The Internet of Things (IoT) is a purposely vague term that describes the ever-growing network of devices that connect with and exchange data through the internet. The devices or ‘things’ are equipped with the likes of sensors and other software or technologies that collect and share data for a variety of purposes.
There are already billions of internet-connected devices around the world that make up the Internet of Things (IoT). Their embedded technology allows them to collect and share real-time data without manual input from a human being which makes countless tasks far more efficient.
Devices generally expected to connect and work through the internet are not considered part of the IoT, such as PCs and smartphones.
IoT Device Examples
Any physical object that can have a sensor and computer chip embedded into it can become part of the IoT, just if it connects to the internet to communicate or control data.
Common examples of IoT devices include motion sensors, smart thermostats and security systems in homes and business premises. Wearable tech like health monitors and fitness trackers are also included, as well as connected home appliances, smart factory machinery and autonomous farming equipment. Even something as relatively simple as a light bulb can be part of the IoT if it can be controlled over the internet via a smartphone app.
There are also larger objects that contain multiple IoT devices within them, such as vehicles or jet engines that have multiple sensors installed to monitor their performance and operational efficiency. Entire cities are also integrating smart technology with a massive amount of IoT devices helping us to better understand our environment and develop more efficient and effective methods of governance.
Business Benefits of the Internet of Things
The benefits of the IoT for business revolve around companies having more data about their own products and internal systems which they can use to improve the likes of marketability, productivity, sustainability, and efficiency.
Each unique business will implement the IoT in whichever way it most benefits them. For example, a manufacturer may embed sensors within the components of their products in order to track and monitor their performance. Such use of the IoT can help the manufacturer gauge each component’s individual performance in order to identify when it might need replacing. The much larger amount of accurate data available will also enable them to make improvements to the overall product by optimizing each individual component.
The above manufacturing example is classed as industry-specific IoT, of which there are many different types, but there are also real-time location devices, IoT for asset management and other smart technologies that can be incorporated throughout any and all industries.
To find out more about the internet of things and discuss the benefits to your business, please contact our team on +1 800 974 7219 ext. 202. Alternatively, complete the online form here.