As defined by Techopedia, the Internet of Things (IoT) is “a computing concept that describes a future where every day physical objects will be connected to the internet and will be able to identify themselves to other devices.”
It was birthed out of the idea of interconnected machines, or machine to machine technology.
But what is The Internet of Things exactly?
A white paper from TechRepublic and ZDNet, “The Executives Guide to the Internet of Things” shares it will be when every “thing” has a microprocessor with the ability to connect to the internet.
Now here’s where I get a little nervous, and you should too. It’s being cautioned that what is to come with the Internet of Things all depends on how the ecosystem is architected. We’ve all seen one too many B-films where technology overtakes or is used for the wrong reasons. Now I’m not saying the movies are predicting the future, but we must take these as lessons learned and create structure before it’s a jungle.
With that said, if it’s utilized properly, the IoT could really make a big, positive, difference in the world.
Okay, but again, what actually is The Internet of Things?
“Things” is an ambiguous term to describe the pieces, but there’s really no other way. These things are machines typically, but don’t let your imagination stop there. It can be a horse on a farm, a car, a blender, anything, as long as it has information it can provide to an interested someone.
“Sensors” are what attach to the “Thing” to collect data from, or broadcast it too the thing. Think RFID tags. These sensors can gather info on just about anything, temperature, usage, blood sugar, light detection, you name it they do it. Although they sound like computers, they’re not. Think of them as cheap (at enterprise standards) walky talkies.
Also included are Comms for local and long range sensors that are the wireless method of data transportation to the server; which is the next wedge of the wheel. The servers collect and analyzes this information. It’s also typically connected to a cloud solution.
All these pieces combine to create a very powerful data generator. This is why the cloud is a key piece of the Internet of Things puzzle. All of this data must be stored, and accessible to many different individuals within the company to make the best business decisions.
So how can the Internet of Things help?
The Internet of Things will impact a number of industries, namely health care, smart cities, and utilities, however to each it will bring about the same business benefit: Never before realized insights with the level of super-visibility enabled by the data collected from sensors.
This level of awareness will help farmers monitor their cows, healthcare equipment specialists see where the defaults are in machines, and in turn will improve efficiency, foster innovation, enable cost savings, and eventually those benefits can trickle down to your customers.
For more information on the Internet of Things, check out ZDNet’s “Tapping M2M: The Internet of Things”.