the latest trends in technology and is constantly learning new things!

Abhinay Pandey

An enthusiastic teenager who loves and follows the latest trends in technology and is constantly learning new things!

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