What Exactly Is Internet of Things (IoT)?

Internet of Things, or simply IoT, is essentially a system of interrelated mechanical and digital machines, computer devices, objects, people or animals that are provided with UID’s (Unique Identifiers) along with the ability to send data over a network without the need for human-to-computer or human-to-human interaction.

A thing within the Internet of Things could either be an animal on a farm with a biochip transponder, an individual with an implant such as a heart monitor or a luxury vehicle with built-in sensors to notify the driver of oil levels, tire pressure, or assist with parking. Basically, it can be any man-made object that could be allocated an IP address and is capable to transfer data over a network.

Organizations in a broad range of industries are utilising Internet of Things to operate much more efficiently, improve decision-making, better understand customers where they can provide enhanced service, and increases the overall value of the organisation.

How Internet of Things Work

An Internet of Things ecosystem basically consists of smart devices that are web-enabled and utilise communication hardware, sensors, and embedded processors to act, send, and collect data they need from their environments. The IoT devices will share the data they collect from sensors by basically connecting to an Internet of Things gateway where the data is either analysed locally or sent to the cloud.

In some cases, these IoT devices will communicate with other devices that are related and will act on the information they receive from each other. The IoT devices perform most of the work without the need of human intervention. However, people could interact with IoT devices. For example, to give them instructions, set them up, or access the data. The communication, networking, and connectivity protocols used within these devices that are web-enabled greatly depend on the applications deployed.

Enterprise and Consumer IoT Applications

There are several applications of IoT in the real world, ranging from enterprise IoT and consumer IoT to industrial and manufacturing IoT. These IoT applications span across several verticals, such as energy, telco, automotive, and more. For example, in the consumer segment, smart homes equipped with smart applications, smart thermostats, and connected lighting, heating, and electronic devices can easily be remotely controlled by smartphones, computers, or other mobile devices.

In healthcare, Internet of Things provide loads of benefits, such as the ability to closely monitor a patient and use the generated data to analyse it. Smart buildings can rapidly reduce energy costs by utilising sensors to detect the number of occupants in a specific room. Businesses can use IoT to switch on air conditioners when a conference room is packed with people. IoT systems in agriculture can assist in monitoring soil moisture, humidity, light, and temperature by using connected sensors.

Benefits of IoT

There are loads of benefits to organisations that utilise Internet of Things, for instance:

• Improve customer experience
• Monitor overall business processes
• Save money and time
• Enhance the productivity of each employee
• Adapt and integrate business models
• Generate more revenue
• Make better decisions in the business