What is IoT?
IoT is the general term for connecting any kind of device with one another. It encompasses many different industries from smartphones, televisions, vehicles, industrial plants, and more. This system allows your device to talk to a central hub which then connects that information with a network. Depending on the level of customization desired, there are two main categories of this system:
- - Active
- - Passive
Active devices typically send data through various channels like cellular networks or Wi-Fi which means they need their own power source in order to work. Passive, on the other hand, get their power from an outside source like a telephone line so they're always listening.
Internet of Things vs. Internet of Everything
The internet of Things is the network of physical objects and their virtual representations. When things like appliances, cities, cars, airplanes, and coffee machines are connected, these objects can sense or interact with one another. More than anything, it connects people's everyday lives and makes them easier.
The IoE, on the other hand, is all about enabling a global connection. Traditionally we’ve had the Internet of Things, but now our homes, appliances, and everyday items are becoming intelligent and are able to communicate on any platform – no matter how they get powered or programmed.
These two are really similar and are meant to empower humans in order to make everyday tasks simpler and more convenient, but they may involve a few different approaches when it comes to execution. For example, an IoT device could focus on smart homes – like security cameras or automated doors – whereas an Internet of Everything (IoE) could tap into power grids or self-driving cars.
Things and devices are getting connected by the second! From TVs and phones to household appliances and more, the IoT is transforming how we live. With its relatively low cost of entry, this technology opens up a huge opportunity for innovation in almost every industry. Understanding what it all means can be tricky, so here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about this game-changing tech trend.
- - It refers to the concept that everyday objects - like your car or oven - will soon be able to send and receive data on their own.
- - The term "Internet of Things" was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999 as part of his work at Proctor & Gamble Co., where he was seeking to control things such as machines and cars wirelessly with an internet connection.
- - In 1994, British engineer Roy Want first coined the term 'ubiquitous computing,' which would later evolve into IoT when Ashton came across his work while at P&G.
- - As they become more widely available, these devices could change how we interact with our world from our homes to our streets.
- - To put it simply, it connects ordinary physical objects to the internet, either through sensors embedded within them or through external sensors.
- - One thing that makes it different than any other type of digital connectivity is that there are two different types: machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and machine-to-human (M2H).
- - M2M communication is used by devices interacting with each other but not humans; M2H communication takes place between people using smartphones, watches, or tablets and machinery working around them.
- - Experts believe many households will have smart kitchen gadgets within five years and believe even today's toddlers may one day grow up never having had any experience interacting with an appliance that doesn't have some level of connectivity capabilities built in.
- - Connected toys, fitness trackers, and baby monitors have been released in recent years as well. These devices typically connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Some also come equipped with cameras and microphones to capture video clips or audio recordings respectively.
- - While most experts agree this has great potential for improving the lives of consumers, manufacturers, and businesses alike, others express concern over the sheer number of connected devices that will be online at any given time without much regulation governing their use until now.
As the Internet of Things becomes more pervasive, here are three key points you need to know about it:
- - It offers a world of opportunity for businesses looking for smarter, more cost-effective ways to operate their business.
- - The first use cases were primarily centered around location-based services such as tracking devices and other objects using GPS coordinates; now we're starting to see new areas of focus such as wearables like Fitbit that track your health metrics or Opower's smart plugs that save energy by monitoring your household appliances.
- - With all this data comes security concerns which means an increasing responsibility for IT departments in companies who want access to these technologies.
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