You’ve likely heard of the phrase “The Internet of Things,” but that doesn’t mean you know exactly what it means. So, what is the Internet of Things or IoT? The IoT refers to all physical computing devices connected to the internet. Responsive widgets such as wearables, motion sensors, and industrial machinery can collect and share data worldwide. The widespread availability of computer chips and wireless networks makes connecting anything literally to the IoT possible. Connecting devices and adding sensors creates digitally intelligent devices that communicate real-time data without human intervention.
Any physical device can be turned into an IoT device so long as it can connect to the internet and communicate information. Homeowners are increasingly adopting smart home technology that allows them to control everything from thermostats, light bulbs, and smart speakers to kitchen appliances such as coffee makers and ovens using their smartphones.
IoT usually refers to physical devices that people don’t expect to have an internet connection or function without human intervention. Computers and smartphones don’t count as IoT devices, but a smart object such as a watch or fitness band does count.
What capabilities are needed to implement the IoT?
Connecting IoT applications doesn’t come without some common challenges. Connecting IoT applications doesn’t come without some common challenges. Despite the overwhelming availability of endpoints and technologies, many businesses struggle with data integration, interoperability, master data, security, and analytics. IoT systems give companies new skills that help integrate disparate data sources, methods, people, and sensors.
IoT security is essential to the deployment of IoT technology. Any business adopting IoT technology needs cybersecurity, data integration, analytics, network, communications, a data management system, device management, and app development. IoT platforms provide tailored digital solutions that connect, manage, and secure IoT devices while delivering big data analytics. It’s challenging to integrate IoT data to see scalable business insights, and at the rate that IoT technologies are evolving, there’s a vulnerability in protocols and standards.
Connecting billions of devices involves billions of data points that must be secured. The drawback to the IoT is its expanded attack surface, so IoT security and privacy are of utmost importance. Exploiting one vulnerability is all it takes for a hacker to compromise a lot of data. Connected devices also rely on users’ personal information, such as phone numbers and social media accounts, which hackers can access. Like any application responsible for large amounts of data and sensitive information, critical infrastructure such as cybersecurity must be in place before implementing the IoT.
living and working smarter. The more consumers and businesses realize the potential of connected devices, the more IoT will integrate into everyday life. Companies get real-time insights into their systems’ performance and can automate processes and reduce costs. When companies monitor workflows, they can see where to improve worker productivity and cost-efficiency, adapt business models, and make better decisions that generate higher revenue. An IoT ecosystem helps businesses rethink business approaches and improve business strategies.
real-world IoT applications are endless, from consumer and enterprise IoT to manufacturing and industrial IoT (IIoT). Smart home applications such as smart refrigerators and smart thermostats reduce energy use and save on monthly utilities. Wearable devices equipped with sensors transmit data messages to medical professionals and improve public safety by helping emergency workers locate victims or track the vital signs of workers on-site.
Hospitals use IoT systems to manage pharmaceuticals and medical tools inventory and can better monitor patients. IoT sensors and deployments in smart cities ease traffic congestion, reduce energy use, monitor environmental issues, and improve sanitation.
The Internet of Things is growing rapidly, and more and more consumers realize the benefits of using IoT devices and applications. The IoT allows consumers to live and work smarter, from home security systems and smartwatches to IoT for industrial settings.