The Internet of Things (IoT): Definition, Examples, and Applications
The Internet of Things or IoT has become relevantly common in the current times. In this blog, we will discuss various aspects related to IoT and take a look at its functioning. We will also discuss various examples and common applications of the technology.
What is IoT (Internet of Things)?
The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical objects connected to the internet, actively collecting and exchanging data. With the wider availability of affordable computer chips and use of wireless networks, anything can be a component of IoT. By connecting and equipping it with sensors, we add digital intelligence to them. Moreover, we further enable them to communicate real-time data without the involvement of human beings.
Today, the number of IoT devices has drastically increased. In fact, according to IDC, there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices by 2025, or ‘things’.
Why is the Internet of Things (IoT) So Important?
At the present time, IoT is massively growing. In fact, the presence of connected things is more than that of people today. Industry professionals predict that utilities will be the highest user of IoT, owing to the continued rollout of smart meters. Moreover, security devices detecting intruders and web cameras have emerged as the second biggest use of IoT devices.
To begin with, IoT has emerged as one of the most important technologies of the 21st century. Continuous communication between people, processes, and things is possible today due to the ability to connect commonplace items like appliances. Moreover, low-cost computing, the cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile technologies enable physical objects to share and collect data without human intervention.
Businesses can automate procedures and save money on labor thanks to IoT. It also reduces waste, enhances service delivery, and lowers the cost of manufacturing and delivering goods. Additionally, IIoT also provides transparency into customer transactions. As a result, IoT is among the most significant technologies of modern life, and it will gain momentum as more companies realize how connected devices can help them stay competitive.
Examples of Internet of Things (IoT)
Some of the most common examples of IoT are around us. Let us take a look at these common examples of IoT:
- Smart Home: Google Home and Amazon Echo are the most popular examples of connected devices in consumer IoT. These devices are helping people perform a variety of functions like playing music, providing a weather report, ordering food or Uber, and many more.
- Wearable Devices: Wearables are another common example of IoT devices. For instance, the Fitbit Charge 3 helps track your steps, the number of stairs you climb, calories burnt, and your sleep quality. The device also syncs with computers and smartphones via your Wi-Fi and transmits fitness data in understandable charts to monitor progress.
- Smart Cities: Barcelona city is one of the foremost smart cities in the world. The city became so after it implemented several IoT initiatives that have helped enhance smart parking and the environment.
- Connected Car: AT&T was the first telecom company to open a connected car research and innovation center.
What are the Benefits of the Internet of Things?
IoT has several benefits for businesses. However, most of these majorly depend on the particular implementation where agility and efficiency are the primary considerations. This is because enterprises focus on gaining access to more data about their products as well as internal systems.
Manufacturers are integrating sensors into various components of their products to transmit information about how those components are performing. This makes it possible for businesses to predict when a component will fail and replace it in time to prevent damage. Businesses can use the data generated by these sensors to increase the effectiveness of their supply chains and other systems because it is more accurate.
To begin with, the use of IoT devices ranges across all industries. For example, smart air conditioning or security systems, and IoT offerings that are industry-specific. For example, sensors in a generating plant or real-time location devices for healthcare.
The International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide estimated that enterprises’ IoT spending to reach US$208 billion in 2022 in Europe and further estimated it to continue experiencing double-digit growth through 2026. Despite facing many uncertainties due to the pandemic, inflation, low demand, supply chain disruption, and geopolitical conflicts, IDC expects the European IoT market to continue to develop and expand, though at a slower pace than before the Russia-Ukraine War. This growth will continue in 2022 in various sectors such as manufacturing, retail, etc. Especially where the need to maintain operations and improve performance is imperative.
Given the expansive IoT market, it is imperative that IoT has various benefits for enterprises as well as industries. Following are some benefits of IoT:
- Provides businesses with valuable data for generating more revenue.
- Boosts employee productivity.
- Saves time and money for an organization.
- Enables a better decision-making process.
- Improves process efficiency, asset utilization, and productivity.
- Benefits in real-time insights and analytics to make better decisions.
- Benefits people in creating opportunities in business and industries.
The above-listed importance of IoT are just the tip of the iceberg. This is because the applications and implementations of IoT are limitless, from the perspective of innovation and advancement.
What is Industrial IoT or IIoT?
Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT refers to the industrial applications of computers networked with connected sensors, instruments, and other devices. This connectivity makes possible the ability to collect, exchange and analyze data. In fact, it also has several positive effects on the economy.
Recently, industries have started using machine-to-machine communication (M2M) to achieve wireless automation as well as control. However, with the surfacing of cloud and allied technologies like analytics, ML, and others, industries can now achieve a new layer of automation and generate new revenue, including new business models, with it. Oftentimes, IIoT is also called Industry 4.0 (the fourth wave of the industrial revolution).
Smart manufacturing, connected assets, preventive and predictive maintenance, Smart power grids, Smart cities, connected logistics, smart digital supply chains, etc., are examples of some of the common applications of IIoT.
Staggering Statistics of IoT
Here are some eye-opening Internet of Things statistics that you should know in 2022
How is IoT Changing the World?
Over decades ago, man lived in a world where scientific and technological innovation was limited to movies and television series. Now, he lives in the world of science and technology. Today, technological advents have made several things, which were previously considered impossible, possible. One prominent example of this is IoT. With the development of cheap computer chips and the widespread availability of wireless, everyday objects have become IoT devices.
All in all, smart objects can communicate without the support of people due to the sensors providing digital intelligence. These sensors also offer control of a home’s lighting, temperature, and other features. In fact, your home can monitor your daily activities with the help of an internet connection. For example, when you wake up, what station you listen to, what you eat, and who comes to visit.
In many fields, including transportation and healthcare, the Internet of Things offers enormous opportunities. Besides helping save time, it fuels productivity and efficiency. You can, in fact, stay in touch with others using IoT devices on wearables.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Internet of Things
FAQ What is IOT (internet of things)
IoT refers to a group of technologies that enable data exchange between two or more devices linked to one another via a communications network. Examples include Smart Mobiles, smart refrigerators, smartwatches, smart fire alarms, smart door locks, smart bicycles, medical sensors, fitness trackers, smart security system, etc.
The term ‘Internet of Things’ is around 16 years old. However, the term has been lurking since the 1970s. During that time, it was frequently referred to as ‘embedded internet’ or ‘pervasive computing’. The term was originally coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 while he was employed by Procter & Gamble. Ashton, a supply chain optimization specialist, wanted to bring senior management’s attention to RFID, a brand-new, exciting technology. He titled his presentation “Internet of Things” because, in 1999, the internet was the hottest new trend and it made sense.
Artificial intelligence (AI) focuses on giving machines intelligent features to make them as smart and intelligent as people. Whereas, the Internet of Things (IoT) is to link all electronic devices to a single, interconnected network.
An essential component of Internet of Things (IoT) technology is transmission technology. The new 5G communication technology has become consequently necessary for IoT. Device connections will become quicker, more effective, and less susceptible to delays thanks to 5G. The global rollout of fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecommunications will expectedly begin in 2023. Although the power that 5G technology brings is undeniably exciting, adoption is difficult and risky.
Anwesha has been a creative writer for a while. Currently, on her pursuit of tech writing, she is diving into the realms of technology to produce better content on the forever-changing world of technology. In her free time, you’ll find her humming tunes of her favourite shows or reading a book.